The Improbable Journey of Liberians on Temporary Protected Status, Deferred Enforced Departure, and the Liberian Relief Immigration Fairness Act
This thesis is about how Liberian activists were able to help Liberian immigrants under Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to convince President Trump to extend DED policy. They also lobbied members of Congress to pass the Liberian Relief Immigration Fairness Act, which granted permanent legal status to TPS and DED recipients. My research questions were: How did advocacy groups influence politicians? How did the media cover the narrative that advocacy groups crafted? How was the battle to get an effective resolution accomplished? I interviewed advocacy groups and a congressional staffer and analyzed various primary and secondary sources in order to gain historical context. This case study will provide the reader deeper understanding about the complexity of the broken immigration system in the United States that has been ongoing for many years. I will also discuss the Constitutional debate on prosecutorial discretion that continues to raise the alarm on many issues that complicate the process. Additionally, this study will benefit other countries hoping to solve their immigration crisis and more importantly, it will bring awareness to the general public in the United States and help hold elected officials accountable when discussing the betterment of immigration issues. I found that Liberian activists, TPS and DED recipients were very influential in getting favorable legislation passed.