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October 16, 2001

Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Eligible Liberians

WASHINGTON – In response to President Bush’s announcement in which he authorized Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for qualified Liberians until September 29, 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced today it will defer for one year the deportation or removal of certain qualified Liberians present in the United States.

Under DED, approximately 10,000 Liberians in the United States as of September 29, 2001, will be protected from removal for one year and will be authorized to work in the United States.

From 1991 through 1999, most Liberians present in the United States resided here under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a form of protection offered when conditions in a country are determined to be too dangerous or unstable for its nationals to safely return.  Although TPS ended for Liberians on September 28, 1999, President Clinton determined that for foreign policy reasons, Liberians would receive protection from removal under Deferred Enforced Departure for another year, September 1999, and again in September 2000.  Because of continued foreign policy reasons, President Bush has also decided to extend DED for another year.

To obtain employment authorization, qualified Liberian nationals will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765D, “Liberian DED Supplemental to Form I-765,” at the District Office that has jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence.  The filing fee for submitting an EAD application is waived for DED recipients.  However, all first time applicants will be required to submit the standard $25 fingerprinting fee.

In order to minimize the lapse in employment authorization, District Directors will take the proper steps necessary to provide for the immediate processing of DED-related employment authorization applications.

In addition, applicants must submit a copy of the following documentation, if available, to establish their eligibility for work authorization: Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record; most recent Employment Authorization Document (EAD); and photo identification, such as a passport, driver's license or identity card or a school identification card.  Applicants must also submit two photographs with their application.

If these documents are not available, applicants must submit an affidavit affirming that they are a national of Liberia who was present in the United States as of September 29, 1999, and are eligible for DED.  There will be an interview process to determine eligibility. 

Although DED is automatic for qualified Liberians, there are some exceptions to eligibility under this program, including persons who have committed certain crimes, persons who are persecutors, and persons who have previously been deported, excluded or removed.

– INS –