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Minnesotans Rallying to Protect Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians As Deadline Nears

 

March 31 Expiration Date of Program: 12 days

Saint Paul, MN – A series of media reports, including an in-depth piece in the Star Tribune, are highlighting Minnesotans’ activism and urging of the Trump Administration to extend Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED), a little-known deportation reprieve program that currently offers protections to thousands of Minnesota immigrants.

The Star Tribune piece notes DED is less well known than other immigration programs, but crucial for immigrants like Louise Stevens. Stevens traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to lobby on Capitol Hill; she told Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith how DED has allowed her to legally work two jobs, enabling her to support her daughter, who is now a college student, and buy a home.

Relevant excerpts follow:

Part of the challenge for DED advocates is the program’s low profile, says Abena Abraham, a University of Minnesota student and former DED recipient.

“Folks are familiar with TPS; they know about DACA,” she said, referring to the Obama-era deportation reprieve program for young immigrants.

So activists like Abraham have sought to inform employers and the state’s congressional delegation. A group traveled to Washington to meet with lawmakers this week. Louise Stevens told Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith about working two jobs for more than a decade — at a care facility for people with intellectual disabilities and on a medical assembly line — to support her daughter, now a college student, and buy a Brooklyn Park townhouse.

 Several other reports echo similar sentiments:

 MPR News: Klobuchar joins Liberians in urging they be allowed to stay

By Riham Feshir

March 16, 2018

Minnesota is estimated to have the most Liberian immigrants in the country. Many of them have become citizens and thousands of others on DED have built lives here. Many work in health care or own businesses. Their children are U.S. citizens.

Ripon Advance: Paulsen, Minn. colleagues request Trump extend protections for Liberians

March 16, 2018

Specifically, the lawmakers asked Trump to extend the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) protection held by Liberians that is scheduled to expire on March 31.

“The lives and wellbeing of the Liberians living in our own community are at stake, and this is too important to let politics get in the way,” said Paulsen in a March 14 statement.