Liberian Family Overstays Visitor Visas to Escape Persecution; Daughter Obtains DACA, and Files for Green Card Under Liberian Relief Immigration Awareness Act (LRIF)

[Please note: The Client’s name and case key details may have been altered to preserve the identity of the client. This Success Story is not intended to be an offer of service or case plan. Every case is unique. The Success Story is presented for information purposes only.]

From 2014 onward, the Margaret W. Wong team in Cleveland has had the pleasure of working with Ella, a young woman in her mid-twenties from Liberia whose family had come to the United States on B-2 visas to escape persecution in their homeland when Ella was quite young. Subsequently the visas were overstayed so Ella sought our assistance in obtaining DACA.

For sure in the DACA application process, Ella faced certain challenges, one of which involved establishing a last name change that occurred right after the family immigrated to the United States. This happened so long ago that Ella couldn’t locate any records, so our team contacted the county clerk’s office to secure the necessary documentation.

We were able to file for DACA and an employment authorization document (EAD) in April of 2014 but a few months later we received an RFE (Request for Evidence) that asked for an accounting of her Ella’s presence in 2007, 2008, and 2013.

Therefore, Ella scrambled to put together a package containing letters from her church, Facebook screen shots, and letters from a couple of her college instructors.

She had a tough time collecting transcripts due to tuition fees still unpaid, so we contacted the college’s legal department and managed to obtain a waiver so Ella could obtain the appropriate reproductions that resulted in her DACA being approved in November of 2014.

Over the next few years, we kept in touch with Ella and renewed her EAD each year and her DACA every two years. At the end of 2020, Ella booked a meeting with our team to explore pathways to legal permanent residency that might be created after President Trump left office.

After reviewing all factors, we discovered that Ella was available for relief right now under the Liberian Relief Immigration Awareness Act (LRIF) which provides opportunities for green cards to be issued to Liberian Nationals who have been continuously present in the United States since 2014 for which Ella most definitely qualified.

However, the deadline to apply for a green card under the auspices of the LRIF was just two days away which meant that Ella would have to supply the necessary documentation by the next day if we were to meet the cutoff.

When we told Ella about this possibility, she screamed and came close to yelling, “I’ll be right back!” before she headed off to collect the necessary substantiation which, fortunately, wasn’t too much since we already had almost all that was mandated due to the DACA filings.

To be sure, thanks to some last-minute hard work by our legal team and Ella returning within one hour with all other requirements, we were able to submit her I-485 (Application for Legal Permanent Residency) in a timely fashion.

Certainly, it would take a while for the process to be completed but we are confident that Ella will have a green card soon.

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