President Obama Extends Executive Amnesty To Liberians

REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

The White House announced Wednesday that President Obama extended protection from deportation and work authorization for 18 months for Liberians present in the United States.

From 1991 to 2007, the United States provided Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to thousands of Liberians fleeing a civil war that ended in 2003. TPS does not give lawful permanent resident status, “a green card,” but a recipient gets to stay in the U.S free of risk of deportation, receive government benefits, a driver’s license, and work authorization.

Bush did not renew the TPS in 2007, and instead granted Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to the Liberians who received TPS. DED is a directive from the president under his powers to conduct foreign policy. Recipients are allowed to work in the United States and live free of risk of deportation. Obama extended Bush’s DED in 2014, and on Wednesday announced Liberians currently under it will be able to work and live in the U.S till March 1, 2018.

The exceptions to being eligible to DED are if the Liberians have gone to Liberia and returned to the United States, have been convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors, have previously been deported, or are subject to extradition.