“My entire family life has fallen through the cracks since I was told last year that I have to go back to Liberia. Though the TPS will keep me here a little longer, I’m not happy about it because I have to remain in jail until the TPS is lifted and I’m deported.”
Kulati is on her way back to Liberia for violating immigration laws, a country she says she left because of the war, chaos, discomfort and other heartless things there during the 14 years of the civil war.
Apart from Kulati, more than 1,000 illegal immigrants living in Minnesota and other states across America are said to be waiting deportation. Some, unlike Kulati, say they have been in America for many years, but due to lack of sponsorship, money and legal documents, they have been unable to get their immigration papers (documents) straight.
“There are more than four Liberians in jail with me and all of them have lost their cases and are ordered out of here, just like myself. But we hear that there’s a deadly disease killing our people out there and we have to wait for further court hearings until it’s controlled. Right now my family is confused because they are afraid to help me, they fear that Homeland Security will look into their statuses as well if they speak out on my behalf,” Kulati said via a recording that was shared with this paper by relatives.
In 2015, President Barrack Obama addressed American on his campaign to give deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, including Liberians.
Since then, immigrants who are from West African countries affected by the Ebola epidemic, including the recent Liberian entertainers, artist and managers who left during the Liberian Music Awards have been given stay.
According to some, like Infectious Michael and DSP, they have filed for their TPS and are working and doing other constructive things to nurture their return to Liberia.
“You don’t want to live here and can’t afford to move around and work a little while waiting for Ebola to pass. I took the chance to be free to move around here in America,” Infectious Michael said via SKYPE.
Meanwhile, an entire family that is expected to return to Liberia said despite facing deportation, each family member has been given TPS (temporary protective status) each time for the last six years. This time around, they feel this could be their last chance.
“Obama stepped in this time and because of that, I don’t think it’ll get any serious than that. We heard that Liberia is doing a lot of things to fix the place, things that we told America we needed protection from. So, I know we don’t have long here again with so much development we’re hearing is happening out there,” stated Josiah Tupee.
Also, Kulati who has spent the past year imprisoned said she wants to come home and is appealing to the American government to give her voluntary departure.
According to her, she is distressed being behind bars and feels that if she is unable to leave, she may be harmed.
“Inside the prison, there’s a war between us the aliens awaiting deportation and those who are still fighting their cases. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t get into fight with the other women. I’m tired of this, if I have to be deported, why can’t they do it now and exclude me from this TPS,” she said.
According to the distressed woman, her lawyer filed for the TPS when all of her court dates were exhausted.
“I admit I tried to fight my case because I want to stay. But I’ve had enough,” she said.