March 28th, 2018
For Immediate Release
Washington, DC - After living in fear of losing their families, homes, and communities, Liberians with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) can breathe again today. The presidential decree ending their status on March 31, 2019 has been extended for one year to March 31, 2020. This gives Congress time to act, and Congress must act now.
Liberian DED holders have been at the center of this fight. For years, they have advocated for themselves and their families, they have bravely shared their personal stories, filed a lawsuit to protect themselves and continue to build power with each other.
Yatta Kiazolu who most recently testified at the Senate Judiciary hearing welcomes the news, “This is a very necessary win for our community. It was the right thing to do. We are still in the fight for a permanent solution because we still have lives after March 31st, 2020. We know when we fight we win! We are proud of our community and advocates for pushing for this extension.”
Patrice Lawrence, National Policy and Advocacy Director, UndocuBlack Network “The UndocuBlack Network has arduously fought for the integrity, dignity and humanity of all undocumented Black people. This fight with our Liberian community has been long, hard and frustrating. Our work is personal and to that end we are very grateful for the support that our Liberian communities have gotten from our partners and allies. This win, though incremental, minute and still a termination of status, must be recognized as the monumental power of the people. The president overturned his own decision, we have more might than we can even begin to imagine. I am proud to lead this fight with you all.”
Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Founder and Director, UndocuBlack Network
“We are elated to see the extension of DED for another year as we see it as a demonstration of the power we’ve built collectively. We have been fighting for this on every front: in Congress, in the media, in the courts and on the streets. And we are proud to see this win. We are also grateful to everyone who joined our call to action, amplified our demands, supported our leadership and believed in our vision. And we know that this is not the end. We need Congress to act now and pass permanent protections for DED holders and the rest of our community!”
Passing legislation is a first and essential step toward fixing our broken immigration system. Bills already introduced in the House (HR 6 — the Dream and Promise Act) and in the Senate (the Dream Act and the Secure Act) would give a path to permanent residence and citizenship to Liberians with DED, to immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, and to undocumented young people.
UndocuBlack continues to fight and advocate for all undocumented Black immigrants.