Report Recommends Liberians Be Allowed to Remain in United States

MINNEAPOLIS , Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On October 1 , thousands of Liberians living and working legally in the United States will be forced to leave because the Department of Homeland Security has decided to end their Temporary Protected...


MINNEAPOLIS , Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On October 1 , thousands of Liberians living and working legally in the United States will be forced to leave because the Department of Homeland Security has decided to end their Temporary Protected Status (TPS). A joint research report published by the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights recommends that the U.S. government not end TPS for Liberians at this time.

TPS allows certain populations to remain in the United States because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

When civil war erupted in Liberia in 1989, hundreds of thousands of Liberians were forced to flee their home country. Thousands came to the United States , seeking peace, safety, employment, health and education. Many Liberians have established stable and secure homes in the United States . They hold regular jobs, pay rent, own homes and attend school. Many have children who were born in this country -- which makes the children U.S. citizens -- and some have lived here as long as 15 years.

The Dorsey-authored report underscores the need to allow the Liberian government sufficient time to establish itself as a stable and secure democracy able to provide for its population. It recommends Liberians be allowed to remain in the United States while the Liberian government moves forward during this critical time in its history. The report examines the most recent accounts of the country conditions in Liberia , focusing on the country's refugee return program, economy, infrastructure, health care, education, security, and justice systems.

Although the war ended in 2003 and Liberians elected a new government in 2005, Liberia's economy, infrastructure, and social services remain devastated. Illiteracy is estimated to be between 70 and 80 percent. The unemployment rate is at least as high. School buildings are in poor condition and overcrowded; students are taught by unqualified teachers. The majority of the population still lives without clean drinking water, electricity and access to health care. Liberia's small and inadequate police force is poorly equipped, and the country's high crime rate is exacerbated by high unemployment.

Liberia Is Not Ready: A Report of Country Conditions in Liberia and Reasons the United States Should Not End Temporary Protected Status for Liberians is available at http://www.mnadvocates.org.

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