Rep. Phillips Pushes for DED Legislative Fix on House Floor
Phillips: “I urge all of us, on both sides of the aisle, to do the right thing, the humane thing, and keep our Liberian community here in their homes – in the United States of America.”
This morning, Rep. Dean Phillips pushed for a legislative fix to prevent the expiration of the Liberian community’s Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status. DED is set to expire on March 31st. Unless there is an extension or another fix, the expiration will subject thousands of Liberians to deportation.
Below are Rep. Phillips’s remarks as prepared:
Madam Speaker, our nation is the land of promise and the land of opportunity. We open our doors to the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses.
For decades we have opened our doors to Liberian refugees fleeing vicious civil wars and the Ebola virus.
The Liberian community in Minnesota is the hardworking bedrock of our health care industry. They are parents, children, brothers, sisters, workers, business owners and taxpayers.
In 1999, they were given a special immigration status in the United States – Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED. So they work legally and pay taxes, but currently have no pathway to citizenship.
Madam Speaker, if you are here legally, play by the rules, and contribute to your community, you should have nothing to fear.
But if we don’t act by March 31st, the Liberian community’s DED status will expire. It will subject our friends and our neighbors to deportation. And our community is terrified.
Since its inception, DED has been a bipartisan issue - both Republican and Democratic presidents have acted to extend it for two decades.
And now it’s our turn. This week we have the chance to send a legislative fix to the President’s desk. I urge all of us, on both sides of the aisle, to do the right thing, the humane thing, and keep our Liberian community in their homes – in the United States of America.