Trump will end deportation protection for Liberians

The move is yet another example of Trump displaying hostility toward immigrants in the United States

Published March 28, 2018 3:49PM (EDT)

 (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta/Getty/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Salon)
(AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta/Getty/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Salon)

President Donald Trump is once again implementing an immigration policy that targets non-white immigrants — on this occasion, Liberians who are staying in the United States with Deferred Enforced Departure status.

Trump said that he will allow the Deferred Enforced Departure status to expire for Liberians who currently reside in the United States to stay out of the violent political situation in their country, according to Axios. Liberian migrants were first granted this legal status in 1999 due to the outbreak of a bloody civil war in their country, and Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama made a point of extending it every year. Trump, on the other hand, argued through a White House statement that Liberia "has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance," as well as in containing Ebola outbreaks, and as a result can join the status of other countries whose residents have had their protections yanked in this country, including El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua and Haiti.

As a result of Trump's decision, Liberians in the country as a result of the program will have their status expire on March 31st, giving them until March 2019 before they are compelled to leave the United States. Liberia itself is a nation founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves in the 19th century, although only 5 percent of its current population is believed to be descended from them. Libera's ongoing civil war has claimed the lives of 250,000 of that nation's residents, with thousands more fleeing from the violence to nations like the U.S.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), actress Cady McClain ("All My Children"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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