María Ponce,, 202-394-2139

Issued December 13, 2019

SEIU’s Sáenz: Major victory for Liberian families, thousands of long-time residents can finally breathe a sigh of relief

WASHINGTON, D.C.— SEIU International Executive Vice President and iAmerica Action President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement on House approval of a provision granting immigration relief to long-time residents Liberians as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the House on Wednesday with an overwhelming vote:

"This provision promises to permanently transform the lives of people who have suffered decades of uncertainty after fleeing civil war and other disasters. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island first cosponsored a substantially similar bill more than 20 years ago, and its imminent enactment shows the benefits of long-time perseverance towards a worthy goal.

“In the absence of this legislation, DED for Liberians was set to terminate on March 30th of this coming year, causing people who have lived in the U.S. legally for nearly 30 years to lose their legal immigration status, forced to leave the country or face deportation. 

"SEIU is profoundly grateful to Senator Reed and the other Members of Congress who worked so hard against all odds to make this victory possible."


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.