- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2014

President Obama deferred deportation Friday for thousands of Liberians living in the U.S., allowing them to remain in America for two more years rather than return to their Ebola-stricken homeland.

In a presidential order, Mr. Obama extended the grant of “deferred enforced departure” for Liberians who have enjoyed safe haven status in the U.S. as far back as 1991, when their country was in the midst of a civil war.

Mr. Obama said there are “compelling foreign policy reasons” for his action; Liberia is one of three West African nations where the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is spiraling out of control.

“I have determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to defer for 24 months the removal of any Liberian national,” Mr. Obama said.

The civil war in Liberia ended in 2003 and the Liberians temporary protected status ended in 2007. President George W. Bush then deferred enforced departure of the Liberians, and Mr. Obama had extended that deferral through the end of this month.

With the president’s action Friday, eligible Liberians may remain in the U.S. and obtain work through Oct. 1, 2016.

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