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US immigration law: Liberians see humanitarian program extended

There are many groups of people who come to this country because they are in fear for their lives. To them, the United States offers a chance to improve their situation, care for their families, and not just survive but thrive. One such group that falls into this category includes several thousand people from Liberia who relocated to several different states, including New York. They were fleeing great turmoil in their home country and hoping U.S. immigration law would allow them to stay. Though the humanitarian program that allowed them to stay was set to expire, the presidential administration has decided to extend the program another year.

Advocates say that the Liberians came to the United States due to several environmental disasters, war and the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The immigrants were given protected status back in 2007, and the program was about to expire after the current presidential administration announced last year that it would come to an end. After pressure from several sources, the choice was made to extend the program another year.

If the program hadn't been extended, the immigrants could have risked deportation. If they had drivers' licenses, they could have been revoked, as many local economies would have been disrupted if the workers had not been allowed to report for duty. Experts warn that though this decision is the right one to make, it is only temporary and that more needs to be done to give Liberians the chance at permanent residency.

Immigrants who come here to make a better life for themselves deserve a chance to stay in this country. Anyone who lives here in New York and has questions about any facet of U.S. immigration law may find an experienced immigration attorney to be a helpful resource. An attorney can educate families regarding their rights are and what actions can be taken to stay in this country.

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