United States President Joe Biden has deferred through June 30, 2024, the removal of any Liberian national who is present in the United States.
Through a Memorandum on Extending and Expanding Eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians addressed to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Biden said this decision is in the foreign policy interests of the United States.
“Providing protection from removal and work authorization to these Liberians, for whom we have long authorized TPS or DED in the United States, including while they complete the LRIF status-adjustment process, honors the historic close relationship between the United States and Liberia and is in the foreign policy interests of the United States,” said Mr. Biden.
It also covers any Liberian national under the grant of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) as of June 30, 2022, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who has been continuously physically present in the United States since May 20, 2017.
“I have also determined that any Liberian national, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who was under a grant of DED as of June 30, 2022, or who has been continuously physically present in the United States since May 20, 2017, should have continued employment authorization through June 30, 2024,” the Memorandum said.
There are compelling foreign policy reasons to extend DED for an additional period for those Liberians presently residing in the United States who were under a grant of DED until June 30, 2022, as well as to defer enforced departure for Liberians who have been continuously present in the United States since May 20, 2017.
In addition to updating the continuous presence requirement, I have also determined that it is appropriate to include qualifying Liberians whose LRIF applications have been denied for reasons other than ineligibility under sections 7611(b)(1)(C) and (b)(3) of the NDAA in this DED designation.
In particular, this includes providing protection from removal to those who arrived in the United States during a time when conditions prevented them from returning safely, including through May 20, 2017, and have since established family and community ties in the United States.
Further, President Biden instructs that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly direct the appropriate officials to make provision, by means of a notice published in the Federal Register, for immediate allowance of employment authorization for those Liberians.
He particularly refers to Liberians who held appropriate DED-related employment authorization documents as of June 30, 2022, or those Liberian nationals who have been continuously present in the United States since May 20, 2017.
He said the Secretary of Homeland Security shall also provide for the prompt issuance of new or replacement employment authorization documents in appropriate cases.
“This grant of DED and continued employment authorization shall apply to any Liberian DED beneficiary as of June 30, 2022, or any Liberian national who has been continuously present in the United States since May 20, 2017,” he added.
But he noted that this shall not apply to individuals who would be ineligible for Temporary Protected Status (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).
Also affected are individuals who sought or seek Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) provision but whose applications have been or are denied by the Secretary of Homeland Security due to ineligibility for the LRIF provision under sections 7611(b)(1)(C) and (b)(3) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Individuals whose removal the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is in the interest of the United States, subject to the LRIF provision, are also affected.
And those 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, and individuals who have voluntarily returned to Liberia or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States for an aggregate period of 180 days or more are affected.