Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 24, 2020 1. Either I Can Apply for H4 EAD Now or Shift to F1 Visa from H4. Which is Better in Current Situation in USA? 2. If Someone Else Becomes an I-864 Sponsor, Can My Sponsorship Be Dissolved? 3. Can I Study While My I-485 is Pending?

1. Either I Can Apply for H4 EAD Now or Shift to F1 Visa from H4. Which is Better in Current Situation in USA?

I am joining a graduate school this fall. In order to work in USA, either I can apply for H4 EAD now or shift to F1 visa from H4. which is better in current situation in USA

Mr. Lee answers:
The choice of whether to apply for H-4 EAD or to shift to F-1 visa is up to you at this point. The H-4 EAD situation is still valid at present although it is one of the targets of the Trump administration for elimination. Under F-1, you would generally have to attend schooling for a year before being allowed to work under curriculum practical training unless that was a part of the program that requires internship or fieldwork.

2. If Someone Else Becomes an I-864 Sponsor, Can My Sponsorship Be Dissolved?

Divorced but am still my EX’S sponsor (form I-864). If she remarries am I still responsible? What if her new husband files for sponsorship?

Mr. Lee answers:
If your ex-wife remarries and if the new husband files for sponsorship, you would still be on the hook if your ex-wife attained conditional residence through your sponsorship. On the other hand, if her case through you was denied, you would not be responsible as the I-864 is a contract between you and the government under which the obligation begins when your ex-wife received the benefit. 

3. Can I Study While My I-485 is Pending?

I am going to marry my fiancée after I am done with my associates degree, I however want to start my bachelor degree right after. So I have a gap of a couple of weeks between my AA and my BA. My question is, can I start studying again as soon as the I-485 is pending, or do I have to wait for the temporary work permission to arrive?

Mr. Lee answers:

If you are marrying a U. S. citizen, any gap in status will generally be disregarded at the time of your interview for the green card. If you are marrying a lawful permanent resident and adjusting status by filing form I-485, you must be in valid status at the time of filing form I-485. In addition, you cannot violate your status even after filing the I-485 by taking on unauthorized employment. That being said, a gap in schooling after marrying and filing the I-485 application would have no effect upon your ability to adjust status. In your situation, if you are holding F-1 status for both your associates degree and your bachelor’s degree programs, you would not be violating status by having a gap of a couple of weeks as the law provides for gaps of time between 2 levels of schooling. Even if you were not choosing to advance to a bachelor’s degree program, you would still be in legal status as an F-1 student for 60 days after completing studies during the grace period for you to change or extend status or depart the United States. 

Article: State Department Allowing Schengen Area, UK And Ireland F-1 And M-1 Students To Enter Despite Ban Under Presidential Proclamations 9993 And 9996; And Other Miscues Interpreting 6/22/20 Proclamation.

As published in the Immigration Daily on July 21, 2020

In a startling turnabout on July 16, 2020, the Department of State (DOS) invited F-1 and M-1 students from the Schengen Area of Europe, the UK and Ireland to enter the US under their visas despite bans under Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996 specifically barring persons from these countries from entering the US if they were in them within 14 days of entry. [1].  The Department stated that “Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.” While good news to many, it hardly makes sense unless the proclamations themselves are lifted. A partial lifting sub rosa without reasoning further damages the image of the United States as a country of laws. The proclamations were put in place because of the numbers of infected citizens of those countries and the danger that they posed to the US in spreading the pandemic if they arrived. Is it perhaps that the danger of Covid-19 is no longer relevant as the US recently reached 70,000 infections in one day? Is it that the daily totals of some of the countries being exempted are no longer alarming taking into account the spread in this country? Last week’s statistics on some of the countries now being exempted show France at 2552 infections daily, Spain 1400, UK 687, Germany 529, Poland 339, and Italy 249.

It certainly appears to be political – otherwise, why is there not a similar privilege being given to China that last week recorded 17 infections daily? And why not impose a presidential proclamation against Russia with its daily infection rate of 6109? If  Mr. Trump could impose against Brazil, why not Russia?

Your writer is unfortunately not a great fan of social media, but muddled his way around as the State Department is giving answers to questions in FAQs on Twitter concerning the 6/22/20 nonimmigrant H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and certain J visa bars on entry. In looking over the various answers, one would hope that the Department takes more care in giving answers as some of them were wrong or misleading.

On at least five occasions concerning the fate of overseas derivatives spouses and children whose principals were in the US and in the above visa categories, the standard response was “Per Section 3 of the Presidential Proclamation, suspension of entry applies to ‘Any alien who does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date (June 24) of this proclamation.’ See the link for exceptions.” Also that “We will not be issuing H-1B, H-2B, L, or certain J visas, and their derivatives through December 31, 2020, unless an exception applies.” Yet in another July 16, 2020, official statement by the Department, it said that” The Department of State will continue to issue H, L, and J visas to otherwise qualified derivative applicants who are otherwise currently excepted or where the principal applicant is currently in the United States.” [2].

The official answer appears to finally recognize that the Section 3 exception of the proclamation (proclamation not applying to those in the US on its July 24, 2020, effective date) stretches to cover family members who are now eligible for visa issuance. It also seemingly answers the question that those principals who were in the US on the effective date of the proclamation should be able to leave the country and be visaed in those categories barring their inclusion in other bans – that they should not have to wait until after December 31, 2020, for visa issuance. On this, the Department should issue further guidance to the consular posts.

On the tangential point of five questions asked as to when DV-2020 winners could interview for visas, the stock response was “Presidential proclamation 10014 suspended the issuance of several categories of immigrant visas, including DVs. This proclamation was recently extended until December 31, 2020. While the proclamation is in place, the issuance of DVs is not permitted.” To that, there was an excellent response by the asker that “The proclamation only suspends entry. It does not mention suspending the interview and visa issuance process. For #DV 2020 winners this process needs to happen before September 30. We are suspended from entering till after the proclamation ends, but at least we still get our chance.”

Finally in answering a question from an individual applying for adjustment of status and having advance parole and asking whether they were allowed to travel to the US with their B1 B2 visas while their DV 2020 was under advance parole, the Department’s answer that “Foreign nationals with valid visas are generally authorized to travel to a US port of entry” was clearly wrong as applicants for adjustment of status can only travel outside the US under advance parole and reenter under advance parole – otherwise the adjustment of status application is deniable.

While one cannot be but pleased with the official responses of the Department of State, the Department is urged very strongly to give more attention to its unofficial Twitter responses that are taken very seriously by members of the public.

 

[1] National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland, Department of State, July 16, 2020.

[2] Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations (10014 & 10052) Suspending the Entry of Immigrants and Non-Immigrants Presenting a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak, Department of State, July 16, 2020.

 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 10, 2020 1. How Do I Change Visa Type? 2. I Think My Husband Married Me to Get to the U.S. Because After He Got His Green Card His Actions Toward Me Has Changed. 3. What Kind of Visa Can I be Eligible If My Brother Has a US Green Card?

1. How Do I Change Visa Type?

My friend from Brazil is here on a B1/B2 visa. He wants to do freelance video production. Is it possible to apply for a change of status (COS) to some type of work visa?

Mr. Lee answers,
I cannot think of an appropriate visa for your friend from Brazil to change status to in order to do freelance video production unless he is good enough to qualify for O-1 extraordinary alien status. If not, he may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer to go over his options and what compromises he is willing to make with his goals if he is eligible to obtain some other type of visa status to remain in the country for a longer period of time. 

2. I Think My Husband Married Me to Get to the U.S. Because After He Got His Green Card His Actions Toward Me Has Changed.

My husband has been here for one year and three months. After four months here I caught him on a dating site seeking a relationship. I have also found pictures in his phone of a woman with a baby sent to him back in his country. I have found a Mexican lady in his phone as well. When I asked him about these he would say the woman with the baby is his friend’s wife. However, its several pictures. He also deliberately picks fights with me I think to try to ruin the relationship. He wants to be looked at as a good guy by his friends and family. He has opened his own bank account he used to deposit money into our joint account but now he don’t. I feel like he is planning things behind my back. If I feel like he used me to get here and want a divorce what can I do?

Mr. Lee answers,
If your husband is a conditional resident, you can decide whether to assist him in removing the conditional basis of residence status by signing the I-751 form and cooperating throughout the adjudication process. If he is already a permanent resident (marriage was at least two years old prior to him coming to the US), you have less hold over his actions. At present, you have suspicions, but there is likely nothing that you can do with them vis-a-vis U.S.C.I.S. Even in the event that he eventually initiates divorce proceedings, you would probably not interest the agency into going after his green card since it appears that he has been living with you for the duration of time that he has been in the US. 

3. What Kind of Visa Can I be Eligible If My Brother Has a US Green Card?

My brother(26 years old) won the green card lottery and I – sister (25) want to learn the important steps of the application process as well as I want to know if I can also benefit that opportunity: residential visa, working permit, etc. He lives in Europe and I have been living in the US for the last 3 years with an F-1 visa.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unfortunately there is no benefit to be received from a brother or sister who obtains a green card under US immigration law. You would have to keep maintaining your independent legal status in the US. 

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.

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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. 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on May 29, 2020 1. Effect of Divorce on Green Card? 2. Can I Travel on B1 (Initial Training) While L-1B Blanket Petition is on the Way? 3. Can I Send my Fiance Appeal Application With a Note that Say We Have Kids and I Am Pregnant?

1. Effect of Divorce on Green Card?

I have a 10-year green card obtained through a 4-year marriage with my USC husband. We are now peacefully heading to get a divorce. I obtained my green card Oct of 2018. Will I lose my green card? Can I still naturalize in 5 years?

Mr. Lee answers,
Many people divorce in the United States every year. The fact that you are now heading to the divorce after obtaining your green card in 2018 would not necessarily raise flags with U.S.C.I.S. You would not lose your green card based on that circumstance. You can also still naturalize in five years. At the naturalization interview, you may be asked questions to verify that the marriage was bona fide, but just on the circumstances that you present, there is nothing alarming. 

2. Can I Travel on B1 (Initial Training) While L-1B Blanket Petition is on the Way?

I am having valid B1 Visa till 2027 , My employer has already filed L1B for me and I will be receiving petition in next week, but visa interview date is after 50 days and my employer want me to come early , can I travel on B1 (for initial training) now and later on come back to my home country for visa interview ? Will it increase my chance of rejection during L1B visa interview ? can I give visa interview in 3rd country near to USA because my home country is far away (18 hours flight) from USA , will it increase chance of rejection of L-1B?

Mr. Lee answers,
There is a possibility that you may encounter a problem at the time of interview if the consular officer believes that the employer and you were trying to jump start your date of employment.  There is a risk if your employer takes this path. Interviewing in a third country near the USA increases the chances of rejection as many consular officers believe that the persons best able to handle initial cases are consular officers in the person’s home country. You may be asked to go back to your home country for interview by a third country consulate if you decide to take that path. 

3. Can I Send my Fiance Appeal Application With a Note that Say We Have Kids and I Am Pregnant?

I am a USA permanent resident. The judge denied my fiance case and he made an Oder to remove him to leave USA in 30 days. I am pregnant I have 2 kids.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unfortunately your fiancé will not be able to appeal the judge’s order successfully on the basis that he has U. S. citizen children and that you are now pregnant. If he has other grounds for appeal, he may bring those out before the Board of Immigration Appeals. As you are a green card holder, you and your fiancé may wish for a consultation with an immigration lawyer to explore any other options that you may have. 

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on May 24, 2020 – Not Selected for H-1B Registration, What Should I Do Now?

I am on OPT until 7/20/20, and my employer filed for my H-1B registration, but I just learned that I was not selected. What can I do at this point?

Mr. Lee answers,
I note that because of the present coronavirus situation, the unemployment figures have risen rapidly as employers are furloughing or laying off many staff members. There is a distinct possibility that many H-1B registrants will not be able to go forward with petitions and U.S.C.I.S. may be forced to either conduct another draw or go further down the list of the draw that has already taken place to select more applicants. Other than that possibility, you can check with your school to see whether you are eligible for a STEM extension if you are unsure; continue your F-1 education and try again next year; return to school and request CPT (better at a higher level of education), explore the possibilities of L-1 intracompany transferee visa, E visa if from a treaty country, O-1 visa especially those on the PhD level, or possibly gaining H-1B visa status through working with or working at a cap-exempt organization such as an institute of higher education, nonprofit affiliated with such Institute, a nonprofit research organization, or governmental research organization.