FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2018
Contact: Wardah Khalid – Church World Service | firstname.lastname@example.org | 240.621.2841
Patricia Zapor – CLINIC | email@example.com
More than 600 Faith Leaders and Faith Groups Urge Administration to Extend Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberia
Call for a minimum 18-month extension for 4,000 Liberian DED holders as country rebuilds after civil war and Ebola outbreak
WASHINGTON – 119 faith-based organizations and 509 faith leaders sent a letter to President Trump today, urging him to extend Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for nearly 4,000 Liberians for a minimum of 18 months. The current designation is due to expire March 31st. If not extended, thousands of Liberians would lose their work authorization and be vulnerable for deportation the following day. The consequences would be devastating, potentially tearing families apart and forcing parents to leave behind their children.
DED allows certain Liberians to legally live and work in the United States. It was first granted to Liberians by President George W. Bush in 2007. Since then, every administration has extended DED in 12-, 18-, and 24-month intervals. The country continues to struggle to recover from civil war and political unrest, and faces ongoing food insecurity and public health crises like the recent Ebola and malaria outbreaks.
Below is an excerpt from the letter (full text can be found here).
“Our call stems from our shared values rooted in our sacred texts to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger, the sojourner among us. As Leviticus 19:33-34 reminds us: “Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
Liberia remains unable to welcome the safe return of nearly 4,000 Liberians as recovery from the public health and infrastructure crises has been slow. We must respond by upholding our promises to the Liberian people and by allowing our Liberian brothers and sisters to remain here in the United States. As faith leaders and members of faith-based organizations across the country, we urge you to join us in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Liberian neighbors, and to extend DED.”