Trump halts deportation for thousands of Liberians

March 28, 2019

President Trump granted a reprieve Thursday to thousands of Liberians who were about to become illegal immigrants, giving them another year to get their affairs in order before they must leave the U.S.

The move marks a reversal for Mr. Trump, who just a year ago set the March 31 deadline for the Liberians to go.

On Thursday he said that conditions in Liberia hadn’t improved fast enough, so allowing the thousands to stay in the U.S. was in the best interests of America’s foreign policy.

And he suggested Congress could grant the Liberians a full pathway to citizenship.

“Extending the wind-down period will preserve the status quo while the Congress considers remedial legislation,” he said in a notice announcing the move.

Mr. Trump’s decision is a major departure for an administration that had been intent on bringing to an end a number of humanitarian grants that were supposed to be temporary.