Press Release: Black Immigrant Organizations and Civil Rights Groups Applaud the National Defense Authorization Act's Pathway to Permanent Residency for Liberian Immigrants


December 20, 2019 



WASHINGTON – African Communities Together and UndocuBlack Network, along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Lawyers for Civil Rights, applaud the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows eligible Liberians to gain permanent residency in the United States. We lift up the courageous leadership of Liberian immigrants with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, and their communities and families who have bravely spoken up and advocated for permanent status for over 20 years.

We sincerely thank and applaud Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) for their steadfast support of the Liberian community across the country. This provision, modeled after Senator Reed's Liberian Refugee and Immigrant Fairness Act, is a major victory for Liberians who have been living in the U.S. on temporary status, some for over 20 years. Permanent status will afford these Liberians, their families, and their communities the certainty, stability, and security that their temporary status has not provided.


About African Communities Together

African Communities Together is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for African families in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT connects African immigrants to critical services, helps Africans develop as leaders, and organizes African immigrant communities on the issues that matter.


About the UndocuBlack Network 

UndocuBlack Network is a multi-generational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources, and contributes to transforming the realities of our communities, so that all people are thriving and living their fullest lives.


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. For more information, please visit


About Lawyers for Civil Rights

Lawyers for Civil Rights fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants. We engage in creative and courageous legal action, education, and advocacy in collaboration with law firms and community partners. We focus on impact areas that represent the front lines in today’s battle for equality and justice. LCR is headquartered in Boston. We represent clients across Massachusetts and surrounding communities—and the impact of our life-changing work ripples across the country.



Assefash Makonnen,  African Communities Together

1 (646) 504-6103;

Patrice Lawrence, UndocuBlack Network


 Lorelle Atkinson, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

1 (202) 662-8317 ;

Oren Nimni

1 (206) 200-9088



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