The Immigration Mastermind

Carlos Batara

The Immigration Mastermind is a podcast for immigrants and

their families that shares tips, insights, and tidbits to help guide the quest for permanent residence and citizenship in the United States.

All Episodes

here are a lot of misconceptions about undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Dispelling these false beliefs is important if sensible and comprehensive immigration reform is ever to be achieved. For instance: According to recent studies by the Pew Research Center, the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. has dropped over the past decade. Even though undocumented immigrant workers make up a large share of some occupations, U.S. born workers are the majority in all fields of employment. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigrant Families: Why Citizen Spouses Are The Key To Reform) (How To Understand Visa Preference Categories: Green Cards From Abroad)

Aug 20

3 min 53 sec

Over the course of the past few months, the number of undocumented Brazilians trying to enter the United States has greatly increased.  According to the Border Patrol, the number of Brazilians apprehended at border crossings increased by 18,000 – a 600% increase – in 2020.  Just in the San Diego region, the total has grown by a 1200 percent increase during the first half of 2021.  These figures show an emerging new pattern. In general, Brazil has not been a country where its citizens have emigrated elsewhere in large numbers.  Historically, Brazilians living in the United States without permission entered with valid tourist and student visas. Recommended Links For More Information: (Planning Ahead Prevents Deportation Of Brazilian Immigrant Scholar) (Brazilian Immigrants In The United States)

Aug 17

5 min 37 sec

I often cringe when I hear that immigrants are going to handle their cases on their own, without a lawyer. I’ve seen far too many instances where pro per applicants – that is, immigrants acting as their own attorneys – made simple mistakes that could have and should have been avoided. In some instances, when careless mistakes are made, a do-over is possible.  Other times, the problem is more serious.  It destroys their cases altogether. A recent USCIS announcement, seemingly innocent, rekindled my worries for such “independent” applicants of immigration benefits. The announcement pertained to biometrics appointments – appointments where an immigrant’s fingerprints and photographs are taken when they apply for green cards, citizenship, and other benefits. On the surface, the announcement is not earth-shattering. However, the changes pose a real danger for unsuspecting immigrants.   Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigrants Without Lawyers: Five Common Pro Per Mistakes) (The Impact Of Avoidable Actions: Small Mistakes, Huge Consequences)

Aug 13

4 min 16 sec

Quite often immigrants want to know, “What’s consular processing?” In many cases, the question is followed up with another question.  “What’s the difference between consular processing or adjusting status in the United States?” In a nutshell, the inquiry is focused on where the interview for permanent residence will take place.  In the U.S. or in an immigrant’s country of birth? The most typical situation in which these questions are asked – pertain to a U.S. citizen - who wants to help his or her immigrant spouse win a green card.  The U.S. citizen spouse may have heard about the adjustment process from a neighbor, or friend, or family member who sponsored a loved one for immigration benefits. That person’s husband or wife was allowed to attend their interview inside the United States without leaving the country. The U.S. citizen does not understand why his or her spouse has to leave the U.S. to attend an interview abroad. Recommended Links For More Information: (Consular Processing For Permanent Residence Through Marriage) (How To Understand Visa Preference Categories: Green Cards From Abroad)

Aug 10

4 min 14 sec

In a previous episode, I talked about the (return of prosecutorial discretion) at immigration court. This is the discretion given to an immigration officer to decide whether or not to enforce the law against a person. If the judge declines to pursue removal actions against an immigrant, he or she has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion. It does not mean the immigrant is permanently freed from prosecution. It only puts the case on hold. Usually, this action is taken when the judge has reviewed the immigrant’s file and feels the immigrant has a good chance to win their case outside the court system. Here are 10 key factors the judge is likely to explore. Recommended Links For More Information: (Judicial Battle Over Discretion And Due Process At Immigration Court) Deportation And Removal Defense

Aug 6

4 min 26 sec

Immigration clients often want to know if there are any ways to speed up the green card process for family members. Well, there is a provision known as cross-chargeability, not commonly known, which can sometimes help immigrants move to the finish line a little faster. In general, when an immigrant seeks to immigrate, the visa is "charged" to the country of the immigrant's birth. But there are situations when the visa might be charged to the country of birth of the immigrant applicant’s spouse, who is a family dependent listed on the immigrant's petition. Recommended Links For More Information: (How Cross-Chargeability Rules Can Speed Up Your Green Card Process) (Down The Green Card Rabbit Hole: A Journey To The Back Of The Line)

Aug 3

3 min 42 sec

The immigrant visa system puzzles many immigrant families. Confusion often increases when the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary changes during the permanent residence process. For instance, take the visa processing situation of a daughter, 21 years or older, of a U.S. citizen, whose petition has been filed and is pending. As she waits for her green card interview, she decides to get married. Now, she is placed in a lower category, and her wait is extended, often by several years. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigrant Relative Petitions And Family-Based Visas) (What Family Members And Relatives Can You Sponsor For A Green Card?)

Jul 30

4 min

Far too often, immigrants give up when their U.S. citizen spouse dies before they win a green card. However, in many situations, a widow can still win permanent residency after their husband or wife passes way. To do so, you would need to file a Widow’s Petition (or Widower’s Petitioner) Here are five requirements you need to know. Recommended Links For More Information: (Can I Still Become A Lawful Resident After My Sponsoring Spouse Dies?) (What You Need To Know About Remarriages And Green Cards)

Jul 27

3 min 44 sec

After helping immigrants for over three decades, I’ve been able to notice various traits that separate those who are successful from those who are not. In particular, there are five characteristics which most successful immigrants exemplify. They understand the grass is greener on this side. They miss their families and friends abroad, but they grasp their lives are on the upswing. And they know that wallowing in self-pity is a destructive emotion that undermines success. Recommended Links For More Information: (A Tribute To My Father: An Immigrant Success Story) (For Immigrants, Fighting Hate With Hate Is Not The Answer)

Jul 23

5 min 4 sec

Fear of Chinese immigrants has long existed in this country. Like many other immigrant groups, they survived by helping each other and being creative. Shortly before and after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, many Chinese immigrants survived by moving, of all places, to the American South. While there, a political and social alliance between the freed Black slaves and the Chinese based on a survival instinct was forged. Inter-racial marriages became common, totaling nearly one-third of all Chinese marriages in some parts of the South during this period. Recommended Links For More Information: (No Room For Segregation In The House Of Immigration Reform) (Meet The Mascogos: Early American Slaves Who Sought Refuge In Mexico)

Jul 20

4 min 35 sec

Many immigrant victims of domestic violence and physical abuse feel trapped in their relationships. They fear that if they report their significant other to law enforcement agencies, they will wind up being deported. The worry that without their partner, no matter how badly they are mistreated and harmed, there is no path to permanent residence. They’re wrong. In particular, two paths protect them. The Violence Against Women Act. The U Visa program. The programs have vastly different rules. Yet, they are not exclusive. Recommended Links For More Information: (What Is The Violence Against Women Act?) (How USCIS Changes To U Visa USCIS Policies Will Help Immigrants)

Jul 16

3 min 29 sec

In recent years, the backlog of immigration court cases has increased to over 1 million. This means clients waiting for judges to decide whether they can continue living in the U.S. lawfully or not are often forced to wait 12, 18, 24 months from one hearing to the next. Despite the claims of immigration reform opponents, the problem is not related simply to the influx of migrants and refugees trying to enter the United States. An equal, if not bigger cause, has been government policies that stripped away the ability of immigration judges to exercise discretion regarding how to best handle deportation cases. Recommended Links For More Information: (One Million Backlogged Immigration Court Cases And Growing) (Judicial Battle Over Discretion And Due Process At Immigration Court)

Jul 13

3 min 53 sec

For many years, immigrant advocates have asserted that a grant of Temporary Protected Status is equivalent to an inspection and admission at the border. Not so, said the Supreme Court. Because the equivalence argument failed, TPS beneficiaries lack the eligibility to seek adjustment of their status to permanent residence without leaving the United States. For many immigrants and their advocates, the reaction was as if the sky was falling. They claimed the hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident was now gone forever. But for many TPS immigrants, that’s simply not true.  Recommended Links For More Information: (Supreme Court Rules TPS Grant Is Not A Legal Admission. What's Next?) (TPS Green Card Pathfinder: 8 Ways How To Prevent Deportation)

Jul 6

3 min 55 sec

In a policy shift designed to help immigrant victims of crimes, the Biden Administration has implemented new procedures for U Visas. These changes will speed up the granting of temporary work permits while applicants wait for the full process to be completed . . . . a process which often takes up to 27 years for some immigrants. The U Visa program was created to strengthen the law enforcement community’s ability to prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other violent crimes. Lacking employment authorization, the program has lacked the day-to-day stability to achieve its aims. Critics assert the changes will increase immigration fraud.   Recommended Links For More Information: (How USCIS Changes To U Visa Policies Will Help Immigrants) (Are U Visas No Longer Safe For Immigrant Victims Of Crime?)

Jul 2

3 min 45 sec

There is a lot of noise on the internet from immigration reform advocates who are dissatisfied with the Biden Administration. They assert he has not done enough to meet the needs of immigrants or that he is moving too slow in pushing for reforms. This attitude puzzles me. Having practiced immigration law for over two decades, I’ve learned that progress happens in chunks.  Sometimes slower, sometimes faster. Here’s a sampling of what changes have taken place since Biden became president.  Recommended Links For More Information: (Haiti Temporary Protected Status Extended To November 2022) (Biden In Florida: Extrapolating The Future Of Immigration Reform)

Jun 29

4 min 32 sec

Many Americans believe “Immigrants are coming to steal American jobs.” This position is wrong. Yes, it’s true. The vast majority are coming here to earn a sustainable living. This motivation, however, is not the same as “coming here to steal jobs”. They’re coming here, in large part, due to their homeland’s faltering economic conditions. Rather than starve, they pack up their bags, and head to an uncertain future with the belief their efforts will make a difference in the lives of those they love. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigration LIVE: Ellin Jimmerson On The Impact Of NAFTA) (The Misguided Notion Of Reverse Brain Drain)

Jun 25

4 min 8 sec

Here’s a part of U.S. history you probably have never heard about. The Chinese – Black alliance in the South from the mid-1860s to the early and mid-1880s.  The alliance began shortly after the Civil War ended, freeing slaves in 1865. It ended soon after the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882. It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention. The alliance between freed slaves and Chinese immigrants is one example. Recommended Links For More Information: (The Political Invisibility Of African And Caribbean Immigrants) (No Room For Segregation In The House Of Immigration Reform)

Jun 22

3 min

Growing up, it was socially taboo to discuss race, religion, or politics.  Once I entered college, I realized how counter-productive this prohibition was.  It's not a formula for discussing and resolving our differences on important matters of public policy.   For the good of our nation, we cannot continue to talk past each other.  We need to talk to each other. We need to engage in give and take.  That’s why a recent roundtable discussion about immigration at half-time of a professional basketball game was such a great idea. Recommended Links For More Information: (No Room For Segregation In The House Of Immigration Reform) (The Morality Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform At A Public Crossroads)

May 21

4 min 13 sec

A recent article covered the topic of postings by immigration lawyers on Tik-Tok, a social media sharing platform. Typically, such posts feature an attorney speaking Spanish, dancing to music, or flashing green cards. Some have written captions that say "Get a green card now!" or "Fix your immigration status without leaving". But these are not just social media posts.  These are disguised ads promising something that can’t be delivered. No lawyer can guarantee that you will receive a green card - especially when that lawyer has never talked to you and knows absolutely nothing about your case. Recommended Links For More Information: (The Fallacy Of Quick Immigration Fixes) (Why I Do Not Quote Attorney Fees)

May 18

5 min 53 sec

Former President George W. Bush, a Republican, called for bipartisan immigration reform. Bush’s stance is a strong contrast to the position embraced by Donald Trump and many current Republic Party officials.  Rather than demonizing immigrants, Bush emphasized the need to restore "the people's confidence in an immigration system that serves both our values and our interests." "How is it that in a country more generous to new arrivals than any other," he asked, "immigration policy is the source of so much rancor and ill will?" Recommended Links For More Information: (For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Future Of Immigration Reform) (Lessons From 1965: Why Skills-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise)

Apr 23

4 min 50 sec

What's a Good Samaritan? For immigration advocates, in a world full of negative news stories about immigrants, it's difficult not to become calloused. But there are good news stories - about good people doing good things for immigrants, refugees, and global migrants. Like Lisa Campbell. A grandmother of six who took a leave of absence for 45 days from work. She intended on doing a short service tour to help with the recent influx of refugees in Greece.  She stayed two years, and became the director of a refugee camp north of Athens. Recommended Links For More Information: (The Lisa Campbell Story: The Meaning Of Volunteerism And Compassion) (Global Citizens Making A Difference For Refugees Across The World)

Apr 20

2 min 49 sec

April 1, 1997. The day that IIRAIRA (the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) went into effect. The day we entered the Age of Immigration Darkness. Those of us involved in immigration battles at that time had an inkling what the future held. We knew immigration law was entering unchartered territory. We knew we were in for a long term fight. We have yet to recover. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigration Fools' Day: The Age Of Immigration Darkness Begins) (The Congressional War Against Due Process At Immigration Court)

Apr 16

6 min 23 sec

Preparing applications for hardship waivers are some of the most challenging cases that immigration attorneys are called upon to handle. Yet, surprisingly, many immigrants attempt to present their waiver applications alone. Without a lawyer.  In my view, that’s a bad idea. Taking this chance is a huge gamble. Yet, if you take this route, here are eight insights to help you put your best foot forward.    Recommended Links For More Information: (I-601 Qualifying Relatives: How To Win Family Unity Waivers) (8 Tips For Winning Your I-601 Waiver And Family Unity Hardship Case)

Apr 13

2 min 41 sec

What’s in a word?  A lot, actually. Especially when it comes to immigration terms. Words matter because of the influence – often subtle, often disguised - they have over our minds. Take the term “Anchor Babies”. The term, in actuality, refers to “birthright citizenship”. If you’re born in the United States, you’re a U.S. citizen. Yet, those who use the term “anchor babies” assert that children born to immigrants in the U.S. should NOT be granted citizenship. Recommended Links For More Information: (The Attack On The 14th Amendment And The Myth Of Anchor Babies) (Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth)  

Mar 19

4 min 8 sec

The Special Immigrant Visa programs for translators from Afghanistan and Iraq are under scrutiny.   Although these programs are rarely mentioned in the media, the would-be beneficiaries played a crucial role in helping the United States in the war against terrorism.  The programs suffer from bureacratic inefficiencies. The average processing time is over three years. As interpreters and their families wait for their visas, they live under fear fear and danger. Considered traitors by many of their fellow countrymen, they face retaliation by the Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other militia groups. Recommended Links For More Information: (Will The U.S. Honor Its Permanent Residence Promises To Iraqi And Afghan Interpreters?) (Immigration Policy Based On Fear: The Erosion Of Due Process For Middle Eastern Immigrants)

Mar 16

4 min 3 sec

On March 8, 2021, Venezuelans living in the United States were finally granted Temporary Protected Status. It was long overdue. Following the 2018 election of Nicolas Maduro, a brutal dictator, 5 million Venezuelans fled from their homeland in search of security and stability.   For approximately 320,000 Venezuelans currently in the U.S., the grant of TPS might be the foundation for a new life that they were hoping for. Recommended Links For More Information: ( (Appellate Wars: Does A Grant Of TPS Constitute A Legal Admission?)

Mar 12

3 min 18 sec

The United States citizenship test has changed again. For the second time in four months. The changes reflect our nation’s political confusion towards immigrants and immigration issues.  And perhaps worse, the first set of changes demonstrate how government policies can manipulate and hinder the ability of immigrants to legally win lawful status. Are we a nation that cares whether the public has confidence in country's immigration system? Are we a nation that wants to foster an atmosphere of integration and inclusion towards new Americans?  Recommended Links For More Information: (Why Are Citizenship Cases Taking So Long?) (Citizenship And Naturalization Immigration Attorney)

Mar 9

6 min 3 sec

It was my last day at law school. My educational journey was coming to an end. Before embarking on a new adventure, I had one last piece of business to attend to. I had to thank some unsung heroes, the type of workers without whom America would never survive. Recommended Links For More Information: (A Tribute To My Father: An Immigrant Success Story) (Summer Breaks From Law School)

Feb 26

2 min 36 sec

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  Especially when it comes to immigration law. And programs like the U Visa. Worthy programs that offer a tightly controlled path to permanent residence . . . but are subjected to less-than-honest promotion schemes as a simplistic road to green card heaven.  President Biden has called for an increase of V visas grants per year. Sadly, if this legislation is passed, an increase of misleading advertising will follow shortly afterwards. Recommended Links For More Information: (Are U Visas No Longer Safe For Immigrant Victims Of Crime?) (Bracing For A New Wave Of Immigration Fraud)

Feb 23

4 min 8 sec

Immigration law has many quirky rules.  In some cases, this is because laws and customs in other countries do not match up with laws and customs in the United States.  Take Polygamy.  Based on religious and cultural beliefs, Polygamy is a custom that has been practiced in over 81% of societies across the world.   Yet, immigration law treats Polygamy the same as Bigamy, the U.S. crime of being married to more than one spouse at one time, often based on deception. Recommended Links For More Information: (Polygamy vs Bigamy: A Battle Over Cultural And Religious Imperalism) (Trapped In The Politics Of The 1960s: Immigrant Relative Visas)

Feb 19

4 min 19 sec

immigrant advocates are optimistic about the chances for immigration reform under the Biden Administration. The biggest obstacle to success may be the government's ability to curtail the activity of smugglers - and to win the propaganda war against smuggling rings. Already, migrants from Central America are being fed misleading information about how they will soon be allowed to enter the United States by Border Patrol officials. Such falsehoods carry the seeds of not only hindering serious talk about reform in Congress, but also destroying public acceptance for proposed policies. Recommended Links For More Information: (An Inside Look At The Secrets Of Central American Asylum Smugglers) (Central American Children Refugees: A Failure To Plan Ahead)

Feb 16

4 min 53 sec

In general, obtaining permanent residence through marriage is one of the easier paths to winning a green card. The same cannot be said about winning lawful residency status via a second (or third) marriage. There are two remarriage situations which the government views with extra scrutiny. In the first, the immigrant spouse was granted a green card via her first marriage.  Now she seeks to immigrate a new husband. In the second, the immigrant did not win a green card through the first marriage.  After divorce and remarriage, a new spouse seeks to petition her once again. Both scenarios present complications surpassing the difficulty level of succes in first marriages. Recommended Links For More Information: (What You Need To Know About Remarriages And Green Cards) (What Every Immigrant Needs To Know About Hostile Divorce Cases)

Feb 12

4 min 26 sec

Immigration opponents criticize nearly most, if not all, programs that help immigrants in the United States - no matter the reasons supporting them. Like Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians. When Syrian immigrants were granted an extension of their TPS status for 18 months until September 2022, the boo birds quickly pounced on the announcement. Their arguments, as usual, asserted the extension was an implied form of amnesty. They're wrong. Rather, the extension is based on the U.S. role as the leader of the free world. Recommended Links For More Information: (FOR SAMA: A Documentary About The Syrian Civil War) (Syrian Temporary Protected Status Extended: Reversal Of Trumpism (Next Stop: Asylum?))

Feb 9

5 min 14 sec

The other night, I decided to listen to a few TED Talks. One of my college buddies was speaking. He discussed how our internal voice can lead us to give up too soon and not reach our full potential. Many immigrants need resilience in order to succeed. Here are 7 tips to improve your ability to survive life's hard knocks. Recommended Links For More Information: (Dare To Dream Of Things That Never Were - And Ask "Why Not"?) (Persistence Is Often The Key To Immigration Success)

Feb 5

4 min 32 sec

It was my first trial out of state. It lasted over two weeks. When it ended, I felt our plan had been executed almost flawlessly.   We lost. I had assumed strong logic, coupled with well-organized evidence, would always win the day. Recommended Links For More Information: (Why Thoroughness Should Not Be A Mere Afterthought In Consultations) (Immigrants Who Believe In Miracles Can Make Them Happen)

Feb 2

2 min 27 sec

I handle a lot of immigration appeals.  That means I’m called in after an immigrant loses a case. I’m asked to find a way to get the person a second chance. To say the least, it’s intellectually challenging. It's also taxing on one's soul and spirit, knowing the consequences for devising a winning argument are so grave. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigration Appeals: Don't Give Up!) (Persistence Is Often The Key To Immigration Success)

Jan 29

2 min 40 sec

Our new president is promising the creation of new paths to permanent residence and citizenship. Unfortunately, this means immigrant sympathizers must get ready for warfare against immigration fraud. For each time the mere hint of a new immigration program arises, deceitful con artists spring into action. New immigration offices will start to pop up. Sadly, some of these will be outposts for scam artists.   Recommended Links For More Information: (If You're Looking For Immigration Help, Beware Immigration Fraud) (Bracing For A New Wave Of Immigration Fraud)

Jan 26

2 min 27 sec

On the evening I returned home from law school, my mom held a surprise party for me.   Friends from elementary school, middle school, and high school showed up, along with some college buddies.  I made a solemn promise to my mother that evening. To this day, it’s the key to my immigration practice. Recommended Links For More Information: (The Battle For Immigration Justice: Why Compassion Matters) (Why Do Lawyers Talk Like That?)

Jan 22

3 min 13 sec

In recent years, more and more immigration judges are being appointed who lack any any experience in immigration law. This is one more sign that the immigration legal system is in turmoil. This problem goes back to the passage of IIRAIRA, the Illegal Immigration Reform And Immigration Responsibility Act. An extremely harsh law, the net effect has to been to increase the immigration court system beyond its capacity. Recommended Links For More Information: (One Million Backlogged Immigration Court Cases And Growing) (Judicial Battle Over Discretion And Due Process At Immigration Court)

Jan 19

3 min 17 sec

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. What can you do to help this battle against modern day slavery? Become more self-aware of the problem. Learn how to spot its signs.   And share this information with your friends, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances.  Here are two organizations to help you get started: (The Coalition To Abolish Slavery) and (Hope For Justice). Recommended Links For More Information: (New Centers Of Human Trafficking ) (Human Trafficking Awareness: The First Step In Defeating Human Slavery)

Jan 15

2 min 28 sec

When you prepare your hardship application, you don't want to exaggerate your suffering. But you also do want to understate your case. Create a list of the different factors of hardship in your life. Label them as either a discomfort or a disaster. For those in the discomfort category, is there evidence you're missing? For those in the disaster category, are you sure you have adequate proof? Recommended Links For More Information: (The New I-601 Hardship Waiver Guidelines) (The Power Of Discretion In I-601 Waiver Decisions)

Jan 12

2 min 25 sec

Do your closest family members, friends, and co-workers even know you have an immigration case?  If not, you may be missing out on a ton of good evidence. Individuals who know you well, who can testify about your tight bonds and influence with your wife and children, may make the different between winning your hardship waiver or losing it. Recommended Links For More Information: (8 Tips For Winning Your Hardship Waiver) (I-601 Qualifying Relatives: How To Win Family Unity Waivers)

Jan 8

1 min 34 sec

After war, participants often seek refuge in far-away lands. Some take on new identities, hiding their roles in carrying out war crimes. Many become residents of their adopted countries and lead normal lives in new communities. The United States is not immune to such subterfuge. War criminals from a wide range of countries have slipped through immigration safeguards and acquired U.S. citizenship. Recommended Links For More Information: (Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud) (Denaturalization And Revocation: Losing Your U.S. Citizenship)

Jan 5

2 min 56 sec

U.S. immigration law has many policy potholes. Citizenship rules for adopted immigrant children is one such chasm.  Brought here as youngsters, thousands end up as persons without a country to call home. They grow up believing they are American citizens.  Only to find out, years later, when they're adults, that they lack valid immigration status. They're vulnerable to being deported to a country that does not recognize them as one of their own. Recommended Links For More Information: (International Adoptions: Another Crack In The U.S. Family Unity System) (The Impact Of Avoidable Actions: Small Mistakes, Huge Consequences)

Dec 2020

4 min 29 sec

Before taking a case, I ask questions, sometimes a lot of questions, about the immigrant’s entries to and exits from the United States.   Some prospective clients get antsy, and say, “I just want to know if I qualify for permanent residence. Why do you need to know all that information?” My response? “To do exactly that – To figure out what, if any, paths to legalization exist for you.”   After all, entries and exits are facts that the government always looks at.   Recommended Links For More Information: (Entry, Exit, And Admission Problems: Which Do You Need To Overcome?) (Why Thoroughness Should Not Be A Mere Afterthought In Consultations)

Dec 2020

3 min 57 sec

What’s in your immigration file? If you don’t know, you should not file for permanent residence.   Too many times cases are lost - at the outset – cases that with the proper pre-filing research, stood a good chance of being won. The truth is this. There are immigrants for whom caution is warranted. If you have any immigration history, your records can help you avoid unnecessary risks and tragedy. Recommended Links For More Information: (Immigrants Due Process Rights To A-Files And Discovery Protected By Ninth Circuit) (Too Much Due Process For Immigrants In Deportation Hearings)

Dec 2020

3 min 39 sec

For purposed of an I-601 waiver, your children are not qualifying relatives. But they are critically important to your case. And, of course, talking about your children’s school awards is fun. But what about families where the children don’t have any such certificates? Recommended Links For More Information: (8 Tips For Winning Your Hardship Waiver) (I-601 Qualifying Relatives: How To Win Family Unity Waivers)

Dec 2020

1 min 47 sec

Many experts will tell you community activities of the immigrant are not important to whether a hardship waiver is granted or denied. They’re wrong, flat out wrong. Although such contributions are not direct factors of hardship, they can and do make a difference. In fact, it's one of the best ways to distinguish your application from those of other immigrant families. Recommended Links For More Information: (The New I-601 Hardship Waiver Guidelines) (8 Tips For Winning Your Hardship Waiver)

Dec 2020

1 min 59 sec

Want a really quick tip how to improve your 601 hardship waiver application? The number one issue I hear when people talk about 601 waivers is economic concerns. Courts have said economic concerns, per se, are insufficient to prove hardship. Does this mean such evidence is worthless? Recommended Links For More Information: (The New I-601 Hardship Waiver Guidelines) (The Power Of Discretion In I-601 Waiver Decisions)

Dec 2020

1 min 44 sec

When the public thinks about illegal immigration, their foremost image is someone who entered the U.S. undetected through the mountains.  This view, fueled by the media, is misplaced.  Based on this false impression, many immigration restrictionists call for a border wall.  Yet, a border wall is not the answer for reducing the number of undocumented immigrants living to the United States.   After all, 2/3rds entered lawfully with inspection. Recommended Links For More Information: (Out-Of-Status And Unlawful Presence) (Can A Tourist Visa Overstay Win Permanent Residency?)

Dec 2020

3 min 7 sec