DED stands for “Deferred Enforced Departure.” It protects foreign nationals from removal and gives them the opportunity to acquire legal work authorization. Before leaving office, the previous administration designated DED for Venezuela and reinstated DED for Liberia. It is expected that the Biden Administration will maintain these benefits in place, and it is likely that they will be improved upon as well.
DED for Venezuela: This was designated for 18 months on January 19, 2021. This means that, for most Venezuelans, removal from the U.S. will be deferred for 18 months. They will be able to acquire legal work authorization during that time as well. This is subject to a few exceptions.
DED for Liberia: for Liberia, DED was reinstated on January 20, 2021, and the deferral will last until June 30, 2022. This would similarly defer the removal of most Liberians and allow them to acquire legal work authorization. This is also subject to a few exceptions.
Certain Liberians are also eligible for residency, a program that has been extended for a year. It is also possible that the Biden Administration will grant Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) to protect these individuals. TPS provides stronger protections against removal compared with DED. Our office will keep an eye on these developments as they arise.