One Month Left for Some Liberian Immigrants

Members from the Liberian community gathered together on Sunday in the Christ Assembly Lutheran Church, Staten Island (Photo via NY City Lens)

At the end of March, Liberians allowed to stay in the U.S. and receive a work permit through the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program will face deportation after President Trump ended the protected status last year. The repercussions of the move are likely felt more on Staten Island than just about anywhere else in the country as it is home to one of the largest concentrations of Liberians outside of Africa.

Among the thousands that make up the community, and live primarily in Park Hill or “Little Liberia,” is Rose Knuckles Bull, a 68-year-old retiree and former Human Resources Administration employee who has lived in the U.S. for two decades. She speaks to Josefina de la Fuente of NY City Lens.

Bull, for one, however, isn’t scared so much as resigned to follow President Trump’s orders and leave the United States. “We don’t have a right to be here, it’s a privilege,” she said matter-of-factly.

She says she would like to return to Liberia before she’s deported in the hope that she’ll be able to retain her visitor’s visa in the process so she could come back to the United States to visit her grandchildren, who are U.S. citizens.  But it won’t be easy. “How can I go back if I never worked to get any money to go home? Social Security doesn’t pay much. I would like to save money to go home,” she said in a brief interview on Sunday.

But, with each day that passes, she is running out of time.

Go to NY City Lens for more on last-minute efforts at the local and federal level to try to keep Liberians under the DED program in the country.

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