Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This little girl is going to see a crueler world

I found this article by Karin Brulliard in the Washington Post.
Monday, July 16, 2007

Refugees of War-Ravaged Land Ordered to 'Still Volatile' Nation

Last month, finally, Bendu Simpson told her young daughter about the ticking clock that keeps Mom awake at night: Come October, no more karate class, no more zoo trips to see the otters, no more zipping around smooth suburban streets on your purple scooter. No more toilets, showers or central air.

On a recent night, 8-year-old Ami picked at her popcorn shrimp basket in the cool confines of a Gaithersburg Red Lobster and described her feelings upon learning she might soon have to abandon their neat Clarksburg townhouse for the war-shattered terrain of her mother's native Liberia, a nation Ami has never seen.

"Mad," grumbled Ami, her dark eyes gazing at the table. "I thought, I'm not going back. I'm scared of the things that are there."

Fear and anger are pulsing these days through the Liberian community in the Washington region and nationwide. Barring action by the Bush administration or Congress, Simpson and about 3,500 other Liberians will be subject to deportation Oct 1. Since 1991, they have been allowed to live and work in the United States while civil war seethed in their homeland. They have had children, bought homes, paid taxes -- and they want to stay. But last year, the U.S. government deemed their West African nation stable, so Liberians with temporary protected status must go.

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