US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced in a presidential memorandum that, “upon further reflection and review,” he is extending an additional 12-month “wind-down” period for Liberians living in the US.
This policy change will affect about 4,000 Liberians who are Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) beneficiaries. Last year, Trump said that he would end the DED program with a “wind-down” period expiring March 31, 2019, because conditions in post-civil war Liberia had improved. Now, DED beneficiaries are allowed to remain in the US until March 20, 2020.
“The reintegration of DED beneficiaries into Liberian civil and political life will be a complex task,” Trump said, “and an unsuccessful transition could strain United States-Liberian relations and undermine Liberia’s post-civil war strides toward democracy and political stability.”
Trump also directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to make sure that current DED beneficiaries have continued work authorization until March 2020.