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 Home > News & Policies > September 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 12, 2007

Memorandum for the Secretary of Homeland Security

SUBJECT: Measures Regarding Certain Liberians in the United States

Since 1991, the United States has provided safe haven for Liberians who were forced to flee their country as a result of armed conflict and widespread civil strife. Eventually, many Liberians were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and permitted to remain and obtain work eligibility in the United States temporarily. Although the armed conflict in Liberia ended in 2003 and conditions have improved, I have found that the political and economic situation in Liberia continues to be fragile.

While acknowledging the progress ongoing in Liberia under that country's current administration, I have determined that there are compelling foreign policy reasons not to enforce the removal of Liberians presently residing in the United States under TPS. In particular, Liberia is struggling to implement reconstruction and economic stabilization programs for the population, including the thousands of former Liberian refugees who have returned from the West African region and elsewhere.

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 18 months the removal of any Liberian national (or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) who is present in the United States and who is under a grant of TPS as of September 30, 2007, and who has continuously resided in the United States since October 1, 2002, 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 18 months from October 1, 2007; and

2. authorization for employment for 18 months from October 1, 2007.

This directive shall not apply to any Liberian national (or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia): (1) who is ineligible for TPS for the reasons provided in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and

Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B); (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 has voluntarily returned 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.


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