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March 28, 2018

Thompson, Ellison Statement on Trump Ending Liberian Immigration Program

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after President Trump announced that he will end the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, which has allowed Liberian immigrants to remain in the United States and work legally.

“President Trump’s decision to abandon Liberians who have long resided in and contributed to our communities is an outrage. These are longstanding members of our society, who have been in the United States for at least two decades. Many fled to the United States close to 30 years ago, when Liberia descended into civil war, and have been living and working legally in the United States ever since.”

“Liberia today is recovering and rebuilding from these civil wars and the after effects of the 2014 Ebola crisis. We question whether one year will be sufficient to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and systems are in place to sustain progress already made and whether this decision will have damaging, unintended consequences.”

“The protection of the Liberian community has always been bipartisan – both President Obama and President Bush renewed their status. As parents, caregivers, and business owners are forced to leave the lives they have built here over decades, our communities will be the ones hurt most by this decision.”

“We strongly urge President Trump to reconsider his shameful decision to terminate DED for the Liberian community.”

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Media contact:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Ellison) Hamid Bendaas at 202-225-4755