President Donald Trump announced last week that the United States would end Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberian nationals, giving them 12 months to leave the U.S. or obtain another legal basis to remain in the country.

Key Points:

  • In making the announcement, Trump said that “conditions in Liberia no longer warrant a further extension of DED,” but recognized that the “foreign policy interests of the United States warrant affording an orderly transition” period of 12 months.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) subsequently published a notice in the Federal Register saying that DED-related employment authorization documents with an expiration date of March 31, 2018, will automatically be extended through Sept. 30, 2018.
  • Eligible Liberians wishing to work in the U.S. beyond that time must file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Applicants must be able to establish that they are eligible for DED and that they held Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as of Sept. 30, 2007. Successful applicants will be issued an EAD with a March 31, 2019 expiration date.
  • The “wind-down” period does not apply to anyone whose removal is determined to be in the interest of the U.S., whose presence in the U.S. could have an adverse effect on U.S. foreign policy, who voluntarily returned to Liberia or their country of last residence or who faces deportation or is subject to extradition.

BAL Analysis: The administration’s decision to end DED for Liberians is consistent with the steps it has taken to end temporary immigration protections for nationals of a number of countries. The U.S. has ended TPS protections for several coun­tries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. The end of DED will have a similar impact for affected Liberians now living in the U.S. DHS has begun accepting applications for employment authorization for Liberian DED beneficiaries. Those who wish to work in the United States past Sept. 30, 2018, should file a Form I-765 as soon as possible.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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