Trump’s termination of DED will harm thousands of Liberian families

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a prototypical lawsuit today challenging President Trump’s termination of humanitarian protection and relief for immigrants from Liberia. The lawsuit, which is on behalf of African Communities Together (ACT), the UndocuBlack Network, and fifteen affected individuals, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It challenges President Trump’s March 27, 2018 decision to end Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED), a life-saving immigration program.

DED is a humanitarian program that protects approximately 4,000 Liberian immigrants in the United States. It is set to expire on March 31, 2019, but has been renewed by Republican and Democrat administrations over the past two decades because of environmental disasters and armed conflict in Liberia. President Trump’s decision to terminate DED is an abrupt departure from the actions established by previous administrations. DED allows Liberians to live, work, and raise U.S. citizen children, and the rescission of this program will result in the separation of families and harm thousands of Liberians across the country.

Terminating the program means intentionally discriminating against the Liberian community and violating the constitution. This lawsuit attempts to combat the discriminatory and xenophobic immigration policies driven by the Trump administration in order to keep DED recipients and their families together.