Politics

Universal Human Rights International Celebrates DED Victory, Launches Representative Ben Swan Petition for Visa Waiver for All Liberians


Boston, Massachusetts – The Universal Human Rights International (UHRI) has extolled the Biden-Harris Administration for extending relief to Liberians suffering for years in the United States due to the civil war and what it called the ongoing harm of American slavery and American Colonization.

President Joe Biden has extended Deferral of Enforced Departure (DED) and employment authorization for Liberians until June 30, 2024. Because of armed conflict, civil strife and Ebola, Liberians were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 1991. By 2007, the grant of TPS ended, but President George W. Bush instead granted DED status to Liberians in the United States. That status continued to be extended by successive administrations.

However, UHRI says DED is not enough. In a statement issued in Boston and Monrovia respectively, UHRI through its founder, acclaimed human rights activist Rev. Torli Krua  stated that, to mitigate the ongoing harm of officially sanctioned racism and colonization, UHRI will on July 14, 2022, at Boston City Hall Plaza launch The Representative Ben Swan (Retired) Petition seeking US visa waiver for all Liberians consistent with American and Liberian Laws: “All persons born in Liberia are entitled to all privileges enjoyed by citizens of the USA.”

In addition, UHRI called on President Biden to follow the City Of Boston and apologize on behalf of America for slavery.

Excerpt of the statement: “While we are delighted that the Biden Administration has finally yielded to decades of our relentless humanitarian calls and is offering work permits to some of the Liberians who came here many years ago in search of a safe place, we desire to state clearly,  it’s time to end discrimination against Liberians; Include all Liberians on American Soil in the Liberian Refugee Fairness Act, consistent with precedents of reprieves granted by Congress to other nationals in the United States who are physically present on American Soil on the date the law is signed. Why not Liberians?”

According to UHRI, the ongoing harm of ill-treatment of Liberian visa applicants denied US visas and the denial of Liberian refugees on American Soil access to humanitarian assistance and permits to work over the past three decades clearly demonstrate that the dreams of American white supremacists and slave masters who founded Liberia in collaboration with the Government of the United States are still causing unnecessary harm to generations of African Americans and indigenous Africans, two centuries after the death of the white supremacists and slave masters.

Backing its comments, UHRI noted that the American Slave Masters who founded Liberia in partnership with the US Congress emphatically stated, “…the colonization of the free people of color, will render the slave who remains in America more obedient, more faithful, more honest, and, consequently, more useful to his master, is it proper to regard this happy consequence to both, as the sole object which the Society (ACS) hope to attain…

According to the Speaker at Congress, Henry Clay, the purpose of American colonization of African American citizens was; “… to get rid of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous, portion of our population.” 

UHRI, in its statement said it was not “freed American slaves”;  it was the United States that founded the colony of Liberia for dual purposes; removal and banishment of free African Americans and a Navy Base where captured African slaves would be dropped off.

It added that the Constitution of 1824 recognized that Liberians were citizens of the United States; consistent with Article 1 of the American Colonization’s 1824 Constitution of Liberia which states: “All persons born within the limits of the territory held by the American Colonization Society, in Liberia, in Africa, or removing there to reside, shall be free, and entitled to all such rights and privileges, as are enjoyed by the citizens of the United States.”

Uniting the ‘Divided’ United States

UHRI said in its efforts to  “heal and unite the divided” United States of America and avert the eventual collapse of the United States, it is launching the Free Liberia Movement in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, the birthplace of the American Revolution to among other things, petition to heal and unite the United States of America by mitigating the ongoing harm of racism against Native Americans, Liberians, and African Americans; implementation of the American Declaration of Independence and Article 1 of the 1824 Constitution of Liberia, granting access to all Liberians to quality education, employment, and business opportunities in the USA without visa restriction and refund with the interest of all unlawful visa fees collected from Liberians in millions of dollars collected by the US Embassy since 1990.     

The petition, it added, will also call for the declassification of the alleged unlawful and racist classified cable of 1990 sent from the States Department in Washington DC to Monrovia ordering discrimination against Liberian visa applicants but preferential treatment to Lebanese and Indians;                                                                                                                                         official apology for slavery and American colonization and payment of damages and reparation for colonization in Liberia; visa Waiver for all Liberians.

The group noted that currently, citizens from 40 countries enter the USA without a visa; 57 countries enjoy temporary work visas and five territories controlled by the USA enjoy access to opportunities in the USA.

It added that the United States of America cannot stand if it continues to oppress Native Americans, African Americans, and Liberians because of the racist law of 1790 that made the skin color of human beings the requirement for US citizenship. 


UHRI’s Key Points for the Petition

  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order renewing DED work permits for some Liberians in America. The reprieves offered by President Biden’s DED Executive Order and the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act excluded similarly situated Liberians physically present on American Soil. 
  • In 1990, the US State Department instructed US Embassy staffers to illegally deny visitors visas to Liberian Applicants but ordered the granting of US visas to foreigners including Lebanese and Indians. In 1990, out of 1.1 million civil war refugees in West Africa, only 8 Liberians were granted refugee status in the USA.
  • In 2022 about 6,000 thousand Liberian Refugees across the USA continue to be denied access to humanitarian assistance and permits to work, President Biden’s 2021 DED Work Permits for Liberians, and President Trump’s Liberian Refugee Fairness Act, notwithstanding. Meanwhile, other nationals were given preferential treatment.
  • The 102nd (1991-1992) Congress passed a law that allowed 52,968 Chinese nationals to get permanent residency status. The 105th Congress (1997-1998) passed legislation known as NACARA. Under this law, 150,000 Nicaraguans, 5,000 Cubans, 200,000 El Salvadorans, and 50,000 Guatemalans get permanent residency status.
  • The Liberian Refugee fairness Act was passed on December 20, 2019. Unemployed Liberian Refugees must pay filing fees of $1250.00-under section 245(i) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, refugees are exempt from paying filing fees for green cards. Right now millions of citizens from 40 countries enter the United States without visas. The United States embassy denies most Liberian visa applicants and takes $160 from them.-million from poor Liberians yearly while the top politicians and their families enjoy America. 





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