Why So Many Liberians Are Turning To The US Diversity Immigrant Visa Program? “DV Program”

The US Diversity Immigrant Visa Program? “DV Program” is The Only Hope To Escape Poverty and Hardship For Liberians.

dv lottery program liberia

On the last day of the 2015/2016 edition of the US Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program, several Liberians said playing DV was the only ‘window of opportunity’ at their disposal to end the hardship being faced in their home country.

DV playing which began in October ended November 3, 2015, with those who had the opportunity to play referring to it a ‘window of opportunity’. This year’s DV players told this paper they were being encouraged by the successes of their brothers, sisters and friends who took advantage of the opportunity provided by the American Government to change their status.

Some said it was a dream of anyone in the world to visit and live in America, with Liberians of no exception, and added that lack of opportunity for citizens in the country was enough justification for playing DV.

According to some of the interviewees, they will continue to play the lottery until God answers them. The interviewees refused to be photographed for fear of government ‘thwarting their opportunity’ from the US embassy near Monrovia, but cited abject poverty in the country as one of the reasons behind their constant trial in the lottery.

Unemployment, state benefits as citizens, low education and health care and other basis life essentials were some of several reasons they gave for playing the DV lottery. Businessman Oliver Martins whose phone charging center was used for playing DV said the influx of Liberians clearly shows that they want greener pasture.

“Almost everybody playing usually praying and saying father let me win and leave this country small and enjoy little life,” he said. Hundreds of Liberians have been playing DV since it was introduced in the 1990s without success; yet they continue to try believing that there is a day among the days for them.

One of those Liberians is Jamal Alex Matiah Barclay, a graduating student at the University of Liberia who said he had played the lottery five times since 2010, but he had not been successful.

“The process is ok and every Liberian needs to take part. Those that won DV for the past time have contributed immensely to the development of Liberia. God time is the best, may be 2016 will be my time,” Barclay said.

Another DV player, Oretha Mayango said she would not stop playing DV until God answers her prayers. “I will continue to play until God makes a way for me. This is really an opportunity that no one wants to miss. God knows I am under the sun looking for money to play,” Ms Mayango, a street peddler on broad street said.

Another DV player Christopher Beyan said unless he won, nothing would stop him from playing. “People say it is the Americans idea put into place to enslave blacks, particularly those from Africa, but I can say to you clear, it is good to be a slave in America than in my home country Liberia. God will answer all Liberians that played,” Beyan said.

Ruth Sheriff who is a student of the African Methodist Episcopal University also said she would not be discouraged from playing DV, stressing “I even ordered my family members to play.”

Hundreds of thousands of Liberians are currently living in the US as a result of DV. This year, many Liberians who won last year’s edition and have successfully passed interviews are expected to depart Liberia anytime soon.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery.

The lottery is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 amended 203 to provide for a new class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” (DV immigrants). The Act makes available 55,000 permanent resident visas annually to natives of countries deemed to have low rates of immigration to the United States.

As part of its intervention following the devastating civil unrest in the country that destroyed almost all the infrastructures and human resources, the US Government decided to aid Liberians by introducing the Diversity Visa program to Liberia.

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