As regular as clockwork, the "temporary" legal status of a small group of Liberian illegal aliens has been extended for another 18 months.
While most such "temporary" statuses are in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) category, the one for the Liberians has a different set of initials, DED, standing for Deferred Enforced Departure. It means the same thing: a short-term, but always repeated, status as a momentarily legal alien during which time the beneficiaries can work, but cannot use the status to change to green card status.
The action is in keeping with Obama administration's liking for quasi-amnesties, the subject of a recent CIS Memorandum. These are administrative rulings, of one kind or another, that give a specific alien population legal status, at least for a while.
In this case, the "temporary" status goes back to March 1991, more than 20 years ago, when some illegal aliens from Liberia, in the U.S. at the time of a civil war there, were given TPS here; that was later transmogrified to DED status. So two Bush administrations and one Clinton administration have also taken this position.
The last time the government estimated the number of people involved it was 3,600.
The USCIS document announcing this extension, which runs to March 31, 2013, can be seen here. For those wanting to renew their employment authorization document, the fee is $380.
This program is the grand-daddy of all the TPS and TPS-like programs; most of the other ones are newer and deal with larger Central American populations. The only one that still has an active registration period – for new beneficiaries – is the TPS for illegals from Haiti and the deadline for that one is November 15, 2011.