Liberians, Other W-Africans to Lose US Immigration Status

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Hundreds of Africans including Liberians living in the northern U.S. state of Minnesota are about to lose their temporary immigrant status, the Voice of America (VOA) has reported.

According to the station, as many as 5,000 people were granted the special protected status in 2014 when an Ebola epidemic hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, allowing some of the residents to live and work in the U.S. legally until the outbreak was contained.

Last year, the three worst hit countries were declared Ebola free.

“Now, those with temporary immigrant status must either return home or obtain legal status,” Minnesota Public Radio reported earlier this week.

Abdullah Kiatamba, executive director of African Immigrant Services in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, who along with other immigration leaders is calling the termination premature, says Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are still recovering from the outbreak, so it’s still not safe for the citizens to go home.

John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, said health care systems in the countries hit hardest by Ebola were already delicate before the outbreak. “It’s great these countries have been declared Ebola free, but the toll that fighting Ebola took on the countries, you have to take that into effect, too,” he said.

Kiatamba estimates that between 200 and 500 people will be affected. Officials have not released numbers, and it is unclear how many of the immigrants have returned home or found other ways to make their immigration status permanent.

Kiatamba said that more than 11,000 people died during the Ebola outbreak, but that its impact goes beyond the health care system.

“The employment system, economic system, social system, health have all collapsed,” he said.

He said, “citizens from those countries coming to the U.S. was a very important humanitarian step, and I think the reason for their coming has totally not been eliminated.”

The temporary immigration status was originally issued for an 18-month period. It was extended twice, each time for six months.

5 COMMENTS

  1. President Trump’s immigration agency is recommending that the U.S. end temporary protections by next January for 50,000 Haitians allowed to remain in the United States following a series of natural disasters that have crippled the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.

    James McCament, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, concluded in a letter last week that conditions in Haiti have improved enough to end “temporary protected status” for Haitians, according to a copy of the letter obtained by USA TODAY.”

    Your come home. Trump only does this with blacks. Eastern Europeans are welcome with open arms.

  2. The truth is, all Liberian beneficiaries on TPS, not only those in the State of Minnesota, awil loose their benefits effective Monday, May 22, 2017. Unfortunately, this situation will not only affect the beneficiaries, but their families in Liberia who have benefited through cash remittances, as well as the Liberian Government.

    Moreover, the situation will have an adverse effect on the economy, as we all know well that not only will their return affect them and their families, but it will pose additional burden on the already suffering people.

    Are we prepared to see additional influx of our citizens being deported in the mix of hardship the country faces presently? I’m not sure.

  3. Welcome home our beloved citizens, what you have learn and and archive is history you didn’t expect yourself to be there but it was through God who you believed in. In the midst of pestilence you escape therefore in the midst of hardship in our nation others are doing well you can do well too. To those that will return I encourage you stay focus come home and let work together to help our nation to be a place that people will want to run to. Don’t bury what you learn and archive come and make your dream come through. Liberia is all we have! Where is the love ?

  4. This news is sad but Liberians could return home with their technical skills if people got serious to learn something while over there. Eastern europeans to the US with skills and improve their skills while there. Sadly, at times we Liberians in particular, we forget about ourselves and think that we have arrived. Others always watch over their shoulders and working to change their status, never contended with the TPS program. consider the case of our somali brothers/sisters; Liberians started going to the US in huge numbers but today, in Minnesota, there is a somali congresswoman from the republican party not a single Liberian had ever smell the Congress or State legislature.why, fellow Liberians? What is wrong with our aspiration? we settle for little/mediocrity? Those of you remaining with permanent status, please rise above the current way of looking at things.

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