Speed Reads


Trump ending special legal status for Liberian immigrants

On Tuesday, President Trump signed a memorandum that ends special legal status for certain immigrants who fled Liberia for the United States, effective next year.

Many of the immigrants have lived in the U.S. for decades, leaving Liberia because of war, economic conditions, and the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The memo Trump signed states that Liberia is "no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance." Immigrants have been eligible for Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure since March 1991, and the special status will end on March 31, 2019.

Trump said Liberia has made "tremendous progress" in being able to diagnose and contain future Ebola outbreaks and has also "concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals." The Liberian government now has a year to prepare for the return of citizens, who will face deportation if they stay in the U.S. past the March 31, 2019, deadline.