Liberians should take advantage of H1B, H2B Visas and Marriage

By: Benedict Kojo Brown

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
March 30, 2009


For the past two weeks, Liberians and friends of Liberia have been lobbying for the extension of TPS for those Liberians who temporarily reside in the US. After several appeals from some US congress men and women including the president of Liberia, president Obama did not disappoint them; to the delight of many, he rose to the occasion and extended Deferred Enforced Departure for a year to thousands of Liberians who legally reside in the US. For those of us who support this cause, we applaud the efforts of those men and woman who worked so assiduously to make this a reality. We also want to thank the president of the United States for his farsightedness in making this historic and all important decision.

We hope that those in the vanguard of leadership in the various Liberian communities in the Diaspora will not capitalize on the goodwill shown by all these great men and women including president Obama and credit themselves of rewarding Liberians this status. Without any doubt, there was enormous efforts made by these leadership groups, and we like to applaud them for that as well. Nevertheless, we like to call upon them to encourage ordinary Liberians to continue calling their local congress men and women for a permanent solution to this problem.

As we are carrying on this fight, there is another war being fought in our own backyards; the war on granting people of non Negro decent the rights to citizenship. How can we be fighting for citizenship for our people in the US, while at the same time, we deny others of the same rights in our country? Whatever our reasons for this, it is racial, double standard and insane. If those congressmen and women who are currently fighting for our cause get to know about these double standards, will they still be on our side? We immediately call upon the Diaspora leaderships in the various Liberian communities to open up another front on our side of the border and confront these problems that are sending mix signal to the international community.

For those Liberians who are caught in this situation, 12 months seem too short. I bet we all would have preferred more than a year or permanent residency; however, under the law, the president of the United States can only grant extension for a 12 month period at a time, except otherwise. By this, I am not insinuating that come 2010 there will be an automatic extension; as a consequence, affected Liberians should not continue to be lackadaisical about their plight.

Unlike the past, those affected Liberians should seize this moment to find other alternatives such as, exploring the possibilities of acquiring the H1B Visas, marriage or H2B Visas-these are visas that can be acquired by highly skilled immigrants through their employer.

May I quickly add here that I am not advocating for Liberians to conditionally marry for the purpose of obtaining their permanent residency; I am quite convinced that it is wrong and inappropriate for anyone to go into marriage under any conditions, equally so, it is more wrong and inappropriate to cohabit and have children by a person, one who has no desire of marrying. If I were found in this situation, you bet, I would attempt to remove those conditions that would have made me to marry conditionally; that way there will be no condition to my marrying that person.

Even more so, what do we gain when we cohabit, date and have children with individuals who would rather help us if we had taken the relationship to another level? Absolutely, noting!

There is a thin line between cohabiting and having children and marriage. In my opinion, if a woman is good enough to cohabit with and carry ones children then, it is even better to married that woman and benefit from permanent residency; the same is true about the man.

The author, Benedict Kojo Brown quite recently relocated from Minnesota to Hamilton, New Jersey and can be reached at: 7632283525,

© 2009 by The Perspective

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