President Trump is ending temporary amnesty for nearly 1,000 Liberian nationals who have been allowed to stay in the United States for almost three decades.
In a new directive to his Department of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Trump announced that thousands of Liberian nationals will need to return to Liberia after being allowed to stay in the U.S. since 1991 when thousands were first granted temporary amnesty due to a civil war in the African country.
DHS officials told Breitbart News that about 840 Liberian nationals will need to return to their home country by March 2019, at the latest.
Trump writes in ending the temporary amnesty:
Through consultation with appropriate executive departments and agencies and my advisors, I have been informed that conditions in Liberia have improved. Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance. Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals. The 2014 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease caused a tragic loss of life and economic damage to the country, but Liberia has made tremendous progress in its ability to diagnose and contain future outbreaks of the disease.
Accordingly, I find that conditions in Liberia no longer warrant a further extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), but that the foreign policy interests of the United States warrant affording an orderly transition (“wind-down”) period to Liberian DED beneficiaries. In consultation with my advisors, I have concluded that a 12‑month wind‑down period is appropriate in order to provide Liberia’s government with time to reintegrate its returning citizens and to allow DED beneficiaries who are not eligible for other forms of immigration relief to make necessary arrangements and to depart the United States.
As stated in his memo, Liberian nationals eligible to remain in the U.S. over the next year will be allowed to do so. Following those 12 months, the nationals will need to leave the country or risk being deported.
Since the 1990’s, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have continued to approve temporary amnesty for Liberian nationals, even though the country’s issues with civil war had long ended.
Temporary amnesties granted to foreign national populations are often renewed for decades by administrations even though the original intent of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program is to be temporary and not permanent.