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Do You Have an Immigration Problem, A Citizenship Question? Together, We'll Find A Solution
3/14/2023 Issue
_____The Biden administration is not able to pass any new immigration laws in Congress. Even regulations they try to pass (such as DACA regulations) get stuck or revoked by the courts. Therefore, there is no BIG news about immigration.
           But the field of IMMIGRATION is so BIG, that there is always something going on. So, we have many LITTLE news.

           Unlike most countries, the U.S does not have a NATIONAL ID CARD. Governments (federal, local, etc.), companies, institutions accept DRIVER’S LICENSES as ID cards. Some states, maybe all, issue ID cards to people who do not drive. But there is no law that requires every person in the U.S. to have an ID card. Only that it would be very difficult and inconvenient to live today without an ID.
           Since a DRIVER’S LICENSE is of such importance, the FEDERAL government passed a law – several years ago - that the STATES must impose strict identification requirements of applicants for DRIVER’S LICENSES, especially to prove that they are legally in the U.S., if they wish their ID cards to be accepted for admission into FEDERAL facilities. These became the REAL ID. For most people, the importance of Real ID in enabling them to board planes at U.S. airports. However, the EFFECTIVE DATE for this has been postponed several times. (California also issued non-Real ID Driver’s License to non-citizens.)
           The most recent EFFECTIVE DATE for Real IDs was supposed to be in May 2023. Now it has been postponed again, to May 2025.

           USCIS plans to introduce a new ELIGIBILITY exam for AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP.
           Every applicant for NATURALIZATION must pass two tests: one, for ability to speak ENGLISH, and one for knowledge of AMERICAN HISTORY and GOVERNMENT (also known as a CIVIC test). Every few years, the USCIS changes the contents and format of these tests. At present, another change is coming.
           USCIS announced that they are already TESTING the new TEST in several cities. Soon, the new TEST would be introduced nationwide.
           My personal wish is that they finally make a TEST that every American citizen, born and educated in America, is able to pass.


           U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began to issue Green Cards and Employment Authorization Cards with new designs. This started at the beginning of February 2023.
           All the old cards remain valid until the EXPIRATION DATE listed on them. Some very old Green Cards don’t even have an expiration date. They are still valid.
           It seems that the people selling FAKE Green Cards became so good with their forgeries, that the government decided to deter them by coming out with a design that would be “impossible” to forge.


           Many Green Cards are based on IMMIGRANT VISAS, which are issued by American Consuls overseas. The Consuls operate under Regulations of the U.S. Department of State (DOS), not the Immigration Service. A few weeks ago, the DOS published its most recent, updated GUIDANCE to Consuls, how to decide whether an applicant for an IMMIGRANT VISA is LIKELY to become a PUBLIC CHARGE. In other words – whether the applicant is a potential WELFARE CASE.
The important instruction in the new GUIDANCE is that the Consul must take into account the TOTALITY of the circumstances of the applicant, meaning: HEALTH, AGE, EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, SKILLS, HISTORY OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE – EVERYTHING. And the Guidance clarifies: the fact that the applicant presents a complete and adequate AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT, is not, by itself, sufficient to clear the applicant from the SUSPICION that maybe, sometime in the FUTURE, he or she is LIKELY, to become a PUBLIC CHARGE by requiring GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE.
This is a WARNING: if you are trying to bring to the U.S. a close relative, a parent or a child, and you know that there is a problem (like a MENTALLY-IMPAIRED child, or a SICKLY parent), you must prepare some good documents before the interview at the U.S. Consulate – in ADDITION to an adequate AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT.

           If you tell your sister-in-law in the Philippines: “Don’t worry, just get to the U.S. on your visitor’s visa and then you can stay here forever” – did you commit a crime by ENCOURAGING her to come illegally to the U.S.? Maybe.
           What if you tell her: “When you come on your visitor’s visa, you can work for me in my Board and Care” – did you commit a crime by INDUCING her to come illegally for your own FINANCIAL GAIN? Maybe.
           But this section of the Immigration Act that forbids encouraging and inducing an alien to come to the U.S. for the purpose of staying here illegally, is illegal itself because it violates the FREE SPEECH First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Maybe.
What about immigration lawyers, who continually advise non-citizens about visas, about staying and working in the U.S. – and sometimes even get paid for this advice – are they “criminals” or are
they PROTECTED under the FREE
SPEECH of the constitution?
           The Supreme Court of the U.S. already dealt with this issue several times, but the decisions did not resolve all doubts. Life is too complicated.
           Therefore, in the near future, we can expect another Supreme Court decision with another attempt to clarify what SPEECH is forbidden as ENCOURAGEMENT and INDUCEMENT and what speech is protected as FREE SPEECH.

           If you have an American passport and it requires RENEWAL before your next trip, be warned to do it a long time in advance.
           The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the agency in charge of passports, and they just announced that RENEWALS would take longer: at least 5 – 7 weeks for EXPEDITE requests, and at least 8 – 11 weeks for REGULAR renewals.
           Plan your trips accordingly. Do not find yourself overseas with an EXPIRED U.S. passport. God knows how long it might take you to get into a U.S. Consulate with a request for RENEWAL.


           The IMMIGRATION COURTS have been known for many years as a place for big DELAYS. Some people can get solutions to their immigration problems only in IMMIGRATION courts, through decisions and orders of Immigration Judges. But they have to wait, and wait for a slot on the Judge’s CALENDAR. Actually, in 2019, three years ago, the backlog of cases awaiting hearings in IMMIGRATION COURTS all over the U.S., reached over ONE MILLION (1,000,000) cases.
           Since 2019, the government hired more IMMIGRATION Judges and streamlined many court procedures in an effort to cut the backlog, with remarkable success.
           The “combined” judges serving now are able to process – and are actually processing – about HALF a MILLION (500,000) cases a year. And the BACKLOG?
           The backlog of cases awaiting hearings and decisions is now – TWO MILLION (2,000,000) cases.


           There is no denying it: all prices around us – gas, eggs, medication, whatever – are going up. IMMIGRATION FEES, the FEES the government charges for every FORM we file and almost every service the government provides, have been the same for quite a few years.
           The USCIS blames the long times it takes them to process any FORM on their lack of money: because of the low fees, they are not able to hire enough OFFICERS to process all the applications and petitions being filed (and we all know that all applications and petitions became LONGER and LONGER and require more time to fill out and to REVIEW and PROCESS).
           A few years ago, the Trump administration tried to raise the immigration fees. But the increase was so exorbitant, that the increases were blocked by COURT ORDERS. The fees remained the same.
           Now the BIDEN administration is trying to raise the fees, and published a new, proposed FEE SCHEDULE.
           It is my estimate that this time the increase would materialize. We are going to have a new FEE SCHEDULE within the next six (6) months.
NEW SCAM - $10,000 ONLY

           When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and millions of Ukrainian refugees streamed into neighboring countries in Europe, the U.S. government decided that we, too, must let some refugees – Ukrainians – into the U.S.
           The U.S. came up with a scheme: Ukrainians must register on a website with U.S. government, and if they have a SPONSOR in the U.S., they would be “paroled” into the U.S. with a permit to stay and work for two (2) years. Who can be a SPONSOR? Anyone in the U.S. who is able and willing to promise financial support to the prospective parolee for his or her stay in the U.S. can be a sponsor. A FAMILY RELATIONSHIP is not required.
           This scheme worked very well, because it forced all the applicants to apply through U.S. Consulates abroad, not at the U.S. border. So, the government decided to EXPAND the scheme.
           Not so long ago, it was announced that would be “refugees” from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti would also be “paroled” into the U.S. if they have a SPONSOR, and if they apply through American Consulates outside of the U.S. – not at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The idea was to lure these people away from the border and decrease the number of illegal entrants.
           But where could those would be “refugees” find financial SPONSORS in the U.S.? All their hopes are to join their relatives or town-mates who are themselves, in most cases, illegal aliens in the U.S.
           The answer is – as usual in the U.S. – in the FREE MARKET. Posts and advertisements began to appear on the internet by people in the U.S. offering themselves to be - or offering to find you – SPONSORS, for the modest sum of $10,000.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222