As TPS Ends, Nearly 4,000 Liberians Search for Other Options

In March, the Trump administration announced an end to the temporary protected status of Liberians, which may force people who have lived and worked in Illinois for decades to leave within one year. Liberians have been granted TPS status since 1991. At that time, there was a violent civil war in the country. Later, the status was extended because of the Ebola outbreak. The Trump administration claims that people should now be forced to leave because the circumstances in Liberia have improved. The move threatens to tear families apart and destroy businesses that Liberian immigrants have built. If the Liberians are deported, their loss will also have a detrimental impact on the economy.

End of TPS Protections for Liberians

Some Liberians have lived in the U.S. legally and have worked since March 1991, when a violent civil war prompted the U.S. to grant them temporary protected status. People who have TPS statuses are allowed to legally live and work in the U.S. until their countries become safe. The Trump administration claims that it is appropriate to end the TPS protection of Liberians because their country is no longer at war and has rebuilt some of its infrastructures. This is the latest African country for which Trump has removed TPS protections. The others include Libya, Somalia, and Chad. In addition to these countries, Trump also ended the TPS protection for several other countries. In January, Trump was heavily criticized after he used a derogatory term in the Oval Office to describe African nations along with El Salvador and Honduras.

Problems With Ending TPS Protections

Since 1991, Liberians who have been allowed to remain in the U.S. and have built lives. Some of the immigrants have established businesses and have had U.S.-born children. If these people are forced to leave or are deported, they may be separated from their children who were born in the U.S. and are citizens. some U.S. citizen children may face an agonizing choice about whether to leave the U.S. or to go with their parents. Businesses may be closed, and the contributions that Liberian immigrants have made to the economy may be lost. Liberians may want to investigate visas for which they might be eligible so that they can remain in the country.