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Memorandum on the Extension and Expansion of Eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure of Liberians

Memorandum on the Extension and Expansion of Eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure of Liberians
Written by ga_dahmani
Memorandum on the Extension and Expansion of Eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure of Liberians

MEMORANDUM TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL SECURITY

SUBJECT: Extension and Expansion of Eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

Since 1991, the United States has provided a safe haven for Liberians forced to flee their country as a result of armed conflict and widespread civil strife, in part by granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The armed conflict ended in 2003, and TPS for affected Liberian citizens ended on October 1, 2007. President Bush later postponed the forced departure of Liberians originally granted TPS. President Obama, in successive memos, extended the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) grant through March 31, 2018. President Trump later determined that conditions in Liberia did not warrant further extension of the DED, but that the interests US foreign policy mandate ensured an orderly transition period for Liberian DED recipients. President Trump then extended that DED transition period to March 30, 2020.

In December 2019, Congress enacted the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (Public Law 116-92) (NDAA), which included, as section 7611, the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness provision ( LRIF). The LRIF provision, with limited exceptions, makes Liberians who have been continuously present in the United States since November 20, 2014, as well as their spouses and children, eligible for adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). ). The NDAA gave eligible Liberian citizens until December 20, 2020 to apply for this adjustment of status. After the enactment of the LRIF provision, President Trump further extended the DED transition period through January 10, 2021, to ensure that DED recipients would continue to be eligible for employment authorization during the LRIF application period. .

The LRIF application process was new and complex, which resulted in some administrative and procedural challenges. Recognizing these difficulties, Congress enacted a 1-year extension to the application period in section 901 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (Public Law 116-260). However, that legislation did not provide for the continuation of employment authorization after January 10, 2021. Through my January 20, 2021 memorandum (Reinstatement of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians), DED was subsequently reinstated until June 30, 2022, to allow employment. authorization for eligible Liberians while making their applications for adjustment of status under the LRIF provision.

There are compelling foreign policy reasons to extend DED for an additional period for those Liberians currently residing in the United States who were under a DED grant until June 30, 2022, as well as to defer the forced departure of 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 qualified Liberians whose LRIF applications have been denied for reasons other than ineligibility in under sections 7611(b)(1) (C) and (b)(3) of the NDAA in this DED designation. In particular, this includes providing protection from deportation to those who came to the United States at a time when conditions prevented them from returning safely, even as late as May 20, 2017, and have since established family and community ties in 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, even while they complete the LRIF adjustment of status process, honors the close historical relationship between the United States and Liberia. and it is in the foreign policy interests of the United States.

Pursuant to my constitutional authority to direct the foreign affairs of the United States, I have determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to defer until June 30, 2024, the deportation of any Liberian citizen or non-citizen who resided habitually last in Liberia, who is present in the United States and was under a DED grant as of June 30, 2022, as well as any Liberian citizen, 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 citizen, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who was under a DED grant as of June 30, 2022 , or who has been continuously physically present in the United States since May 20, 2017, must have an authorization Employment continues until June 30, 2024.

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly direct the appropriate officials to take action, by means of a notice published in the federal registerfor the immediate granting of employment authorization for those Liberians who had appropriate DED-related employment authorization documents as of June 30, 2022, or those Liberian citizens who have been continuously present in the United States since May 20, 2017. The Secretary of Homeland Security will also provide for the prompt issuance of new or replacement employment authorization documents in appropriate cases.

This grant of DED and continued employment authorization will apply to any Liberian DED beneficiary on or after June 30, 2022, or to any Liberian national who has been continuously present in the United States since May 20, 2017, but shall not apply to such persons in the following categories:

(1) persons who would not be eligible for TPS for the reasons provided in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC 1254a(c)(2)(B);

(2) persons who have sought or are seeking LPR status under the 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 NDAA;

(3) persons whose removal is determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be in the interest of the United States, subject to the LRIF provision;

(4) persons whose presence or activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse consequences on the foreign policy of the United States;

(5) persons who have voluntarily returned to Liberia or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States for a total period of 180 days or more, as specified in subsection (c)(2) of the LRIF provision; either

(6) individuals subject to extradition.

Accordingly, I direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to take the necessary steps to implement for eligible Liberians:

(1) a postponement of forced departure from the United States until June 30, 2024, effective immediately; Y

(2) employment authorization valid through June 30, 2024.

The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the federal register.

JOSE R. BIDEN JR.

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