Trump to end special immigration status for Liberians

Trump to end special immigration status for Liberians
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE announced on Tuesday that Liberian immigrants living in the U.S. will lose their temporary immigration status and need to leave the country within one year.

On Tuesday, the president sent a memorandum to the secretary of State announcing that he is formally ending the program that allowed Liberian immigrants to live and work in the U.S. legally since 1999, when President Clinton established the program following the Liberian civil war.

Trump, however, noted that Liberia has recovered from the civil war and the 2014 Ebola outbreak and can handle taking back its expatriates.


“Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance,” Trump wrote. “Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”

Lawmakers from Minnesota, which is home to the largest Liberian population in the country, wrote the president a letter earlier this month asking him to extend the protections for Liberians.  

The 12-month period during which Liberians need to leave the U.S. begins on March 31, 2018.

The new policy comes two months after the president announced that the nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador living and working legally in the U.S. under a humanitarian program must also leave the country.

It was reported that in the same month Trump had described African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries" during a White House meeting.