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Trump to End Deportation Protection for Liberians in the US

FILE - Liberians in Washington celebrate their country's independence day, July 26, 2015.

The Trump administration is ending a program that allows citizens of Liberia living in the United States to avoid deportation.

But the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, which was set to expire Saturday, will be extended for a year as part of a "wind-down" effort.

"Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance," according to a memorandum signed by Trump and released Tuesday by the White House.

Started in 1991, in part through a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), certain Liberian nationals were eligible for DED, which allowed them to flee armed conflict and civil war and live and work in the United States.

"Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals," the memo said.

The Department of Homeland Security said approximately 3,600 Liberians were enrolled in a previous TPS program that preceded the DED.

The protections for all Liberian beneficiaries will now end March 31, 2019.