This sponsored column is by James Montana, Esq. and Doran Shemin, Esq., practicing attorneys at Steelyard LLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact James for an appointment.
(Authors’ Note: The civil unrest and accompanying curfews yesterday are obviously the first thing on our minds, but we’re going to focus on our usual topic — immigration — because we know, from talking with clients, that these informational posts have a long life on Google, and we’d like to do some good. Stay safe, everyone.)
Congress frequently deadlocks and fails to pass meaningful immigration legislation. However, as we reported almost exactly one year ago, Congress authorized an amnesty for many Liberian nationals, allowing them to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States.
The amnesty, known as the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act or LRIF, was passed as part of a large spending bill. The original LRIF Act imposed a deadline of December 20, 2020, for eligible applicants to apply, and sadly, data showed that many eligible Liberians did not apply before the deadline.
To our surprise and excitement, Congress has come through again for Liberians! In late December, Congress passed a bill which extended the deadline to apply for residency under LRIF to December 20, 2021. The bill was part of an appropriations package that President Trump signed into law.
As a reminder, here are the baseline eligibility requirements to apply:
- You must file an application for a green card by December 20, 2021.
- You must be a citizen of Liberia.
- You must have been continuously present from November 20, 2014, to the date of filing the green card application.
- You must not have been convicted of a serious crime.
- You must not have persecuted others for their political or religious convictions.
We encourage any Liberian who has been in the United States since November 2014 to contact a lawyer to see if he or she qualifies for LRIF benefits. Applying for residency under this program could be your way to becoming a permanent resident and later, a U.S. citizen.
We welcome any comments and will do our best to respond.
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The Alternative Christmas Market is back! At First Presbyterian Church Arlington in Ballston, located at 601 N. Vermont Street, Arlington VA 22203, on Sunday, December 4th from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Parking available.
Vendors and products this year include: 10,000 Villages, Olive Oil Ministry, African Team Ministries, Community Coalition for Haiti, Heifer, African Market Baskets, Café Justo, Thistle Farms, Southwest Indian Foundation, and Together We Bake.
Buy gifts for everyone on your list, and support these great organizations, artisans, and global neighbors. See you there!
(This Community Post was written by the [Arlington Chorale](http://arlingtonchorale.org/) and underwritten by [Embracing Arlington Arts](https://embracing-arlington-arts.org/).
Since the Arlington Chorale returned to in-person singing one year ago, local amateur singers have been signing up for auditions in unprecedented numbers. “Thirty of our current members joined within the last year,” says Ingrid Lestrud, Artistic Director. “Many of them have recently moved to Arlington, and they want to join a community. Chorale members get to sing beautiful music and meet a diverse group of people who love singing as much as they do!”
The singers are busy preparing their December 10 concert, Christmas Joy! Featuring John Rutter ‘s Magnificat and Kirke Mechem’s _Seven Joys of Christmas_ , audiences will hear familiar Christmas carols, as well as beautiful music with hints of tango, musical theatre, and jazz. The singers will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of local professional players, and the concert will highlight the talents of soprano Helena Colindres. Members of the Chorale’s outreach group, the Youth Community Council, and select singers from the Chorale will be singing Christmas carols outside the venue as audience members arrive. After the performance, everyone is invited to join the singers downstairs for a reception with light refreshments. It’s a special community event you won’t want to miss! Tickets are $20 for adults and free for children under 12 available here. Please join the Arlington Chorale on **Saturday, December 10 at 5:00 PM at Westover Baptist Church!**
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist