Born in Botswana to Liberian parents, Yatta Kiazolu is an advocate for the undocumented Black community and a PhD candidate in history at UCLA. She has been legally authorized to live in the United States since 2002 under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and, later, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), a program similar to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of countries afflicted by ongoing armed conflict or natural disaster. One key difference is that DED is designated at the discretion of the president. President Trump moved to end DED for Liberians in 2018, leaving 4,000 people exposed to deportation, a decision that was met with a lawsuit and legal battle in which Kiazolu is a plaintiff. She testified before Congress to extend DED: “I’m here for all the working-class immigrants on DED, TPS, and [who] are also Dream-eligible. I’m here for all the young people like myself who have anxiety about their futures.”
With courage and determination to fight for her peers, she shared her story. Consequently, DED was extended for one more year. Despite an uncertain future, Kiazolu has since become a freelance writer focusing on Black immigrant experiences and continues to work on her dissertation about solidarity work between Black women in the United States and Africa in the mid-twentieth century.
“I’m here for all the working-class immigrants on DED, TPS, and [who] are also Dream-eligible. I’m here for all the young people like myself who have anxiety about their futures.”