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3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (213)383-3222
Fax: (213)365-9922
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1/4/2021 Issue
Statue of Liberty on Island in New York with flag of the United States of America
      The TRAVEL BAN on issuance of most immigrant visas and most temporary working visas, which was imposed by President Trump during 2020, was supposed to expire on 12/31/2020. However, on that day, President Trump issued a new EXECUTIVE ORDER extending the same TRAVEL BAN for three (3) months, up to 3/31/2021.
           This means no consular interviews and no visas issued to most categories of immigrants or skilled workers for another three months.
           It remains to be seen what will Mr. BIDEN do when he becomes president on 1/20/2021: will he issue his own EXECUTIVE ORDER to cancel President Trump’s order, or will he simply let it run its course to expiration on 3/31/2021?
           When the CARES Act was passed in March 2020, it provided for DIRECT PAYMENTS to U.S. taxpayers. Those were checks the American government mailed to every U.S. family that had filed a 2019 income tax return: $1,200 to a single taxpayer, $2,400 for married couples and $500 for each child. Nice amounts which helped millions of Americans live through the bad economic times of last summer.
           But there was one big INJUSTICE: if it was a MIXED family, where one was a U.S. citizen and one was an illegal alien – that family did not get anything. Punishment? Yes. For who? For the U.S. citizen spouse for choosing to marry an illegal alien? For the U.S. citizen children for having an “illegal” parent? This was what it was then, before the elections.
           Now Congress passed another STIMULUS BILL and President Trump finally signed it. This time, Congress corrected the previous INJUSTICE: MIXED families will get the same checks like non-mixed families: $600 for each of the couple and $600 for every child. And, MIXED families that were denied the first time around will get retroactive payments. This is what it is after the elections.
           As they say: ELECTIONS HAVE RESULTS.

           USCIS announced that they plan to cancel two parole programs: The HAITIAN Family Reunification Parole and the FILIPINO World War II Veterans Parole. Under these programs, certain aliens with approved family petitions are paroled into the U.S. and permitted to stay and work until they are able to file for Adjustment of Status and get their Green Cards.
           With all the required steps (publication, public comment, final notice) it would probably take 3 – 6 months before these cancellations become effective. Those who already received such parole will be eligible for extensions. Pending applications will be processed to completion.
           Due to the passage of time from the end of World War II, already 75 years ago, it does not seem that a great number of Filipinos could be affected by cancellation of this program.

           U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (U.S.ICE) published numerical results of its efforts in 2020:
185,884 aliens have been removed (deported).
           Of those removed, 118,949 had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
           There is no doubt that some of the removed criminals were dangerous people, like robbers, rapists, drug dealers, etc. (U.S. ICE claims that 4,276 were known or suspected gang members). But how many of them were convicted for minor offenses such as driving without licenses, etc.?
           How many MIXED families were disrupted by ICE productivity?        

           For about a year, since 2019, U.S. CIS adopted a policy of NO BLANK SPACE, meaning: if any response field on a FORM is left BLANK (unfilled), the form in its entirety is rejected. For example: if the FORM asks for an ADDRESS and provides spaces for Street, City, State or Province, Country, Postal Code – but the applicant’s country has no “State or Province” and the applicant leaves this space BLANK, U.S.CIS will reject the Form.
           Finally, somebody filed a lawsuit against U.S.CIS challenging the “NO BLANK SPACE” policy, and U.S.CIS agreed not to reject FORMS with BLANK SPACES as of December 28, 2020.
           Still, our advice is TRY NOT TO LEAVE ANY BLANK SPACES. Whenever possible, fill in an answer. If an answer is not called for, just put in N/A.

           Our office has been serving clients with immigration issues since 1964, more than half a century. We have seen many changes, many ups and downs, many periods of tough going and periods of happy liberalizations.
           Our conclusion: NEVER LOSE HOPE. Better days are here again – in 2021.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222