** LEGAL UPDATE **
Liberians were first granted temporary protection in the United States in 1991, in recognition of the fact that their country had become unsafe for return due to armed conflict and widespread civil strife. Initially, the form of humanitarian protection that the U.S. government granted was Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which includes prevention of deportation and a work permit.
Later, in 2007, TPS-holding Liberians were given Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status, which also comes with prevention of deportation and a work permit. The difference is a minor one: the decision to grant DED comes straight from the U.S. president, as a foreign relations consideration, rather than from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Under President Obama, Liberian DED was extended through March 31, 2018. President Trump then said he would end Liberian DED, after a wind-down period meant to last into early 2021.
However, this has recently been superseded by the Biden administration. Among its first actions following the inauguration was to announce the extension of Liberian Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) until June 30, 2022. This DED extension will provide existing Liberian holders of DED with continued temporary protection from deportation, work permits, and an extended opportunity to apply for relief under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) program.
If you are a Liberian with DED, keep your eyes on the news and Nolo updates for further announcements on details and procedures.
Effective Date: January 21, 2021