LEE APPLAUDS OBAMA DECISION ON LIBERIANS LIVING IN US
Monday, March 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: J. Jioni Palmer
Washington D.C. – Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement today applauding President Obama’s decision concerning roughly 3,600 Liberians living within the United States whose Deferred Enforced Departure is set to expire at the end of the month. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to the president earlier this month urging him to take this action:
“The announcement by the administration to extend the Deferred Enforced Departure is a timely and prudent decision that will help keep the peace and stability in Liberia, one of Africa’s oldest republics and one of America’s closest allies on the continent.
“While conditions have improved in Liberia since the civil war ended in 1996, they are far from ideal. Liberia is deeply in debt, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and sporadic violence threatens to upset the peace transition to Democracy.
“The U.S. has played a critical role in assisting Liberia’s recovery and this action stays true to our commitment to ensuring that its post-war rebuilding efforts result in lasting peace, national development, poverty reduction and improved governance.
“The decision by the administration to extend the Deferred Enforced Departure is an important action that has been long sought by the Congressional Black Caucus, with the strong leadership on this issue by Reps. Donald Payne of New Jersey and Keith Ellison of Minnesota.”