The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas is calling on all Liberian organizations and friends of Liberia to join the Advocates for Human Rights in signing on what it calls NGO-Sign-on letter to President Barack Obama.
The aim of the letter according to an 8:40 pm ULAA press release on September 24, 2014, is to seek for an extension on the Deferred Enforced Departure program for Liberians squatting in the US.
The release said, ULAA’s call is in response to numerous appeals by local organizations to be given an opportunity to sign the letter which according to the release is dated July 17, 2014.
The release also hints that the Coordinating Committee of the advocacy groups action led by the Advocates for Human Rights said the deadline to sign the letter isTuesday, September 30, 2014, at 12 noon.
The ULAA National Immigration Committee is encouraging all Liberian organizations and friends of Liberia to join the Advocates for Human Rights in collaboration with other partners who initiated the campaign to stop the deportation of Liberians who are presently on DED reprieve for 18 months. The reprieve expires on September 30, 2014.
The worst case scenario is, if President Obama refuses to sign the reprieve, it will automatically end the initial Temporary Protected Status granted to Liberians in 1991, thereby dashing the hopes of relatives in Liberia who are currently battling the famous Ebola virus that continues to claim more lives.
Top on the ULAA administration and the advocate’s agenda are stalled immigration policy reform, the Ebola epidemic and the refugee crisis on the borders.
The release also disclosed that inaction by President Obama would mean that Liberians who have made the US their home for over two decades will face involuntary deportation. “Please, join the call for President Obama to extend Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians. More groups have requested to be part of the campaign and therefore the deadline will be extended. This is the final deadline and we want every organization wishing to support the Liberian DED cause, especially Liberian organizations, to sign on before the final deadline expires.” (Release)
In order to ensure smooth signing-on process, ULAA has outlined some instructions on how to sign on to the website successfully:
“(1.) Click on the link to the Advocates For Human Rights NGO sign-on letter, posted on Thursday, July 17, 2014, via http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/liberianded. Click on the link and follow the instructions to sign in your organization to the Advocacy groups list. Before hitting the Submit bottom, please make sure that you check the box for “Organization “rather than” Individual” to be sure your organization is listed and registered as organization.” (Release)
In the release, Chairman Garley lauded the late Congressman Donald M. Payne Sr, for establishing the Liberian National Immigration conference and Senator Jack Reed along with other United States Senators who have already submitted the usual “Dear Colleague” Letter to President Obama making the case for the extension of DED for Liberians.
“We need to show our support to our ally, Senator Reed, and his colleagues by signing the NGO letter and getting more non-Liberian organizations to sign on. It is our hope that more organizations, especially Liberian organizations and friends of Liberia, will sign on the NGO Sign-On Letter more than what we had the last time,” Chairman Peter Garley pleaded.
ULAA’s National Immigration Committee is expected to issue immigration alerts periodically as deemed necessary to keep chapters and communities as well as friends of Liberia informed on progress made by the union in its advocacy campaign for the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and the extension of DED.
The organization issued phone numbers for those needing further clarifications; 718-909-1299 or 916-868-1224. The press release was signed and approved by Peter Garley, chairman of the National Immigration Committee and Gaye D. Sleh, Jr., national president respectively.