News and Information

[Immigration Response Team] Updates on Deferred Enforced Departure and Temporary Protected Status

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dear friends and colleagues,

Late last week, a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for some immigrants from Liberia. DED is a humanitarian program, established at the discretion of the President, that provides protections similar to Temporary Protected Status (generally, work authorization and protection from deportation).

Minnesota is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of Liberian immigrants (30,000 individuals) including 3,000 Liberians who settled here after fleeing a civil war. If DED is allowed to expire, these individuals (some of whom have lived here for over 30 years) could face deportation starting on March 31. Minnesota Senator Tina Smith and 3rd District Representative Dean Phillips are urging Congress to consider a bipartisan legislative solution, and they have been speaking out together with Minnesota’s Liberian community.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has recently been in the news as well. Following a court order and the filing of a new lawsuit, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Trump administration have made several announcements that paused plans to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal. TPS is a temporary designation made by the federal government that allows immigrants from a country to stay and work in the United States when their home country is deemed unsafe. While each designation lasts for only six to 18 months, Vox reported, “Because the designations have generally been renewed in the past... most of those who have TPS have been in the U.S. for decades — only to have the Trump administration declare that their home countries have recovered from the initial disaster and that the immigrants need to leave.”

All students, staff, or faculty members who have concerns or questions related to DED or TPS are welcome to email to set up an appointment to talk to me about your situation. We will continue to track these issues and the possible impact on the UMN community. You can visit our website for more information, and we will send further updates as necessary.


Marissa Hill-Dongre
Director, Immigration Response Team


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