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Kim Hunter: This is Real Time Illustration of Overlapping Immigration System Failures

March 29, 2019

The situation for the Liberian community in the U.S. – after a last-minute extension to April 1, 2020, for the termination of their legal status – is a real-time illustration of three overlapping failings in the immigration system.  All are fixable, and some solutions would not even cost any taxpayer money. Unfortunately, as long as immigration remains a convenient political football, Liberians and thousands of others face ongoing legal limbo.

Liberians have benefited from two forms of humanitarian protection in the U.S.  As Ruben Rosario explained in a March 24 column, thousands of Liberians in the U.S. and hundreds in Minnesota were facing termination of their legal status here — including the ability to work and obtain driver’s licenses – on April 1 this year. Thursday, I’m glad to say, the Trump Administration extended that deadline by a year.  Though ICE would not have descended on the community and summarily deported them, they would be — and will be a year from now, if something else doesn’t change — vulnerable to being placed in the immigration court process, which brings us to the first systemic failure.

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