WASHINGTON, DC — On Sunday, March 31, work authorization and deportation protections expire for thousands of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients who have lived and worked in the United States for decades. Among those is Yatta, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student at UCLA who was born in Botswana to Liberian parents, and now faces deportation to a country where she has never lived or even visited. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on the urgent need for Congress to protect thousands of DED recipients:
“Yatta’s story is one of thousands shared by Deferred Enforced Departure holders who have spent decades building their lives here in the United States, and who contribute to our communities and our economy every day – but who could be subject to deportation as soon as this Sunday. Many of them have U.S. citizen children, and they deserve to continue safely building their futures here in the United States. To send them back to an unstable country that they have not seen in decades is not only cruel and disruptive, but it’s destabilizing to communities across the U.S.
“If the Trump Administration was truly serious about protecting and expanding legal immigration, the last thing they would be doing is stripping work authorization from thousands of DED holders. The imminent threat facing DED holders – as well as Dreamers and TPS holders – is an entirely avoidable crisis. Congress should act urgently to protect them.”
FWD.us released a new video this week, highlighting the story of Yatta, a Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipient whose deportation protections and work authorization expire in just three days on Sunday, March 31. Yatta is a 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate at UCLA who has lived in the U.S. for 22 years since the age of six, but whose life may be upended this week along with the lives of thousands of other DED recipients who fled extreme violence and civil war in Liberia. When her DED protections expire on Sunday, Yatta – who was born in Botswana to Liberian parents – faces deportation to a country where she has never lived or even visited.
All DED recipients have lived in the United States for at least 15 years, and must pass a federal background check before they earn a work permit, including paying application fees, submitting their family’s information, getting their fingerprints taken, and undergoing background checks.