FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2020
CITIES FOR ACTION LEADS MULTI-CITY LETTER ASKING CONGRESS TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR GREEN CARD APPLICATIONS UNDER LIBERIAN REFUGEE IMMIGRATION FAIRNESS
On November 18, 2020, mayors from Baltimore, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; and St. Paul, Minnesota issued a joint letter to urge Congress to extend the December 20, 2020 deadline for green card applications under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) for at least one year, until the end of December 2021. LRIF is a provision of an important and fair bipartisan law that passed at the end of 2019, which provides a pathway to citizenship for some Liberians and their immediate family members living in the United States since 2014. Given the stressors of COVID-19, cities have come together to advocate for this extension so more eligible immigrants can apply.
The new letter underscores that the extension of the LRIF deadline is necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hardships experienced in particular by Black communities, and in the interest of advancing racial justice. The United States and Liberia have a unique relationship. In 1847, the modern state of Liberia was founded by formerly enslaved African-Americans, among others. By extending the deadline for green card applications under LRIF, the United States would honor the historical relationship between the two countries and provide eligible Liberian individuals—many of whom are descendants of enslaved Africans—with the opportunity to complete the LRIF process and adjust their immigration status.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and its particular impact on Black communities, only a small number of Liberian immigrants have submitted applications to adjust their status to legal permanent residents under LRIF. This is concerning as there is only one month left to apply for a green card under LRIF while the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation for Liberia, which many in the community currently rely on to live and work in the United States, is set to end on January 10, 2021.
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Cities for Action is a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives working to advocate for and promote civic inclusion of our immigrant communities. Click HERE to see a list of Cities for Action mayors and county executives. To learn more about our work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook