President Obama has announced an extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Liberian nationals through March 31, 2018. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically extend employment authorization documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals covered by this extension of DED. Current DED-based EADs that have an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2016, will now be valid through March 31, 2017. The six-month automatic extension of existing EADs will allow eligible Liberian nationals to continue working while they file their applications for new EADs. The extension also gives USCIS time to process and issue new EADs
Certain individuals are not eligible for DED, including:
- Liberians who did not have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on Sept. 30, 2007, and are therefore not covered under current DED;
- Certain criminals;
- People subject to the mandatory bars to TPS; and
- Those whose removal is in the interest of the United States.
USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register with information regarding the extension of EADs for eligible Liberian nationals and instructions on how to obtain employment authorization for the remainder of the DED extension. Liberia was first granted DED, October 1, 2007 (by President Bush’s order of September 12, 2007) and has been extended by President Obama’s order currently until March 31, 2018
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is in the President’s discretion to authorize as part of his power to conduct foreign relations. Although DED is not a specific immigration status, individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States, usually for a designated period of time.