In an ABC piece, Conor Finnegan lifts up the words of several impacted immigrants and allies who learned on Tuesday that the Trump Administration is ending the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, jeopardizing the futures of thousands of Liberian immigrants living in the United States.
The piece in its entirety can be accessed here, and a few excerpted highlights follow:
“This is home for me, and the thought of leaving my daughter is emotional. I’m pleading with the President and Congress to extend DED,” one recipient, Nancy Harris of Alabama — who’s been in the U.S. for 18 years with her husband, a pastor — told reporters Monday.
“Let’s be clear: This decision was a show of heart by the Trump Administration,” said Patrice Lawrence, the national policy and advocacy director of UndocuBlack Network, an immigrant advocacy group focused on black people. “To ask people who have been here since the late 1990’s to leave is harsh, cruel, and disgusting. You have a large group of people who now feel unstable. We see this administration’s relentless anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric as a concerted effort to make every immigrant undocumented.”
Many vowed not to depart without a fight.
“To see that Liberians in the United States have stabilized their lives — and I think that’s part of the American Dream and the pursuit of happiness — and still uproot us and send us back to Liberia will force us to become refugees all over again,” said Caroline Grimes, a DED recipient in Minnesota. “We must let Donald Trump know that this decision is unacceptable.”