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Ellison Applauds White House Liberian Extension

Congressman Keith EllisonFor Immediate Release Contact: Rick JauertFriday, March 20, 2009 202.225.4755 or 202-309-3413 Rick.Jauert@mail.house.govEllison Applauds White House Liberian Extension Will Work for Path to Residency and CitizenshipWashington, D.C. – Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) welcomed President Obama’s decision today to extend Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status by 12 months to Liberians residing legally in the United States. There are approximately 3,600 Liberians in the United States on a temporary status including more than 1,000 Minnesotans. “I am grateful that President Obama has granted our Liberian neighbors extended DED status,” Representative Ellison said. “This was the right thing to do to keep families together and it embraces the fundamental foundation of an immigrant nation.”Liberians have lived and worked in Minnesota since 1991 when their country was wracked by civil war which first made them eligible for temporary protected status. Liberians have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) under President Clinton and President Bush. The Liberians are currently under DED status, which was set to expire on March 31, 2009.This past December, Congressman Ellison sent a letter to then President-Elect Obama along with 31 other Members of the House calling on the new Administration to extend DED status for all Liberians residing in the United States. In 110th Congress, Ellison authored legislation with Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) to allow Liberian Americans who were brought here under TPS to apply for citizenship.“Liberian American families have made Minnesota their home for the past eighteen years. They are our friends and neighbors; their children go to school with our children; they pay taxes and contribute to the health and wealth of our communities,” the 5th District Congressman stated.“As thrilled as I am about this decision, we have simply been given a 12-month reprieve,” said Ellison. “I plan to work with President Obama and my colleagues in Congress to enable those Liberian families who wish to apply for permanent residence and U.S. citizenship.”###Rick JauertSenior Policy Advisor and Communications DirectorCongressman Keith Ellison5th Congressional District - Minnesota202-225-4755202-225-4886 (f)rick.jauert@mail.house.govsign up for Congressman Ellison's E-newsletter "Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people"
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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