- Thousands of illegal Liberians in the United States will be forced to leave on 1 October after the Department of Home Security has ended their Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
But a joint research report published by the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights said time is not ripe for US authorities to end TPS for Liberians.
TPS allows certain populations to remain in the United States because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
Hundreds of thousands of Liberians were forced to flee Liberia when a civil war erupted in the country on 24 December 1989. Thousands of them flew to the United States, seeking peace, safety, employment, health and education.
Many Liberians, who have since established stable and secure homes in the US, hold regular jobs, pay rent, own homes and attend school. Apart from giving birth to many children in the US [who are US citizens], some Liberians have lived in the country for 15 years.
The Dorsey-authored report says the Liberian government needs sufficient time to establish itself as a stable and secure democracy capable of catering the needs of its populations. As such, it recommends Liberians to be allowed to remain in the US while their government moves forward during this “critical time in its history.”
The report examines Liberia’s state of account, taking into cognizance its refugee return programme, economy, infrastructure, health care, education, security, and justice systems.
Despite ending the war in 2003 and electing a new elected government in 2005, Liberia still has a long way to go in terms of developing its devastated economy, infrastructure and social services. Majority of the population still lives without clean drinking water, electricity and access to health care.
Liberia is also reeling with high illiteracy rate [over 70%], high unemployment and poor conditions of schools. Liberian students are taught by unqualified teachers.
Besides, Liberia's small and inadequate police force is poorly equipped, and the country's high crime rate is exacerbated by high unemployment, the report notes.
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