ABHMS stands with CWS in urging extension of deferred enforced departure for Liberians

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/3/18)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) stands with partner Church World Service (CWS) in condemning the termination of deferred enforced departure (DED) for Liberians and urging the Trump administration to restore and extend Liberian DED for at least another 18 months.

The Trump administration’s decision to terminate DED for Liberians, effective March 31, 2019, follows the recent terminations of temporary protections for Sudanese, Nicaraguan, Haitian and Salvadoran temporary protected status (TPS) holders.

According to CWS, Liberians currently in the United States with DED have been legally living and working in the country for more than 15 years, and terminating DED will break up families. In addition, the termination will hinder Liberia’s progress as it struggles to recover from civil war and Ebola.

“We made a promise to our Liberian brothers and sisters when they fled their country. We must uphold that promise,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS president. “Liberia remains unable to welcome the safe return of thousands of Liberians, as recovery from the public health and infrastructure crises has been slow. It is irresponsible and against our nation’s values of welcome and foreign policy to send a message of exclusion of Liberian Americans who have become integral and contributing members in many communities across our country.”

In a March 22 letter, more than 600 faith leaders and faith organizations called on the administration to show compassion and extend DED for Liberians.

ABHMS stands with CWS in urging Congress take immediate action and support a permanent, legislative solution that would protect all DED and TPS holders from deportation and family separation.

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.