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Join a National Call-in Day on September 18th in Support of Liberians Living in the United States
9/17/2003
The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 2003 (S.656), introduced by Senators Reed (D-RI) and Chaffee (R-RI), would permit Liberians living in the U.S. to become permanent residents. For more than a decade, nearly 10,000 Liberians have been caught in limbo living in the U.S. under “temporary protected status” (TPS). Since 1992, the Liberians have been granted 1-year extensions of their TPS because of continuing civil war in Liberia, and annually, have faced the threat of deportation due to the expiration of this limited coverage. On August 1, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge again extended the Liberians’ TPS until October 1, 2004 in recognition that Liberians cannot return home. Secretary Ridge said, "There is on-going armed conflict within Liberia and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who are nationals of Liberia . . . would pose a serious threat to their personal safety."

Our church helped to establish the Episcopal Church in Liberia and for 170 years has invested in the Liberian church through mission support and the funding of higher education programs to train clergy, civil society and government leaders. Liberians now living in the United States have become an integral part of the U.S. church.

General Convention ’97 directed the church to advocate for a just system of asylum for persecuted persons. Over the years, Congress has passed legislation granting Permanent Resident Status (PRS) to other similarly situated groups. Liberians, who live and work, and pay taxes in the U.S., have raised their children in this country. They should now be granted PRS to provide stability for their families.

Please contact your Senators at 1-800-513-3472 to urge them to cosponsor S. 656 to extend Permanent Resident Status to Liberians to end their immigration limbo.

After you call, please let us know of your efforts by clicking here.



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