President Donald Trump has extended the “wind down” period for the end of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians, a decision that will allow eligible Liberian DED beneficiaries to continue living and working in the United States through March 30, 2020. The 12-month extension comes a year after Trump announced that the U.S. would end DED for Liberian nationals.

Key Points:

  • In making the announcement, Trump said that extending the wind-down period was in the U.S.’s foreign policy interests. “The overall situation in West Africa remains concerning,” he said, “and Liberia is an important regional partner for the United States.”
  • Following Trump’s announcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it will provide an automatic six-month work authorization extension, through Sept. 27, 2019, for Liberian DED beneficiaries. Information on how work authorization can be extended for the remainder of the wind-down period will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.
  • The extension of 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.

Background: The administration’s decision last year to end DED for Liberians was consistent with the steps it has taken to end temporary immigration protections for nationals of a number of countries. The U.S. has moved to end Temporary Protected Status protections for nationals of several coun­tries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. Those efforts have been put on hold, however, because of ongoing litigation. On March 8, a group filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to stop the termination of DED for Liberian nationals. That litigation is also still pending.

BAL Analysis: The decision to extend the wind-down period means Liberian DED beneficiaries will be able to live and work in the U.S. for another year, through March 30, 2020. Eligible Liberian DED beneficiaries will have their work authorization automatically extended for six months, through Sept. 27, 2019. Instructions for extending work authorization beyond that point will be published soon.

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

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