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 Home > News & Policies > September 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 25, 2001

Presidential Memo for the Attorney General
Memorandum for the Attorney General
September 25, 2001

SUBJECT: Measures Regarding Certain Liberians in the United States

Over the past 10 years, many Liberians were forced to flee their country due to civil war and widespread violence.  From 1991 through 1999, we provided Liberians in the United States with Temporary Protected Status because of these difficulties.  Although the civil war in Liberia ended in 1996 and conditions improved such that a further extension of Temporary Protected Status was no longer warranted, the political and economic situation continued to be fragile.  On September 27, 1999, and September 28, 2000, based on compelling foreign policy reasons, President Clinton directed Attorney General Reno to defer enforced departure of certain Liberians in the United States for 1-year periods from September 29, 1999, and September 29, 2000.

There continues to be compelling foreign policy reasons not to deport these Liberians at this time.  In particular, there is a significant risk that such a decision would cause the involuntary repatriation of many thousands of Liberian refugees in West Africa, causing instability in Liberia and the region.

Pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States, I have determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to defer for 1 year the deportation of any Liberian national who is present in the United States as of September 29, 2001, except for the categories of individuals listed below.

Accordingly, I now direct you to take the necessary steps to implement for these Liberians:

     1.   deferral of enforced departure from the United States for 1 year

           from September 29, 2001; and

     2.   authorization for employment for 1 year from September 29, 2001.

This directive shall not apply to any Liberian national:  (1) who is ineligible for Temporary Protected Status for the reasons provided in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (2) whose removal you determine is in the interest of the United States; (3) whose presence or activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States; (4) who voluntarily returned or returns to Liberia or his or her country of last habitual residence outside the United States; (5) who was deported, excluded, or removed prior to the date of this memorandum; or (6) who is subject to extradition.

These measures shall be taken as of the date of this memorandum.

                                GEORGE W. BUSH

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