Liberian nationals are celebrating as President Donald Trump is expected to approve of a Republican-Democrat spending package that includes providing them a pathway to United States citizenship.
As Breitbart News reported, a spending package passed by Republican and Democrat lawmakers provides amnesty to at least 4,000 Liberian nationals who would otherwise have had to self-deport by March 2020.
In March 2018, President Trump ended Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberia. The spending package, though, ensures that those thousands of Liberians will not only remain in the U.S. but be allowed to apply for American citizenship. If signed by Trump, the amnesty would be the first since the year 2000.
Liberian nationals are already celebrating the amnesty before Trump signs it into law.
“This is the best Christmas ever,” 97-year-old Magdalene Menyongar, a Liberian national, told MPR News.
Erasmus Williams, who heads the Immigration Coalition of Minnesota, which has been lobbying for the amnesty, told KSTP, “For us, this is the best Christmas gift. We have struggled to reach this day. People are still in disbelief, but it’s a reality.”
The amnesty for Liberian nationals slipped into the defense budget had been pushed for months by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and a handful of Minnesota lawmakers.
Effectively, all Liberian nationals who were allowed to stay in the U.S. over the last few decades will now be allowed to adjust their immigration status, making them permanent residents who can eventually apply to become American citizens.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.