Trump extends deportation protections for Liberians

President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE on Thursday extended temporary protected status (TPS) for U.S. residents from Liberia.

TPS is a temporary status given to people from certain countries that allows them to stay in the United States legally. It's traditionally given to people fleeing from wars or natural disasters.

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Trump determined that the situation in western Africa remained dangerous enough to people who have fled Liberia to the U.S. can remain in the country till March 31, 2020.

Their protected status was set to expire this Sunday because Trump decided to end it last year.

"Upon further reflection and review, I have decided that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to extend the wind-down period for an additional 12 months, through March 30, 2020," Trump said in a memo to the secretary of State and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  

Liberians have been allowed to live and work in the U.S. legally since 1999, when former President Clinton established the program after the Liberian civil war.

The Trump administration had argued that TPS, as the name implies, was always meant to be temporary, and has tried to roll the program back for immigrants from several countries.

However, in the last month, TPS has been extended for immigrants from South Sudan, Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua, amid strong opposition from immigrant rights groups to ending it.

Plans to end those programs in those last four nations were all challenged in court.

In October of last year, a judge in California blocked the administration from terminating TPS for Sudan, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti