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Obama Extends US Stay For Liberians By 18 Months

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota congressman is applauding the decision by President Barack Obama to allow most Liberians living in the United States since that country’s civil war 20 years ago to stay another 18 months.

Rep. Keith Ellison says there are about 3,600 Liberians in the United States on temporary status and more than 1,000 of them are in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Democrat has introduced legislation that would Liberian nationals living in the United States under special immigration status to apply for permanent residency.

If Obama had not approved the extension, the Liberians would have been deported by Sept. 30, when a previous Obama extension of their “temporary protected status” was to have expired.

The protective status began in 1991 as Liberians fled a civil war that ended in 2003.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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