General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe on the one-year extension of Liberian DED
President Trump extended the Liberian Differed Enforcement Departure (DED) program today. The general secretary praised this action and called for a longterm solution, the enactment of The Dream and Promise Act.
The General Board of Church and Society applauds the one-year extension of Liberian Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), which has authorized thousands of Liberians to live safely in the United States for decades rather than face deportation to a nation that cannot support them and address their legal and other needs. Liberians inside and outside the U.S. are part of the United Methodist communion, and we intimately feel the relief of this news.
At the same time, the situation surrounding this eleventh-hour extension relief is unacceptable. Families have been in turmoil for months leading up to an uncertain future of possible deportation. They have been anxiously considering or taking action to sell houses, close bank accounts, drop out of higher education programs, separate their families, and uproot the lives of themselves and their children to a country many have not seen since the late 1980s or have not been to at all.
We call on the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress to take action.
H.R. 6, The Dream & Promise Act of 2019, is legislation introduced into Congress that would protect Liberian DED recipients and migrants like them, alleviating uncertain futures for millions currently living in the U.S. and offering a pathway to citizenship.
The United Methodist Book of Resolutions states that “Christians do not approach the issue of migration from the perspective of tribe or nation, but from within a faith community of love and welcome.” (Book of Resolutions, 6028) The resolution quotes the prophet Isaiah, who presents the word of God, saying “‘Isn’t this the fast I choose: / releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, / setting free the mistreated…?’ (Isaiah 58:3-7).”
One-year temporary relief still yokes Liberians DED recipients to a future of insecurity and potential displacement.
In this season of Lent, we rejoice in concrete actions that reflect God’s chosen fast of justice — and we hunger for more.