Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

310-496-4292

US Immigration 2018 Bring It On!

by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram on December 31, 2017

Happy New Year for 2018!!!!!

Happy New Year for 2018!!!!! – Yes We Can!!!

By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ
Attorney at Law 

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In this article, I’d like to give our readers an overview of the opportunities and challenges in navigating the US Immigration Maze for 2018.

Immigration Today

As a dedicated US Immigration law firm, we have been fortunate because even though we have seen many nuanced changes and challenges to how US Immigration applications are now being adjudicated, we have been able to adapt and overcome almost everything that has been thrown our way.

 

Bring It On - In 2017 We won an incredible amount of cases despite the being in the most hostile immigration environment in a generation. We had to raise our game as did our clients and together we came out on top. So, bring it on for 2018.

Bring It On – In 2017 we won an incredible amount of cases despite being in the most hostile immigration environment in a generation. We had to raise our game as did our clients and together we came out on top. So, bring it on for 2018!

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I say almost, because the one issue that is yet to be resolved in definitive terms is Donald Trump’s numerous ‘Travel Ban’ attempts. There are so many Federal Court rulings and partial Supreme Court decisions, it’s far from clear as to what the applicable law is. We are currently awaiting revised guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security as to what current policies are as to who is actually affected by the Travel Bans, what exceptions there might be, and what the proper protocol for application should be.

Despite there definitely being a more hostile immigration adjudication environment, I’m delighted to say that in 2017, we have been as successful in getting our cases approved as we’ve always been. However, the road to maintaining that success is much harder on us and our clients than it’s ever been. Nevertheless, we had many an emotional moment when client after client was approved and their joy is our joy; it never gets old, if anything we appreciate every victory all the more.


Good Case vs. Weak Case?

Even though we are still winning the overwhelming majority of our cases, it’s become impossible to predict which cases will sail through and which cases will likely hit stiff head winds. Some cases where we expect to get resistance often sail through to approval and some where we think the client’s case is a breeze, because of the client’s overwhelming accomplishments and country of origin, can run into incredible and unexpected difficulties.

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Its About Being Professional - Every day we work hard to get better and do better for our clients. That's our goal every day. We'll never be satisfied that we've arrived, instead each day we have to be humble enough to see our flaws and work hard to do even better. our clients deserve nothing less.

Its about being professional. Every day we work hard to get better and do better for our clients. That’s our goal every day. We’ll never be satisfied that we’ve arrived. Instead, each day we have to be humble enough to see our flaws and work hard to do even better the next day. Our clients deserve nothing less.

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So, we cannot favor any case as being easier or harder, we just have to do our very best, every day, to prepare the case as best we know how at the time. More frequently than ever we get sight of a new evidentiary twist in an adjudication, and then we have to change the way we present the evidence to make our arguments. We adapt and overcome.


Why are Cases Taking Longer to Prepare?

The primary reason for cases taking longer, requiring more evidence and becoming harder to win, is largely due to USCIS Immigration constantly shifting their adjudication requirements. So, for example, we’ll file a bunch of cases with USCIS and then some of them will get a Request for Evidence based on some new twist, some new evidence requirement that hitherto was not required.

 

Working as A Team - It's one for all and all for one here. We'll work collectively to make sure that all ideas are considered in how to make each case better.

Working as a team. It’s one for all and all for one here. We’ll work collectively to make sure that all ideas are considered on how to make each case better.

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We not only have to fix this matter for the client immediately affected, but before we can file any more cases, we might have to re-work the evidence in some way so that these new cases meet whatever new evidential requirement USCIS is currently promoting. So, apologies to our clients who have found themselves having to re-work letters, references or provide other additional evidence.

 

What is Extreme Vetting?

Donald Trump has said that we need to put immigration applicants through “Extreme Vetting”, but he has never defined precisely what that means. However, one new policy change that was implemented in October 2017 is a requirement that every approved Green Card applicant must be interviewed in person before their Green Card can be issued.

 

The Key to Success is Communication - In 2018 we'll be launching our new communications software to better keep our clients undated and informed about their cases.

The key to success is communication. In 2018 we’ll be launching our new communications software to better keep our clients updated and informed about their cases.

 

In practice, what this has meant is that even if you get your underlying visa application approved and then you apply for your actual Green Card, before that Green Card is actually issued, it might be delayed as they put the application into what is now called “Administrative Processing”. Although so far this has only meant an additional delay before the cases are still ultimately approved, it does stress out the client further if they had already been approved and the remainder of the process was just a mere formality. Now we’re not sure.

 

Again – Is There Racism in US Immigration?

I’m always asked this question – is there racism in US Immigration? My answer is always the same, I can’t prove it and, secondly, it’s not my concern. Let me explain it this way, we win cases every day and our clients are from all over the world. So, no matter what the ethnicity of our client, we still win our cases. Some of our cases run into difficulties regardless of race, and again these clients are from all over the world. There is no discernible rhyme or reason for cases that run into difficulties.

 

Creating a Winning Quality Product - Representing our clients professional is very important, winning is everything and to do that we have to make sure that we deliver a quality product to USCIS and make them an offer they cannot refuse.

Creating a winning quality product. Representing our clients professionally is very important, and winning is everything. To do that we have to make sure that we deliver a quality product to USCIS and make them an offer they cannot refuse.

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What my team and I focus on and only focus on, is what is the very specific issue(s) this particular officer is bothered about in the case and what will it take for us fix it and win it?  So, the best attitude and course to take is to focus on developing the very best cases possible and win it.


Are There Good and Bad US Immigration Officers?

This question is much easier to answer, absolutely there are good and bad USCIS officers, some are atrocious. So, let me break it down this way. Whenever we submit a case, if its approved without question, as most of them are, all we can glean from that decision is that the officer liked the case and that there were no issues that bothered the officer. We do not learn what the officer liked or did not like about the case.

 

Confident in Problem Solving - We're always going to have challenges, but if we can remain calm and confident - we can focus on solving every challenge that comes our way.

Confident in problem solving. We’re always going to have challenges, but if we can remain calm and confident – we can focus on solving every challenge that comes our way.

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However, when a case we submit gets a Request for Further Evidence, it’s here we get our first glimpse as to what issues the officer is concerned about. We can often tell from the officer’s request whether or not he has even read the case, is familiar with the law or just in need of clarification. Some officers will ask for additional evidence that upon reflection is reasonable and relatively easy to provide. Some officers can start misquoting the law, invent their own laws, demonstrate such a lack of understanding that in some cases we have to seriously consider withdrawing the case and re-filing in the hope that our re-filed case lands on an officer’s desk that knows what he is doing.  By the way, we do not get to choose which officer adjudicates our cases, it’s pretty much a lottery.


Major Legislative Changes to US Immigration

So far, there has been no major legislative changes to US Immigration that have been passed by Congress. All the visas that have been available for many years have not changed, yet. 2018 is an election year. Every two years a part of the Senate and a part of the House is up for re-election and 2018 is that year. In an election year, very little law gets passed because parties retreat even more into their tribe. One side does not want to be seen working with the other for fear it may cost them votes in the election. It’s mad.

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We Know US Immigration - every day we study the immigration adjudication patterns of USCIS and then we turn them to our advantage for our clients. By knowing what USCIS officer want from us to say yes, this gives us the intelligence we need to keep winning cases. It may be a back and forth but eventually we'll get there.

We know US Immigration. Every day we study the immigration adjudication patterns of USCIS and then we turn them to our advantage for our clients. By knowing what a USCIS officer wants from us in order to say yes, this gives us the intelligence we need to keep winning cases. It may be back and forth, but eventually we’ll get there.

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It’s certainly possible that like the Tax Reform Bill that was recently passed on only Republican votes, that an Anti-Immigrant Reform Bill could be drafted and passed if it too got unanimous Republican support. The truth is, the only single issue that all Republicans agree on is Tax Reform and that’s about it. For every other issue, Republicans are quite divided, as are the Democrats.

So, my guess is, and it’s only a guess, that there will be no comprehensive immigration reform whatsoever, but there could be a little tinkering here and there that could ultimately be very disruptive. For example, Republicans want to end ‘chain migration’, where a person relocates legally, gets their Green Card, then citizenship and then is able to sponsor their parents, or siblings over many years, because, God forbid, any family would want to be unified. Republicans are saying that if the Democrats want to save the DACA / Dreamers, children who were brought over under 16 years old, if these children are spared deportation, Republicans want to cut off any possibility of them being able to save their parents through legal sponsorship, as that would be seen as a reverse amnesty. So, it remains to be seen how that drama of many will play out.

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Conclusion

Never Give Up - Be Fearless.

Never Give Up – Be Fearless.

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I always encourage myself that America is a country that has been built 100% on immigrants. Unless, you’re a Native American / First American, every American is an immigrant and a recent one at that. America is still the land of the free and home of the brave, and in America there are rags to riches opportunities everywhere. America is still the land of incredible dreams because of the immigrants who arrive every day with the purpose of making America greater, by vowing to all those they have had to leave behind that they will work day and night to make a success of their lives here. So, let’s fight the good fight and fulfill our ambitions and dreams in this brave new world we call America.

If you have any immigration plans whatsoever, my advice is to start your US Immigration plans asap while these current pathways are still available. Call 760 754 7000 Today! Do not delay.

 

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

About Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ.

USA Immigration Attorney Chris M. Ingram is originally from Northampton, England. Chris M. Ingram Graduated with a BA(Hons) Degree in Law from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK in 1994, Chris M. Ingram then went on to the De Montfort School of Law in 1996 and graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PGDLP).   In 1998 Chris M. Ingram graduated with a Masters of Laws and Letters (LL.M) from Huddersfield University, UK. and after relocating to the U.S. Chris was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2003. Chris has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 2004.

Having gone through the US Immigration process personally with his wife and three children, attorney Chris M. Ingram founded his own law firm with the clear mission to make sure every client had the very best US Immigration experience possible. To begin with, Chris M. Ingram set about writing and creating the very best comprehensive US Immigration education platform so that every visitor had the opportunity to discover in their own time and at their own pace their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card options for free. Today, the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram’s website has over one thousand pages of content and hundreds of education videos and testimonials to inform and inspire every visitor. We are adding new content all the time.

Attorney Chris M. Ingram also believes that everyone should be able to have a free consultations so that potential clients can speak personally and confidentially with an immigration specialist and discuss their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card needs and learn about how we can help them achieve the American Dream.

We’re delighted you have found us and we look forward to helping you make this a reality this year. You’ve come to the right place.

It’s all about you!

Important Notice:

Please note that all videos created by the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram are intended as general information only and not specific legal advice pertaining your case. If you would like specific legal advice from an attorney on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact this law office accordingly. All pictorial images used in these videos and the website in general are licensed stocked images and not portraits, or otherwise, of anyone from the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, nor of its clients unless otherwise indicated by name. All images are used solely for illustrative purposes only. Copyright 2010-2018 All Rights Reserved. ECI 01/02/18

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