DED allows certain Liberians to legally live and work in the United States. It was first granted to Liberians by President George W. Bush in 2007. Since then, every administration has extended DED in 12-, 18-, and 24-month intervals. The country continues to struggle to recover from civil war and political unrest, and faces ongoing food insecurity and public health crises like the recent Ebola and malaria outbreaks.
Below is an excerpt from the letter (full text can be found here).
“Our call stems from our shared values rooted in our sacred texts to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger, the sojourner among us. As Leviticus 19:33-34 reminds us: “Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
Liberia remains unable to welcome the safe return of nearly 4,000 Liberians as recovery from the public health and infrastructure crises has been slow. We must respond by upholding our promises to the Liberian people and by allowing our Liberian brothers and sisters to remain here in the United States. As faith leaders and members of faith-based organizations across the country, we urge you to join us in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Liberian neighbors, and to extend DED.”