Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on June 26, 2020 1. Child with Documented Immigration 2. Can I Ask for Asylum? I am Illegal for Nearly 20 Years. 3. I Have DACA, Can I Apply for a Green Card?

1. Child with Documented Immigration

I have a child with a documented immigrant and she’s trying to go back to her homeland to visit.  What are the laws concerning that?

Mr. Lee answers,
The documented immigrant must check with the consulate or embassy of the home country to determine what the requirements are for the child to enter the country. I will assume for purposes of your question that the child was born in the U. S. and is a U. S. citizen. The documented immigrant should obtain a U. S. passport for the child and then check with the home government as to whether there are other requirements for the entry of the child. Coming back to the U. S., the documented immigrant’s passport and green card and the child’s U. S. passport would be sufficient for entry. 

2. Can I Ask for Asylum? I am Illegal for Nearly 20 Years.

I have court approaching, if I am reported to ICE can I request for Asylum? I have court for driving unlicensed. I live in GA.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, an individual can only ask for political asylum within one year of coming to the U. S. illegally, or if the individual came to the U. S. under a nonimmigrant visa, within a reasonable period of time (usually less than 6 months) after the ending of the status. You can, however, request protection under withholding of removal which requires over a 50% probability that you will be persecuted upon return to the home country or protection under the Convention against Torture (CAT), under which you would have to prove by over 50% probability that you would be subject to an extreme form of cruel and inhuman punishment that must cause severe pain or suffering. For the Convention against Torture, even aggravated felons are eligible to apply. I note that asylum differs from the 2 other reliefs as the burden of proof is lower (applicants must show only a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, political opinion, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or past persecution) and a grant of asylum can lead to the green card whereas grants of withholding or CAT do not. 

3. I Have DACA, Can I Apply for a Green Card?

I came from Mexico when I was 3 with my mother who had a short term working visa for both of us.  We overstayed.  What can I do to get a green card?

Mr. Lee answers,
Being under DACA means that you are allowed to stay, but without legislation providing a path to the green card, there is not much that can be done at present. For purposes of your question, I will assume that you are at least 18 years of age. As you came in legally with your mother, you could possibly adjust status to permanent residence if you marry with a U. S. citizen in a bona fide marriage. If you marry with a permanent resident who is a long way from citizenship or is ineligible or cannot pass the naturalization test, you could possibly take advantage of the I-601A program to obtain a waiver of the 10 year bar for staying in the U. S. for one year or more. The waiver application would be based upon your spouse suffering extreme hardship if you had to leave the U. S. If the I-601A application is approved, you could then return to Mexico for an immigrant visa appointment at the American consulate. Assuming that you are approved at the time of interview, you could return to the U. S. under residence status almost immediately. If the above is not an option, you can wait with all other members of the DACA class until your DACA situation is solved politically.  

Article: Trump 6/22/20 Proclamation Suspending the Entry of Nonimmigrant Workers – Who is Affected and How.

As published in the Immigration Daily on June 23, 2020

The Trump proclamation is out and takes effect at 12:01 on June 24, 2020, which means one minute after the witching hour tonight. If you are in the US before that, you are mainly immune from the order – if you are outside, you may be affected by the order.

  1. This goes hand-in-hand with the order for the bar on immigrant visas, and so for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, the bar to entry is now through December 31, 2020. The language extending the immigrant bar and the new nonimmigrant bar has another kicker in saying that it may be continued as necessary after the expiration on December 31, 2020. It follows with the language that within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter while the proclamation is in effect, The Sec. of Homeland Security shall in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Sec. of Labor recommend any modifications as may be necessary.
  2. Nonimmigrant visa entries are suspended for H-1B or H-2Bs and their dependents, J-1 interns, trainees, teachers, counselors, au pairs, or summer work travel program people and their dependents, L visa entrants and their dependents. Previously it had been thought that au pairs would be exempt from the bar.
  3. The bar applies only to people who are outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation. It does not apply to individuals outside the US who have a valid visa by June 23, 2020. It also does not apply to those who have an official travel document other than a visa such as a transportation letter, or advance parole valid on June 23, 2020, or issued on any date thereafter permitting travel to the US.
  4. Exceptions are for LPR’s (although one would wonder why an LPR would be trying to come in on a nonimmigrant visa), spouses or children of US citizens, someone providing temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain, and anyone whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, DHS Sec., or their respective designees. For purposes of determining any of the exceptions, it will be up to the consular officer to determine in his or her discretion whether a nonimmigrant has established eligibility.
  5. For purposes of determining whether a national interest applies, State, Labor, and Homeland Security Secretaries are to establish standards to define categories including those that are critical to defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security; are involved with the provision of medical care to people who have contracted Covid-19 and are currently hospitalized; are involved with providing medical research at US facilities to help the US combat Covid-19; or are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.
  6. [This last criterion could open up the possibility of bringing in a hotshot L-1 boss or entrepreneur].
  7. From a look at the outlined sample categories, it is questionable whether many individuals with unrelated approved EB-2 NIW cases could qualify for an exception, e.g an NIW for establishing reading programs for special needs children.
  8. The proclamation will also make people applying for a visa go through more scrutiny as they will now have to be registered with biographical and biometric information, including but not limited to photographs, signatures and fingerprints.
  9. The proclamation intends to dampen enthusiasm further for those applying for H-1B’s and EB-2/EB-3 immigrant visas as it directs the Sec. of Labor in consultation with the Sec. of Homeland Security as soon as practicable and consistent with applicable law to consider promulgating regulations or take other appropriate actions to ensure that the presence of aliens who have been admitted or otherwise provided the benefit or who are seeking admission or benefit does not disadvantage US workers, which will likely mean making employers pay not just prevailing wages, but more for the privilege of sponsoring aliens and more checks and investigations into labor certifications and LCA’s.
  10. The proclamation also charges the DHS Sec. with taking appropriate and necessary steps to prevent aliens with final orders of removal; who are inadmissible or deportable from the United States; or who have been arrested for or charged with or convicted of a criminal offense in the US from obtaining eligibility to work in the US. Among others, such a regulation would affect persons under orders of supervision; possibly those who have conceded deportability at a master calendar hearing; and anyone who has been arrested for or charged for even disorderly conduct.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on June 21, 2020 1. The Trump Ban on Chinese Graduate and Postgraduate Students – Am I Affected? 2. Having a Tough Time Leaving the Country After Obtaining Voluntary Departure – How Can I Leave on Time to China? 3. What is the Notice of Filing and Why is my Lawyer Telling Me that She Cannot File my Labor Certification Application Because my Company is Closed and Cannot Post the Notice? 4. Besides the Ban on Chinese Graduate and Post graduate Students, What Other Bans are There by Pres. Trump on People from China?

1. The Trump Ban on Chinese Graduate and Postgraduate Students – Am I Affected?

I am from China and on an F-1 visa. I heard that Pres. Trump last week declared that Chinese students who study in graduate or postgraduate programs can no longer come to the United States, and that those already here could have their visas revoked. Should I be alarmed since I am here in a graduate program on F-1 visa?

Dear reader,
Pres. Trump signed a presidential proclamation on May 29, 2020 taking effect on June 1, 2020, barring the entry of F-1 and J-1 students from China in graduate and postgraduate programs who will be studying or conducting research in a field involving information that could contribute to China’s military-civil fusion strategy who either receives funding or has been or is currently employed by, studied or studies at, or conducted or conducts research on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy, such being defined as actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities. There are a list of exceptions with probably the most relevant being that the bar does not apply to a person studying or conducting research in a field that would not contribute to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy. The New York Times said in an article that the People’s liberation Army has ties to military Institutes and defense research schools as well as seven more traditional universities which were identified in another website as Beijing Institute of Technology, Beihang University, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Northwestern Polytechnical University.

So unless you fall within one of these categories, you should not worry about this ban.

2. Having a Tough Time Leaving the Country After Obtaining Voluntary Departure – How Can I Leave on Time to China?

I had a deportation hearing and I through my lawyer was given involuntary departure by the immigration judge until June 22, 2020. The problem is that I am finding it very difficult to find a flight that goes to China. I did get a reservation on one the other day, but that flight was canceled. If I do not leave on time, I will have an order of removal against me. What can I do?

Dear reader,
There appear to be twin difficulties here, one being the coronavirus which has limited the number of flights coming and going to the United States, and Pres. Trump’s announcement on June 3, 2020, that he will ban all commercial passenger flights by Chinese carriers. That certainly limits the available number of flights even further. The ban is to take effect on June 16. Assuming that you and your lawyer are intent upon you leaving the US on time, you may also immediately begin exploring airlines of other countries that can take you out of the country and hopefully will not cancel the flights. Please understand also that you do not necessarily have to go to China. You can go to any other country in which you have permission to land. As a last resort, you and your attorney can request an extension of voluntary departure by ICE, but you should recognize that government services have been hit and miss during the coronavirus. You would have good cause to request an extension, but that would be leaving it up to an ICE officer’s discretion.

3. What is the Notice of Filing and Why is my Lawyer Telling Me that She Cannot File my Labor Certification Application Because my Company is Closed and Cannot Post the Notice?

I have a labor certification case for the green card stuck with my lawyer who has not filed my labor certification application up to this date. I spoke with her recently and she said that all of the pre-recruitment had been done, but she could not file because the company could not post something called a notice of filing in its office which is presently closed because of the coronavirus. Is this true or is my lawyer just giving excuses because she does not want to work?

Dear reader,
It appears that your attorney is giving you correct counsel. Required notices of filing inform people in the office and in the occupation that an organization is sponsoring someone for immigration purposes  who may wish to inquire about the position or to complain to the Department of Labor. Unlike notices of filing in nonimmigrant H-1B cases which can be done electronically, PERM labor certification applications for the green card require a physical posting at the workplace for 10 business days. The Department of Labor has given an exception to the time rules because of the coronavirus in saying that it will accept notices of filing posted within 60 days after the 180 day period of recruitment has passed as long as the employer started the recruitment within 180 days before March 13, 2020. As your attorney has already informed you that all of the other recruitment was finished, I assume that your case is only being held up because of the problem caused by the coronavirus.

4. Besides the Ban on Chinese Graduate and Post graduate Students, What Other Bans are There by Pres. Trump on People from China?

I heard about Pres. Trump’s new ban on Chinese graduate and post-graduate students. How many other bans does he have for people from China? I would like to know since I’m planning to come to the US on a working visa in the future.

Dear reader,
Currently there appear to be two other travel bans affecting persons coming from China. The first is a presidential proclamation in April that suspends persons coming to the United States to immigrate for 60 days and any extensions thereafter, but does not apply to nonimmigrant visa holders along with a number of other exceptions. A second ban prevents persons from China who have been in China, Hong Kong or Macau during the 14 day period before their attempt to travel to the US. For purposes of the latter ban, it does not apply to US citizens, LPR’s, spouses of US citizens or permanent residents, parents or legal guardians of US citizens or LPRs who are unmarried and under the age of 21, and siblings of US citizens or permanent residents if they are unmarried and under the age of 21. Those who are exempt from the second ban and coming in from the affected areas must land at one of 13 airports around the country.

Article: Why Donald Trump Is Stumbling Badly And How He Can Save Himself And The Nation

As published in the Immigration Daily on June 15, 2020

As we look at the president casting about like a flounder in the current crises, the question is what is wrong with the president? Where is his teflon suit that protected him through many previous bouts with a critical public? Why have his blustering and twittering not vanquished his foes? It may well be that a great majority of Americans have finally seen in crises the measure of the man and are tired of his pathological lying, very little humanity, and laziness of mind and thought that does not allow him to grasp all sides of the problem but to seek convenient solutions. Does he have a way out? The article will explore the three perceived weaknesses and suggest how he may rehabilitate himself.

Pathological liar

The Washington Post calculated that through the beginning of June 2020, Mr. Trump had made 19,127 false or misleading claims since taking office; that only 35% of Americans said that he was honest and trustworthy and 62% said that he was not. If ever subjected to an impartial psychiatric evaluation, he would doubtless provide an endless funhouse of frights, strobe lights, revolving doors and mirrors. His immigration whoppers are already legend that Mexican immigrants are rapists; that they bring crime and drugs; that legal and undocumented immigrants contribute very little to the country and take far more in public benefits than they contribute; that they are a mass horde unfairly taking away desired jobs  from Americans; and that they are an invasion of violent, disease ridden brown people infiltrated by Islamic terrorists, murderers, drug runners and rapists massing south of the Rio Grande. Non-immigration related lies include insinuating that the former congressman and current MSNBC anchor, Joe Scarborough, murdered a female aide; President Obama not being born in the United States; Ukraine and not Russia interfering in the 2016 elections; Article 2 of the Constitution giving him powers to do whatever he wants as president; mistakenly asserting that Hurricane Dorian would strike Alabama last year against all meteorological evidence and then doubling down with an altered forecast chart and pressuring the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to back up his false claim; and proclaiming that the Mueller report totally exonerated him.

The president is supposed to be the moral leader of a country regarded by most of the world as a bastion of morality and decency. Yet the image of this president as a moral leader is risible. Children across the nation lie more easily now than ever as they see that there are no consequences to the president for his untruths. Concocting mountains out of very few incidents and making molehills where there are mountains of incidents are almost his stock in trade.

Very little humanity

Viewing Mr. Trump in his addresses to the nation or in his briefings during the coronavirus (the Administration stopped giving pandemic briefings in April) captures an inability to speak compassionately as he has been robotic in describing how devastating the death count has been to the people of the country. He has only been animated in talking about the hurt to the economy, or promising a cure within a year when the record for vaccine development is four years, or in excoriating Democratic governors for not reopening their states fast enough. He refuses to take blame or appear contrite for continually calling the coronavirus a hoax and not being fast enough to take action to head off the 116,000+ deaths in America that make this country first by far in the world in that unenvied category. In the current protests over police killings of blacks, his lack of sympathy for the largely peaceful demonstrations and the threat of using US active military forces have given great comfort to China and Russia – countries universally condemned for their use of the same tactics on their peoples – even though in this country, rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are guaranteed by the Constitution. Facing another anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, Chinese officials were gleeful in pointing out that the Communist Party use of the army was thus justified by the president of the United States.

On the immigration front, his forced separation of families including children from parents recall the cruel practices of the most terrible authoritarian regimes. His MPP (stay in Mexico) policy reinforced by CDC directives forcing asylum seekers to remain in Mexico where they are preyed upon violates international asylum and refugee laws and accords. His refusal to allow noncriminal immigration detainees to be released from crowded facilities prone to Covid-19 while real criminals – both street type and white collar ones like Mr. Trump’s former associates Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen – are let out is a sickening spectacle. And his further handling of immigration detainees in allowing transfers between facilities without testing and even sending diseased detainees on flights back to their home countries when they were infected with the coronavirus in the US is miserable.

President Trump is lazy in mind and thought

It has not been an uncommon sight to see the president out on golf outings, vacations, parties and other social occasions. It is known that he  comes to the West Wing office late– as late as noon, and that he spends up to 60% of his working days in blocks of “executive time” tweeting, watching TV, especially the Fox network with its pro-Trump commentators and other conservative shows, and taking other built-in breaks.  With such an insular schedule, he is not well balanced in his thought processes.  It is well-known that he does not read his briefing papers and that the intelligence chiefs must spoon-feed him the information. The degree to which he is reliant upon the briefer who summarizes the presidential briefing papers for him was never better illustrated than when he blamed the briefer for telling him that he had nothing to worry about concerning the coronavirus in January. (He has thus far blamed China when the source of most of the infections and deaths in the US came not from China but Europe, the CDC, WHO, Obama and the briefer – but not himself). Yet had he taken the time to actually read the briefing papers, the nation would be better off in having a more informed president. His self-appointed coronavirus role of being the nation’s cheerleader is misplaced when the country needs a leader to coordinate efforts against the pandemic rather than one saying happy days are around the corner while at the same time that the states are on their own, not offering further federal assistance to the states, and then second-guessing and backbiting governors when they have struggled to solve their own states’ problems.

Had he read his briefing papers or even listened to the more urgent warnings of his advisors in February, one study showed that at least 36,000 American lives would have been spared as of May 3 when the fatalities were 65,307 if he had urged  social distancing one week earlier than he finally did on March 16.

In other situations not related to the coronavirus, he would have realized that some of his top-of-his-head decisions were absolutely the most dangerous and detrimental to the country – the killing of General Suleimani of Iran could very well have precipitated a huge escalation in attacks and at the very least signaled to the world that assassination of high governmental officials is an accepted tool of statecraft; his selling out the Kurds in Syria who had been instrumental and worked closely with US troops in destroying ISIS with belittling words that the Kurds did not help us in World War II and not in Normandy prompted the resignation of  Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. That move was further incomprehensible in ceding the Middle East to Russia and forcing nations to reconsider whether the US  was now a reliable partner and would live up to its treaties if they were attacked and to seek other alliances; and his cozying up to dictators and strongmen like Russia’s Putin, North Korea’s Kim, Hungary’s Orban, Egypt’s el-Sisi, Turkey’s Erdogan, and China’s Xi (before the trade disputes) while shunning traditional allies has left this country in a weakened state of not knowing whom the United States can truly count on in times of crisis as allied leaders even speak disparagingly of him behind his back.

How Donald Trump can Rehabilitate Himself

More than at any other time in his presidency, Mr. Trump has shown himself to be an inadequate president. The coronavirus has exposed the emperor as having no clothes not only to his critics, but to his Republican audience. His apparent willingness to sacrifice the older generation for a faster reopening of the economy will cost him dearly in the November elections. His latest polling numbers are bad across the board falling 13.2 percentage points among registered or likely voters with much loss of support among women and even white voters without degrees. He is down seven points among Republicans and independents and nine points among Democrats.  The downward spiral is set as a good portion of his supporters now understand that he has not been the man for the job. His current attempt to gin up his base by planning large rallies while the pandemic rages on and having supporters sign waivers of liability is extremely dangerous and his less zealous fans should give him the old Southern idiom, “That old dog won’t hunt.” He should now resign himself to the fact that he will be a one term president. Jim Mattis said it best on June 3 that “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”

To rehabilitate himself in the eyes of most of the American people, Mr. Trump should try to use his remaining time in office to be a unifier of all the people in the States, including immigrants who make a net contribution to the nation culturally, economically, and socially. He should shut down or limit his twitter account as his stream of consciousness tweeting has ended up in many very ill considered remarks, e.g. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” In addresses and speeches, he should limit himself to the script instead of wandering off into uncharted waters. Such could also limit the self damage caused by remarks like suggesting Americans could  be injected with bleach. He should exhibit humility and sympathy for people regardless of how hard it is for him to do that and stop saying that his performance is “perfect” or that he has everything under “perfect control.” He should read his presidential briefing papers and reflect instead of just react to situations. Finally he should actually think of the long-term consequences and ramifications of his actions to this country. In this way, perhaps, his legacy will not ultimately be that of the worst president of these United States.

(Author’s note: If you like this article, please forward it to your friends).

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on June 12, 2020 1. My Married Sister is in the US Legally. How Long Will it Take If I Am a US Citizen to Sponsor Her? 2. I Submitted the I-130 in Nov 2019.  On April 2020 I Got a Notice to Provide More Evidence.  Does it Mean that my Previous Fee/Evidence is Lost? 3. I Signed an I-864 for My Husband As His Sole Sponsor a Year Ago.  Can I Apply for Medicaid Now?

1. My Married Sister is in the US Legally. How Long Will it Take If I Am a US Citizen to Sponsor Her?

I’m a us citizen, my married sister is in the states under a student visa, she is doing a major, so i was wondering if I decide to sponsor, how long will it take.  I’m aware of that when the relatives are in the US, LEGALLY the waiting period it’s supposed to be less than (10 years in this case). Was I correct?

Mr. Lee answers,
Even if your married sister is in the U. S. legally, it will generally take the same amount of time for her to obtain permanent residence inside or outside the country. Currently for the month of May 2020, those siblings who filed I-130 petitions before 07/22/06 are eligible for their final immigration, so the waiting time is now about 14 years. Whether inside or outside the United States, the final action date on the visa chart must be current before a person can be adjusted to permanent residence in the U. S. or given an immigrant visa at the home consulate or embassy. 

2. I Submitted the I-130 in Nov 2019.  On April 2020 I Got a Notice to Provide More Evidence.  Does it Mean that my Previous Fee/Evidence is Lost?

I was asked to provide more evidence… which initially I had provided with my application on 11/23/19… all evidence on the checklist was submitted and yet I had a notice of more evidence on 4/15/20 or face being denied.  Does it mean that my previous fees and evidences have been lost?

Mr. Lee answers,
If you received a notice to provide more evidence, that means that U.S.C.I.S. has already received your case and is only asking for the additional evidence at this time. Your fee has certainly not been lost, and you should check carefully to see what U.S.C.I.S. is requesting to ensure that the evidence that you initially provided was sufficient. If you believe that it was, you can send it again, but I note that U.S.C.I.S. usually asks for evidence because it is not satisfied with what was originally submitted. 

3. I Signed an I-864 for My Husband As His Sole Sponsor a Year Ago.  Can I Apply for Medicaid Now?

I just had a baby and I’m trying to get financial assistance through the hospital but they need me to apply for Medicaid first before they can go through with the assistance. I signed the I-864 for my husband last year and still make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but the hospital requires a denial from them. Can I get in trouble for applying for Medicaid since I signed for him as his sponsor?

Mr. Lee answers,

Under U. S. immigration laws, the issue is not whether a person applies for Medicaid, but whether the person receives Medicaid benefits. If you are not receiving means tested benefits from federal, state, or city, the Medicaid question is inapplicable. Even if you were receiving Medicaid, you would not get into trouble for having signed for your husband’s financial affidavit support as there is no indication of fraud in your case and the prohibition would be against him receiving means tested benefits.