United States: Dorsey Releases Major Report On Liberians
Last Updated: February 25 2009

MINNEAPOLIS (February 16, 2009) — International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announces the release of a major report on the status of Liberians in the United States. "Liberia Is Not Ready: A Report of Country Conditions in Liberia and Reasons the United States Should Extend Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians," reviews conditions in the African country and makes a compelling case for why forcing displaced Liberians to return at this time is ill-advised.

Partnering with The Advocates for Human Rights, a team of Dorsey attorneys spent hundreds of hours on a pro bono basis to research conditions in Liberia and examine the legal status of thousands of Liberians currently living in the U.S.

When civil war erupted in Liberia in 1989, thousands fled to the U.S. An estimated 3,600 Liberians currently are enrolled in the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, which allows them to remain in the U.S. The report outlines reasons that the U.S. government should extend DED, which is set to expire on March 31, 2009.

Forcing those in the DED program to return to Liberia, the report argues, would endanger their lives and further compromise the country’s already dysfunctional economy, infrastructure and social services.

Though the civil war ended in 2002, Liberia remains devastated. The majority of the population still lives without clean drinking water, access to health care, or electricity. Life expectancy is 42 years, unemployment stands at 85%, and the infant mortality rate is more than 20 times that of the U.S.

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