Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

The Coronavirus vs. Innovation, Resilience and Noah?

By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ

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First of all, I’d like to thank our staff for all the hard work they have been putting in this week, having relocated, and for working so hard to look after every client. I also want to thank all of our clients for partnering with us so patiently as we continue to develop and file their cases successfully. We cannot file everyone’s case at the same time, but we are working to file them as quickly as we can. It has been totally awesome.
My Thoughts Coronavirus Spread – Open for Easter?
Like everyone else, I’m having to adjust to the realities of being required to ‘Shelter in Place’ and/or practice Social Distancing, when I venture out. The only truly effective way to minimize risk of infection, and hopefully hastening the end of this virus is to follow this protocol collectively.
The more I learn, the more I have to adjust my behavior, I guess it’s a mental process. I think this is true for everyone. One of my biggest concerns about collectively controlling the spread of this virus is how we deal with mass public transportation, specifically trains and business. Whilst I appreciate people need to get from A to B, when I see people crammed on a sub-way train with barely anyone wearing masks or gloves, e.g., in New York or London, it does make me wonder if those in power are fully appreciating what we’re up against, since those who use mass transit in this way are literally bringing the virus to work and then home again.
At the same time, if public transport is your only way to get to work, especially essential work, then we need to find a way to ensure everyone is masked and gloved up, right. However, there appears to be a chronic shortage of both masks and gloves. So, I guess this is a challenge we have not yet resolved as a community. Every day, I hear gloves and masks are on their way so let’s hope we begin to see everyone wearing masks and gloves over the next few weeks.
I’ve been watching news reports out of Japan and other Asian countries where people are allowed to go to work as normal, but from the time they leave their homes, and throughout their entire time working in their offices etc., everyone is required to wear a mask and have hand sanitizer in constant use. Moreover, they are required to have multiple temperature checks throughout the day. Obviously, I support this as it seems to enable people to safely use mass transit, go to work, make a paycheck and limit their risks at the same time. As a result, Asian countries are indeed fairer better than European countries and America.
Innovation, Resilience and Noah?
The Coronavirus will indeed change the world, not just because of the infections and deaths caused, but it will fundamentally change the way we look and develop technology. My mother told me, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, which is so true, so many people and thus businesses are on lock down. However, so many people are becoming extraordinarily innovative to find ways to thrive in spite of their present circumstances. Everyone can be innovative in small ways, and in huge ways depending on their personal particular situation. No one is helpless, per se, if you’re healthy. What am I doing?
So, over the last few weeks I’m re-learning how to cook. Who knew, I could cook. I have not cooked so many meals lately in decades. Moreover, I’ve made something of an ‘industry’ around it. I do not just cook one meal I’ll just cook a bunch of meals in one go. I can’t be dealing with cooking every day. So, I’ve just invested in lot of food containers, dozens of them, and then I freeze and refrigerate them. I’m sure I’ve saved hundreds of dollars already in doing so and it’s a good mental break from working in front of my computer all day. Ok, so let’s look at innovation in business.
There are many companies like Uber Eats, that were forward thinking about developing a food delivery platform to bring take-out food to your door. I wonder how many ‘haters’, they had when they were investing into setting up their infrastructure, and what courage it took for their investors to invest. Today, Uber eats has become a life-line for those people who cannot cook their own meals, or who just need a break from their own cooking , are now relying on these companies to bring food to them. These companies are thriving and growing exponentially because they were forward thinking. There was no crisis, they just had the vision to develop a market. I call this the “Noah Effect”. Let me explain.
So, as the Bible story goes, God told Noah that there was going to be flood, so Noah began building a boat in a desert region of the world. The haters came and mocked him, but he continued to build his boat anyway. They laughed and laughed until one day they were hit with was just one drop of rain, then another, and another. By the time they realized they were in the midst of a great flood, and that they needed a boat, it was simply too late to build one, and they drowned. Here is my point. America (and others from around the world, many of my clients in fact), are a Noah (Noahs); they have an idea, a calling, a dream that will simply not go away. In fact, they are so driven by this idea that they will leave their comfort zone, even their country to pursue it.
Many Noahs will have to endure doubt from their family’s and even ridicule from their friends, colleagues, and ‘haters’, but still they persist, often to their own personal detriment. A Noah, will make tremendous financial sacrifices, perhaps mortgaging their home, or selling it or going into debt just to raise the money to pursue this dream. Noahs come to American because if it is the personification of what is known worldwide as the “American Dream” – the land where if you are a Noah, you have perhaps the very best chance, perhaps best chance in the world, to make your dream a reality because the culture of spirit of entrepreneurialism is so strong here.
You Cannot Truly be a Noah, Without Resilience
I want to encourage all of us, including myself, that we all have a “Noah” inside. We do not have to be a great entrepreneur like Tesla’s Elon Musk, just being the best parent you can be to your children is just as awesome, especially now when they have to be home schooled. Your resilience is in having the ability to see past your present circumstances, no matter what they might be, it could be having to home school, loss of a job, the Coronavirus, a temporary illness or other type of setback, and ensuring that these present challenges do not permanently derail your American Dream, your idea, your calling in life. Resilience. America is and always will be the land of innovation and resilience.
My Next 120-Days of Planning and Execution
Whilst I’d love for this Coronavirus to be all gone by Easter, boy would I love that, I’m busy planning for the next 120-Days for sure, and beyond. I’m trying to organize all of my affairs as innovatively as possible to thrive in these trying times. I don’t think I’ll become a master chef over the next 120-days, but maybe I’ll be healthier from eating better foods prepared from scratch. Don’t laugh, it’s possible, right? Seriously, I do spend a tremendous amount of time, as do many of my clients, trying to figure out what steps I need to take so that my practice survives, and my family is well taken care of. in other words, I’m trying to see past my present circumstances.
Even though we’re a relatively small law firm, 20+ employees, for the last 14 years, we’ve been going digital. Indeed, we stopped creating physical client files in 2010 and in 2017 we hired on staff a team of four programmers to ramp up the development our online proprietary online case management system. in other words, we’ve been building our entire law office the cloud. I’ve never heard of a law firm devoting 25% of its staff to I.T. development, and to be sure it’s been extraordinarily expensive, but I want to be a Noah. For years, I’ve been driven to develop the best U.S. Immigration software in order to give my clients, my fellow immigrants, the very best immigration experience possible from around the world. So, I’ve been putting my money where my dream is and like Noah, pursuing it every day.
As the Coronavirus hit us, as I’ve said before, we were in really good shape to adapt to the situation. It’s not been a piece of cake for sure, but we have not been faced with being separated from our client’s files, as they are already in the cloud, we have no physical client files. I know many law firms have literally rooms upon rooms consisting of thousands of physical hard-copy files and records, that they need to access day-to-day in order to work. So, any Shelter in Place order, or forced working from home, has, and continues to be a major problem, they are almost in a restaurant situation, where the food and customers are one place, but the workers have been sent home. It’s raining, and they cannot suddenly digitize all of their files overnight, or weeks, it can take years. Not everyone can be a Noah.
Because we have an I.T. team in place, I already have them developing new features to our platform specifically to help us work remotely more efficiently and these new features are being deployed every few days. So, as we begin to feel the effects of spread of the virus over the next 120-days, our “boat” will continue to rise with the tide, so we can continue looking after our clients.
I want to say, we’re not perfect by any means, this Coronavirus is definitely kicking our butt for sure, and yes, we do have to rely on our client’s patience as we complete our first week of Sheltering in Place – thank you. However, seriously, given that our Governor announced Thursday March 19th, 2020 at 7.00pm (after our staff had left for the day), that by Midnight the same day, everyone must Shelter in Place. We had to literally have our staff come to the office the next day to pick up their office computers, (all iMacs, Thank God), plug in at home, and begin working, and this is now the end of our first week. To be honest, I could not be prouder of my staff for their dedication.
Your Next 120-Days
Over the next 120-days I would encourage all of our clients and our future clients to be thinking ahead. Check your passports and visa expiry dates, if you have questions, ask us and we’ll do our best to answer them with the knowledge we have, just know that each day U.S. Immigration is developing their policies too and they will guide us, so in turn we can guide you.
If you lose your job, due the impact of the Coronavirus and now you’re worried about your status, together we’ll find the answers. On a quick note. Every non-green cardholder who has a visa, will have the visa stamped in their passports with an expiry date, and an I-94 card, stamp or online reference as to how long they can stay in the U.S. on their visa. e.g., your H-1B visa in your passport may have one date, but your I-94 may have another date. You must check your I-94 date as this is the date you can stay in the U.S. until. These I-94 can be extended online, and if the date has not expired, and you have lost your job, you can use your I-94, plus the offer of another job to secure an visa if you are eligible, without having to leave the country. So, if you have any concerns, please talk to us. Do not call, please just email, so we can stack your inquiries and work through them.
For those who are forward thinkers, looking for their new visas in 3-12 months, as now is the time to get the process going. Many clients will wait for ideal conditions, I’m looking for the Noahs who have a vision and cannot wait to get on with it. They are not waiting for the rain to start falling, they are building their umbrella already. Quick shout out to Lucy, one of our clients, who inspired me to write this article, you know who you are 
Yes, long newsletter, but doesn’t feel good to talk . Thanks for reading this, I hope it was helpful. Find your inner Noah today!
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

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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