Silver linings 

In case you didn’t notice, we here at News Hits are true optimists. You can count on us to look on the brighter side of life. For instance, last month the Republican-dominated Congress refused to pass a bill that would have granted 10,000 to 15,000 Liberians permanent U.S. residency. But thanks to good old Bill Clinton, this group will not be forced to return to their war-torn nation — which they began to flee after civil war broke out in 1989 — for another year. Big Bill extended their “Deferred Enforced Departure,” which expired last month, to Sept. 29, 2001. Sure, it’s not a permanent solution. And sure, thousands of Liberians — some of whom have lived 10 years in the United States while raising families, working, buying homes and paying taxes — will spend another year wondering if they will be forced to return to the West African country. And, of course, this grave uncertainty will loom large in their psyches; many fear that returning to their homeland could mean torture or death for some. Liberia’s current president Charles Taylor, who not only instigated the civil war, but ordered his troops to rape, pillage and sever limbs, may view those who fled as traitors.

But, hey, for at least another year, the Liberians who fled to the good old US of A get to stay. So, you see, the fact that our Republican-led Congress didn’t have the compassion to grant permanent residency didn’t turn out too badly. After all, readers, you don’t expect them to care about a few folks who can’t even vote in this year’s election. If you do expect more from them, you are more optimistic than News Hits.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]

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