'Temporary' Status Means Never Having to Say Goodbye

By Mark Krikorian on February 4, 2010

If you think the Haitian illegal aliens and legal visitors to whom the administration has granted "Temporary" Protected Status (TPS) are ever going back, look at the experience of the Liberians.

About 3,000 or so of them were granted this status (which allows them to live and work here legally) in 1991 because civil strife back in Liberia supposedly made the normal enforcement of our immigration laws impossible. The civil war there ended in 2003. After repeated renewals, their TPS was finally allowed to expire in 2007.

But they're still here. That's because the minute their statutorily defined TPS status expired, President Bush just granted them Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), which is basically the same thing but without the statutory authorization. (The first President Bush made up DED out of whole cloth.)

The Liberians' latest "temporary" status is set to expire at the end of March, and there's a campaign afoot to get it extended. I'll eat my hat if the president doesn't give them what they want.

Like the motto of the immigration bar says: It ain't over til the alien wins.

Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this blog, please visit our Haitian Immigration overview page.