The primary hurdle these Liberian refugees faced had to do with the “public charge” rule, which states that a person cannot obtain a green card (in other words, they cannot seek permanent residency) if they were likely to become dependent on government programs in the future. Due to the circumstances under which these Liberian immigrants came to the United States, many of them were unable to apply for green cards under the public charge rule. However, the new measure in the NDAA will make them exempt from the public charge rule, clearing the way for them to obtain green cards and allowing them to permanently reside in the United States.
Until now, the immigrants affected by this policy change have been reliant on temporary protections, like DED and TPS status, as well as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to remain legally in the United States. They were not being deported, due to unsafe conditions back in their home country of Liberia, but they also couldn’t achieve any kind of permanent legal status. With this new measure in the NDAA, however, they will be able to obtain their green cards and, with them, the permanent legal status they have been seeking for years.
If you are a Liberian immigrant seeking permanent residency, it’s important that you have skilled legal representation as you go through the process of applying for a green card. The lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP are experienced in handling various immigration matters, including naturalizations, asylum applications, visa applications and more. For more information or to schedule a consultation
at our New York City or New Jersey law office, call (212) 267-2555.