Article: Is Mr. Trump an Unstoppable Freight Train?

As published in the Immigration Daily on February 21, 2020

Barreling along, President Trump today appears to be an unstoppable force on his way to reelection in November. That is the view from here. Despite his moves towards an imperial presidency, cozying up to Russia and largely allowing it free reign throughout the world, inhumane treatment of vulnerable groups here and abroad, and corrupt or highly questionable moves to gain political advantage towards his reelection, he is gaining in popularity while the Democrats are in disarray with candidates destroying each other on debate stages.

Yet it is dispiriting that in this country founded on constitutional principles, honor and decency, Americans will choose to reelect a president without any of the above.

In this administration, all decency appears to be lost in dealing with vulnerable groups with a president who only respects the strong. The treatment of undocumented immigrants including separation of families in the border regions and in the interior, stigmatizing them as criminal rapists, murderers, and drug traffickers when the vast majority are law-abiding, attempting to suppress their representation by adding a citizenship question to the census to intimidate them from being counted, speaking of them in racist and other pejorative terms, dropping refugee admissions to record lows, and making immigrant entries a wealth test through the new public charge law, etc., all points to an innate lack of decency and refusal to make America a shining beacon as compared to the rest of the world.(Although we do not minimize the impact of immigrant crime upon its victims, we note that much higher percentages of crimes are committed by Americans upon Americans as a percentile of the population, and that Mr. Trump is adept at making a mountain out of a statistical mole hill).

Mr. Trump exhibits no honor as seen in his attack on Gold Star family members and decorated veterans who dare to criticize him, his abandonment of this country’s Kurdish allies who paid more than 7000 lives to support US efforts against ISIS and invitation to Turkey to invade their lands, his misappropriation of military funding to build his border wall, and his inveterate lying –staining the office of the presidency with a whopping 16,241 false or misleading claims since taking office as reported by the Washington Post on January 20, 2020.

Constitutional principles such as separation of powers are anathema to this president who believes that Congress is beneath him, that the presidency and the executive branch are higher than the other two branches of the US government, and that all executive branch members have no greater duty than giving their personal loyalty to him.

One would think that with such highly negative factors, Mr. Trump could not stand a good chance of reelection. Yet Democrats are up against numbers like those in the Gallup poll in January 2020 showing that a record high 90% of Americans are satisfied with their personal lives, that American confidence in the US economy is at a 20 year high, and that a record 49% of Americans approve of Mr. Trump’s performance as president.

Immigration is a topic on which all Democratic candidates hew center left or left and generally agree upon – the difficulty is the other policies such as healthcare, taxes, and redistribution of wealth and that no candidate can win an election without the undecided of this country which will not vote for those that they consider too far to the left. Conversely those who support candidates on the far left of these issues may not vote for the candidate who only projects center left (such as many of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters who stayed home rather than vote for Mrs. Clinton in 2016).

Where do the Democrats go from here? With the number of candidates still campaigning against each other, the bloodletting, backbiting and divisiveness will only get worse while Mr. Trump sits on the sidelines without opposition – only having to occasionally snipe at the growing Democratic fiasco on Twitter.

Q&A’s published on and the Epoch Times on February 7, 2020 1. I came back in with my California ID.  How can I now apply for my green card? Do I have to return home? 2. H-1B Extension filed on 1 day before I-94 expiry date. When should I apply for change of status from H1 to H4 to avoid out of status? 3. My husband had a misdemeanor for theft under $50 which has been dismissed. Will that affect his application to become a citizen?

1. I came back in with my California ID.  How can I now apply for my green card? Do I have to return home?

Married to a U.S. citizen, have one child.

Mr. Lee answers:
If you passed an immigration inspection coming back to the United States with your California ID, you would appear to meet a requirement of adjustment of status in the US which is to either be inspected and admitted or paroled. You would have the burden of proof to show that you actually entered through this method. In addition, dependent upon the circumstances, you may have to overcome some obstacles including obtaining a waiver for misrepresentation if there was trickery at the point of inspection or obtaining a waiver of the 3 or 10 year bar if you illegally stayed in the US for 180 days or one year respectively (dependent upon your status) before going outside and coming back into the country.

2. H-1B Extension filed on 1 day before I-94 expiry date. When should I apply for change of status from H1 to H4 to avoid out of status?

I am currently on 7th year H-1B & my I-94 expiry date is 3/12. My employer applied for 8th year extension based on pending I-140 on 3/9. I feel my out of status will start from 3/12 & will not have chance to re-apply for either H-1B extension or change status from H-1 to H-4 if my H-1 extension get denied. Please let me know if I need to file for H-1 to H-4 immediately or wait until H-1B extension result.

Mr. Lee answers:
If your I-94 expiration date was March 12 and your employer applied for your eighth year extension on March 9 and the H-1B petition was properly receipted by the expiration date, the extension petition would be legal as long as the I-140 or labor certification application has been pending 365 days. In point of fact, most immigration practitioners including me would argue that you have a 10 day grace period from the ending of your H-1B status in which the petition extension could be filed. I do not quite understand the concern unless there are other factors in your H-1B extension petition which have not been explained.

3. My husband had a misdemeanor for theft under $50 which has been dismissed. Will that affect his application to become a citizen?

My husband it a permanent resident. We want to send the application to become a citizen to help me get my residency. We have filled out the application but are uncertain on one part. About 2 years ago he was charged with theft under $50 which we worked on and got it dismissed but when he has applied for a job it still appears. We want to know if it will affect his application.

Mr. Lee answers:
With the N-400 application for naturalization, your husband must put down the information concerning his arrest and the disposition. Since the case was dismissed, it should not have an effect on the naturalization application unless your husband admits that he committed the crime.

Article: Coronavirus China Travel Ban Reveals Prejudice Against Parents And Six Nation Ban Hodgepodge Thinking

As published in the Immigration Daily on February 5, 2020

The White House proclamation of January 31, 2020, on the suspension of persons entering the US from China emphasizes the Administration’s view that parents of US citizens and permanent residents are not worthy of entry to this country. The “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry As Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus” excludes persons attempting to enter the US with certain exceptions including spouses and children of US citizens and permanent residents, but bars parents except where they have a US citizen or LPR child who is unmarried and under the age of 21.

One may ask why parents are largely excluded when the Immigration and Nationality Act classifies parents of US citizens over the age of 21 “immediate relatives,” the most favored category in the immigration scheme. Immediate relatives always have visa availability, do not have to wait in any backlogs, and those who violate their legal periods of stay in the US are still allowed to adjust status to permanent residence in this country. In addition, many grounds of removal are waivable for immediate relatives.

The privileged position of immediate relative parents, however, is a thorn in the side to the Administration, which strongly promoted and endorsed the 2017 Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act which would have eliminated the parent category if passed. Mr. Trump himself came under subsequent criticism as his derogatory “chain migration” phrase was discovered to have been the vehicle for the immigration of his parents-in-law. Currently parents are largely the targets of the Administration’s collateral attacks on their privileged status –the new public charge rule due to be implemented on February 24, 2020, and the enjoined presidential proclamation requiring immigrants to show the ability to obtain health insurance within 30 days of entry to the US.

Barring the parents of adult US citizens and permanent residents makes little sense, especially in light of the rigid screening and quarantine process in place for persons from China who enter the country. Even if the current precautions fail to detect the coronavirus, this group of immediate relatives generally stays at home and is not as active as others, thus further reducing the chances of transmission.

Concerning the new six-nation terrorism ban against Eritrea, Kyrgystan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania announced on the same day,“Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry,”this appears to be a mess of illogical thinking not furthering any strategic goal other than keeping out mostly persons of color who wish to immigrate. The measure makes no sense if the goal is to keep out people who may have terroristic tendencies as there is no ban on nonimmigrant entries. So persons from these six countries could still come to the US under visitors visas or more permanent nonimmigrant visas allowing them years to remain in this country cooking up plots if they were so inclined. In looking at the ban, four countries, Eritrea, Kyrgystan, Myanmar and Nigeria are entirely banned from sending immigrants to this country except for special immigrants who have provided assistance to the US government, and visa lottery immigrant (DV) entrants are barred from Sudan and Tanzania. The logic behind this ban is entirely elusive. The announced purpose of the travel bans is to punish countries that are unwilling or unable to improve their information sharing to assist the United States in assessing national security and public safety threats. Yet the halfway measures show that national security is not the true purpose of the ban.

The president of course has shown the ability to have his travel bans enforced in cases that have gone as high as the Supreme Court. Yet one might wish for logic rather than just bias and/or playing to Mr. Trump’s base in an election year.

Q&A’s published on and the Epoch Times on January 31, 2020 1. Selective Services 2. What’s the Definition of Good Moral Character on Citizenship Application? 3. How can I calculate a household size when I used to be a K-1 visa holder?

1. Selective Services

My brother was born in 1961 and he never registered for selective services. He didn’t know he was required to because he quit high school in the ninth grade. What are the consequences he may face today and how does he take care of this?  He is afraid the government will put him in jail.

Mr. Lee answers:
Generally I believe that there are no outstanding consequences for people who never registered for selective service, especially if done unwittingly. We have many applicants for naturalization who never registered – some who did not know of the need to register and others who did but failed to do so. The period of good moral character is five years, and the time to register expires at the age of 26. Therefore any person who is 31 will generally be naturalized as having had good moral character for five years if he or she has not had an incident involving bad moral character within the five years.

2. What’s the Definition of Good Moral Character on Citizenship Application?

My husband is a good citizen who had to falsely claim US citizenship on employment applications to put money on the table for him and his three younger brothers when they overstayed their visas. They all entered here legally. Will he be disqualified from ever becoming a US citizen?

Mr. Lee answers:
Good moral character, unfortunately, has little to do with your husband’s situation. Misrepresenting oneself as a US citizen on the I-9 employment verification eligibility form has consequences if U.S.C.I.S. finds out about the misrepresentation. If done before September 30, 1996, a willful misrepresentation can be waived upon the showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent. On or after September 30, 1996, a willful misrepresentation is generally not waivable and is a ground for removal.

3. How can I calculate a household size when I used to be a K-1 visa holder?

I am the immigrant, married to a U.S. citizen. We live together, the both of us. In form I-864, it says not to count anyone twice. So the first person is, of course, the main immigrant which is me. After that, the sponsor (my husband). But there’s this ‘If you’re currently married, count 1 for your spouse’. He is married to me, but he shouldn’t count me twice right? In this case, since there’s nobody else in the house, no children, no dependent people, and we are not filling form I-864A, it would be a total of 2, right? In brief… – Immigrant: 1 – Sponsor: 1 Total household size: 2.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Your calculation of two is the proper number in calculating the affidavit of support for you. You cannot be counted twice, and so your husband should ignore the line “if you are currently married, count 1 for your spouse.” Otherwise the number in your total household is incorrect.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on January 26, 2020 1. How Can I Get My OPT Expedited? 2. F-1 Visa Overstay for Three years. How Can I Fix My Status? 3. Domestic Violence Situation and I Am Applying for the Green Card. Will I Have A Problem at the Interview? 4. Getting Married to a Foreigner Who Is Here On a Visa Waiver.

1. How Can I Get My OPT Expedited?

I just graduated and applied for my OPT in November, but my job is starting on January 15, and I need my OPT card by that time to begin work. If I do not have it, I am sure that the company will give me a little time, and I could even work there voluntarily, but I do not think that they will keep the offer if I do not get the OPT soon after that date. What can I do to expedite the OPT?

Mr. Lee answers:
Under the circumstances that you described, it may be difficult to obtain an expedite. Current U.S.C.I.S. standards for an expedite are severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner or applicant’s failure to file the benefit request or the expedite request in a reasonable timeframe or to respond to any request for additional evidence in a reasonably timely manner; urgent humanitarian reasons; compelling US government interests; or clear U.S.C.I.S. error. U.S.C.I.S. states that if the expedite request relates to the need to obtain employment authorization, that will not be sufficient to warrant an expedite without any evidence of other compelling factors.

2. F-1 Visa Overstay for Three years. How Can I Fix My Status?

I came to the US in 2015 under F-1 visa, studied for one year, but dropped out because of bad grades. I want to be legal in this country, but do not know how I can go about it.

Mr. Lee answers:
U.S.C.I.S. will not “fix” your status to allow you a new F-1 status, or to extend or change your status because of your violation. If you become the immediate relative of a US citizen (spouse or parent of a child aged 21), U.S.C.I.S. will overlook the status violation to allow adjustment of status in most cases. Because you were a student, you are considered exempt from the three and 10 year time bars occasioned by unlawful stay of individuals for 180 days or one year or more respectively unless you received a denial from U.S.C.I.S. or negative decision by an immigration judge. Therefore it is possible that if you were to be sponsored for a nonimmigrant work visa or immigrant visa, you could leave the US, interview at the US consulate or embassy, and return to the US with the nonimmigrant or immigrant visa.

3. Domestic Violence Situation and I Am Applying for the Green Card. Will I Have A Problem at the Interview?

I am a J-1 exchange visitor from Taiwan who is not subject to the two-year home residence requirement. I married a US citizen, and she is sponsoring me for the green card. However, she is hotheaded and we have arguments. During one of the arguments outside, she hit me and I slapped her back, and one of the neighbors called the police, which arrested me for domestic violence. My wife did not press charges and is very sorry that this happened. I pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct only and got one year probation and a $500 fine. Will this cause me a big problem at the marriage interview? We have a good marriage and my wife is pregnant.

Mr. Lee answers:
It is possible that you may encounter a problem with the immigration interview if the immigration officer closely looks at the circumstances of your domestic violence arrest, but you should be okay on this score at the end anyway since you only pleaded to a disorderly conduct. The immigration laws are very strict where domestic violence is concerned, but requires a conviction involving domestic violence to permanently exclude someone. It would be a long stretch for U.S.C.I.S. to conclude that the disorderly conduct plea is the equivalent of a domestic violence conviction.

4. Getting Married to a Foreigner Who Is Here On a Visa Waiver.

I am a US citizen by birth and met my boyfriend in Singapore. We have corresponded extensively and visited each other in the US and Singapore. He is here on a 90 day visa waiver and we just decided that we want to get married. We’ve been living together for the past two months since he came and he has to go back in 30 days. Is it possible for him to obtain his green card when I sponsor him while he is here or should he go back to Singapore and wait there while I sponsor him?

Mr. Lee answers:
It may be possible for you to marry your boyfriend and for him to adjust status in the US without leaving, but there are risks. The first is that there is a presumption of misrepresenting the purpose of the visit when an individual shifts purpose within 90 days of entry, e.g. representing that he was only here to visit and then marrying and putting in adjustment of status papers within the 90 day period of his authorized stay. (I note that there is an argument that this provision does not apply to those marrying US citizens and that the 90 day rule only raises a presumption that can be rebutted). Marrying after 90 days and putting in papers after your boyfriend’s status expires runs the risk that an unkind immigration official may refer him to ICE for an order of expedited removal since a condition of entering the US under the visa waiver program is to give up the right to a removal hearing before an immigration court. (I note that the situation has greatly improved since USCIS came up with a 2013 guidance memo that unless there are extenuating circumstances, USCIS officers should adjudicate adjustment of status applications prior to referring cases to ICE). If you decide that you do not want to take either of these risks, you can either file a K-1 fiancé visa petition for him or marry him and file an I-130 petition for alien relative. The fiancé petition route is generally faster by a few months than the I-130 route which generally takes a little less than a year, but requires more steps after he arrives in the US. Both of these entail your boyfriend or husband leaving the US and interviewing overseas for the K-1 visa or immigrant visa.

Article: Watch Out For The Public Charge Rule!

As published in the Immigration Daily on January 22, 2020

At this time, favorable court decisions staying implementation of the public charge regulation finalized in August 2019 with implementation date of October 15, 2019, have been whittled from three circuits to one and the Trump administration recently filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020, to the remaining injunctions of the US Southern District Court of New York. This may very well be the last prelude before the rule becomes law affecting an estimated 382,000 intending immigrants and intimidating countless others and their US dependents from applying for benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.

The public charge rule expands disallowed benefits to include food stamps (SNAP), section 8 housing vouchers, section 8 project-based rental assistance, public housing under section 9 of the US Housing Act of 1937, and Medicaid with certain exceptions.  The public charge determination will be made on a judgment of the totality of circumstances rather than through just consideration of the ability of the immigrant to have support meeting the poverty guideline levels with such factors as age, health, family status, education and skills, assets, resources, and financial status along with whether the person is proficient in English or other languages in addition to English taken into consideration. I-864 affidavits of support in family-based cases will be scrutinized for the strength of the relationship including whether the sponsor lives with the alien, and whether the sponsor has submitted affidavits of support for other individuals.  And heavily weighted positive factors are whether the alien’s household has income, assets, or resources, and support of at least 250% of the federal poverty guidelines for the household size, or the alien is legally employed with an annual income of at least 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, or he or she has private health insurance without the subsidies of the Affordable Care Act. (It should be noted that under the just published 2020 poverty guidelines, Federal Register, volume 85, number 12, pp. 3060-3061, 1/17/20, 250% of the poverty guidelines in the 48 contiguous states and DC for a family of three would be $54,375 and for four $65,500 qualifying the regulation as an attack on the poor).

Nationwide stays by district courts in the Fourth and Ninth circuits were overturned by recent Court of Appeals rulings in Casa de Maryland, Inc. v. Trump, No. 19-2222 (4th Cir. December 9, 2019) and City & County of San Francisco v. USCIS, 944 F.3d 773 (9th Cir. 2019), but the ones issued by the Southern District Court of New York were upheld by the Second Circuit on January 8, 2020, in State of New York, et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 19-359, and Make the Road New York, et al., v. Ken Cuccinelli, et al., No. 19-3595.

Against this backdrop, the Administration moved the Supreme Court to dissolve the stays pending disposition of a petition for writ of certiorari arguing that it should be allowed to move forward with the rule since there is a reasonable probability that four justices would consider the issue sufficiently meritorious to grant certiorari, there is a fair prospect that a majority of the court will conclude that the decision below was erroneous, and a likelihood that irreparable harm would result from denial of the stay. The government especially pointed to the Ninth Circuit decision language that “DHS has shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits, that it will suffer irreparable harm, and that the balance of the equities and public interest favor a stay” (of the district court’s order). The government also heavily groused over the fact its policies could be held hostage on a nationwide basis by the ruling of a single district court although the Republican party had no such doubts when the shoe was on the other foot and a single district court judge in Brownsville, Texas, effectively bottled up the past administration’s program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) in 2015. (See Texas v. US, No. 1:14 CV-00254 (SD Tex. April 7, 2015)).

The government’s application at the Supreme Court is now with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who will first review the application. She can rule on the request alone or as some think most likely, refer it to the full court. But even if Justice Ginsburg rules against the government, the regulation could still be implemented after the Second Circuit decides on the merits of the suits. That court set an expedited briefing schedule on the merits with the last brief due on February 14 and oral argument to be scheduled promptly thereafter.

A comment must be made on the Administration’s application argument that irreparable harm will ensue unless the preliminary injunctions are lifted since they force DHS to grant status to those not legally entitled to it and DHS has no practical means of revisiting public charge determinations once made. One wonders why this is irreparable harm given the almost weekly changes of established policy by this administration, essentially turning previously welcome individuals into pariahs without any changes in their circumstances. In other words, what is the real harm of allowing the status quo to continue pending a final decision on the merits as we are not contemplating the admission of criminals or security threats?

Addenda – Since the writing of this article on January 22, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled for the Trump administration 5-4 on January 27, 2020, lifting the stays of the District Court of New York. The next actions in court will be the Fourth, Ninth, and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals deciding on the actual merits of the public charge rule. Rulings could take two months or more. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with implementing the rule and will apply it to applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after February 24, 2020.


As published in the Immigration Daily on January 2, 2020

There has been recent action with these two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing immigrant visa backlogs, which will hopefully continue with rapid pace when Congress again begins its work.

S 2603, the Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Extended Families (RELIEF) Act, which is widely regarded as the best hope for equitable expansion and distribution of immigrant visa numbers, has gained a House companion bill, HR 5327, introduced by Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) on December 5, 2019. The RELIEF Act would eliminate green card backlogs within five years, among other favorable provisions.

There is even more action in the flawed Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, HR 1044/S386, as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reached a compromise on December 18 with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), S386’s sponsor, under which he would drop his opposition to S386 in return for the ability of employment based applicants to file for early adjustment of status under the EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 categories if the visa petition has been approved or pending for more than 270 days, regardless of whether the priority date is available. (Such information is contained in a draft of the amended bill which is being circulated around Washington). The adjustment of status application could not be approved until an immigrant visa becomes available. The early filing comes with the ability to gain employment authorization for three years at a time, to change employers, and travel freely as well as protection for children who age-out after the adjustment of status application is filed. Sen. Durbin is a pivotal figure as it was his earlier opposition to S 386 that stopped the bill from being passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and he is the sponsor along with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) of S 2603.

HR 1044/S386 comes with a small price to the Indian community as the draft bill would prohibit employers with 50 or more employees from having over 50% on H-1B or L-1 visa statuses. All subsidiaries or group related companies that are part of one group would to be treated as a single employer as long as they are filing taxes under one entity as per §414 of the IRC. (Indian companies have dominated the H-1B market in past years garnering approximately 75% of all H-1B visas in 2016 and 2017).

Although the draft compromise makes the legislation better, it does not solve the huge problem of immigrant visa backlogs, which are more readily tackled by the RELIEF Act. It should be emphasized that the draft compromise like the original bill does not add any immigrant visa numbers. It merely reshuffles the numbers to natives of India to the detriment of the rest of the world, including China. (See our article, “Amended HR 1044 in S386 Happening Now Amid a Flood of Concerns”, The Immigration Daily, September 23, 2019). To those who would say that HR 1044/S386 benefits China-born also, one only has to point out that the China backlog under both EB-2 and EB-3 categories is less than 50,000 while the Indian backlog is over 600,000. India and China are not in the same boat, but the one piece of legislation that would make an equitable sharing of immigrant visas for everyone is the RELIEF Act.

Yet the political realities of the situation must be considered. Discussing his compromise with Sen. Lee on the Senate floor, Sen. Durbin pointed out that although he favored his own bill, it would not pass in the Senate at this time; that the President did not agree, and that most Republicans in the House and Senate also did not agree. It may well turn out that this compromise is the only game in town for a long time.

The question is then whether the immigrant community at large should continue to oppose HR 1044/S 386 in favor of the status quo or support it despite its inequitable sharing of immigrant visas and H-1B strictures – (in effect turning H-1B’s into a recruitment based program in which employers test the American job market using a searchable Internet website for posting positions administered by the Department of Labor, pay a fee for applying for a labor condition application (LCA), and prevailing wage challenges are placed directly under the jurisdiction of DHS).

It’s a closer call.

Q&A’s published on and the Epoch Times on December 27, 2019 1. Renewing My Green Card That Has Been Expired for 2 Years. 2. What Does It Mean When My Immigration Application or Petition Is On Hold? 3. How Can I Fix My Boyfriend Papers?

1. Renewing My Green Card That Has Been Expired for 2 Years.

My green card expired about 2 years ago. I no longer have valid driver license because it expired.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Unless you have outstanding reason for not applying for renewal of your green card, e.g. committing a serious crime, you can do so even at this time by filing form I-90 application to replace permanent resident card with filing fee of $540 and submission to the U.S.C.I.S. lockbox in Arizona at U.S.C.I.S., PO Box 21262, Phoenix, AZ 85036.

2. What Does It Mean When My Immigration Application or Petition Is On Hold?

Mr. Lee Answers:
An immigration application or petition which is on hold usually means that U.S.C.I.S. is looking at something which may be of concern, and wishes a resolution of the question before further processing the case.

3. How Can I Fix My Boyfriend Papers?

I’m 17 I’m about to be 18. We going to get married I’m planning on fixing his papers.  He’s 19 he has social security number and he was on the dream act.

Mr. Lee answers:
At the age of 18, you would be free to marry without parental consent in any state. Your boyfriend’s having a social security number and having been a Dreamer does not necessarily mean that he can adjust status in the US through your sponsorship. That would depend upon whether he entered the country by being inspected and admitted or paroled at the point of entry. If not, he would have to go through consular processing which at the very least consists of your filing an I-130 relative petition for him, having it approved, and him initiating consular processing to interview for an immigrant visa in his home country.  DACA prevents the accrual of unlawful presence, but persons whose DACA statuses expired begin to accrue it after reaching the age of 18. The consequence is that 180 days of unlawful presence bars an alien for three years and one year of unlawful presence bars him/her for 10 years if he/she has to leave the country. If your boyfriend has already accrued those periods of unlawful presence, you might still be able to fix his papers, but would likely have to go through much more effort and risk in that he would have to go through the I-601A program to immigrate. That involves your filing an I-130 relative petition for him, having that approved, and him filing for an I-601A application for waiver of the 3/10 year bar for being in the country illegally for either of those time periods past the age of 18. The waiver is based upon showing that you would suffer extreme hardship if he had to return home and could not come back. He would wait for the result here and if approved would set up a consular interview in his own country for an immigrant visa. Assuming that he has no other immigration problems, the interview would most likely be normal and he likely would return to the US within 1-2 months.

Q&A’s published on and the Epoch Times on December 20, 2019 1. Can Immigration Officers Take an Adult Away With a Minor Being Present in a Vehicle? 2. U Non-immigration Status on An Incident That Happened 2 Years Back? 3. How Can I Apply Foreign Country’s Police Clearance?

1. Can Immigration Officers Take an Adult Away With a Minor Being Present in a Vehicle?

Mr. Lee Answers:
Immigration officers can take an adult away even with the minor being present in a vehicle, but should provide for the child to be taken care of instead of just leaving the minor alone. On the one hand, this is not the type of situation that any immigration officer would like to encounter, but by the same token, DHS’s viewpoint may be that having a child in a car should not be a shield against an immigration stop.

2. U Non-immigration Status on An Incident That Happened 2 Years Back?

I and my friend were coming out form a Wal-Mart when I was in Tampa, FL 2 years back and one our way back we were held up by a guy with a gun who asked from us anything we had if we wanted to live. My friend had a cigarette pack on him which he handed over and I a few dollars. This happened 2 years back but we didn’t file a report because we were shocked and didn’t want to get involved in a lengthy police case. Is it still possible for us to file a report and would we be eligible for U nonimmigrant visa?

Mr. Lee Answers:
I do not believe that you will find that this is a viable case for a U visa since the incident was not reported to the police two years ago and they would likely not be interested in looking into such a small case in which the perpetrators would likely not be caught.

3. How Can I Apply Foreign Country’s Police Clearance?

 I need to apply for Lebanon police clearance for my wife who’s in the Philippines. She worked in Lebanon 2010-2012. How can I apply for such form?

Mr. Lee Answers:
Instructions for how to apply for a Lebanon police clearance (judiciary police record) for your wife in the Philippines is contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual. The excerpt is below:


For those residing outside Lebanon, the request must be processed through Lebanese embassies/consulates, but applicants may experience extremely long waiting periods before they receive the document, or may not receive them at all. The “Judiciary Police Record” may also be requested through a lawyer having a power of attorney from the individual authorizing the request. The “Judiciary Police Record” presented by an individual does not mean that the individual is clear. It just states that “this person does not have any court sentence against him”.

Q&A’s published on and the Epoch Times on December 13, 2019 1. My wife Has a Permanent Resident Card But She got Detained in Crossing Back to the United States. 2. Someone Makes More Than $30,000 a Year and The Household Size Is 2.  Is This Person Above the 125% of The Poverty Guideline? 3. During Claiming Asylum Process I Can’t Get My Uni Papers in Saudi Arabia.  It Requires My Father’s Agreement.  Will USA Be Able to Get Me the Papers I Need?

1. My wife Has a Permanent Resident Card But She got Detained in Crossing Back to the United States.

She Went to Mexico For a Dentist Checkup. I spoke to the U.S. custom supervisor he said that before she was given the residency card, she entered the United States illegally. My question is will she be detained and if so for how many days.

Mr. Lee Answers:
This may turn out to be a difficult situation in two instances – how she adjusted status to permanent residence in the US since the illegal entry would in most cases prevent an individual from adjusting status, and in the second case if this was a second illegal entry. In that case, DHS may see the green card as invalid as having been given in error. As your wife has a prima facie permanent residence card, the chances are that she will ultimately be released and given a date to appear before an immigration court.

2. Someone Makes More Than $30,000 a Year and The Household Size Is 2.  Is This Person Above the 125% of The Poverty Guideline?

I thought I calculated this correctly but I got a RFE saying that this person doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be a sponsor. Maybe the I-864 had other mistakes that triggered the RFE but I have no idea and I can’t get a lawyer either, I just want to know if this calculation is correct or not.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Where the household size is two, a person making more than $30,000 a year is well above 125% of the poverty guidelines. Those state that for a family of two, the amount to make for most states is $21,137; for those in Alaska, $26,412; and for those residing in Hawaii $24,325.

3. During Claiming Asylum Process I Can’t Get My Uni Papers in Saudi Arabia.  It Requires My Father’s Agreement.  Will USA Be Able to Get Me the Papers I Need?

I’m a 21 year old Saudi girl who lives in Saudi Arabia. I’m abused really bad by my parents (dad and step mom) and I get hit a Lot And now they’re selling me to a guy I don’t know, which is called “Arranged marriage” so technically I’m gonna get rape. My husband is taking me to the USA for honeymoon so I’ll run and claim asylum there.

Mr. Lee Answers:
I gather that when you are talking about Uni papers in Saudi Arabia that refers to your university papers. The USA would not be able to obtain those papers for you – neither would it feel obligated to do so since the burden of proof is upon you to prove your case for asylum. That being said, while US immigration law on asylum does require corroborative evidence, that is only so where it is able to be obtained. If the Uni papers are central to your case and you have a good explanation as to why you cannot obtain them, it would be up to an asylum officer and perhaps an immigration judge to determine your credibility and the availability of the documents.