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Atty. Jojo M. Liangco Immigrant's Story Column

Published in Immigration

Atty. Jojo M. Liangco, The Columnist

 

Ang taong 1965 para sa mga Pilipino

 

Ang taong 1965 ay isang mahalagang “panandang-bato” para sa ating mga Pilipino, sa Pilipinas man o dito sa Amerika.  

Limampung taon na ang nakakaraan ng aprubahan ng Kongreso ng Amerika ang batas imigrasyon na nagbukas at nagbigay daan upang maging imigrante ang marami sa atin at ang iba pang mga lahi mula sa Asya.

 

Ito ang Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (o “INA of 1965”) na nilagdaan bilang batas ni Presidente Lyndon B. Johnson noong ika -3 ng Oktubre, 1965 at napagtibay noong ika- 30 ng Hunyo, 1968.

 

Bago naging batas ang INA ay umiiral noon ang batas na naglilimita o naglalagay ng numerical restrictions sa mga visa at nakabatay sa tinatawag na per-country-of-origin quota.  Ang kota noon para sa Pilipinas ay limampung (50) mga visa lamang kada taon.

 

Kaya’t mahalagang naisabatas noong 1965 ang INA para sa ating mga Pilipino dahil ito ang batas imigrasyon na nagbukas at nagpalaki ng bilang ng mga imigrante sa komunidad dito sa Amerika.

 

Pagkatapos ng limampung taon, malaking diskurso at debate na naman ang pagre-reporma ng sistema ng imigrasyon sa Amerika.

 

Mahusay sana kung bago magtapos ang 2015 ay magkaroon na ng batas na ipapasa ang Kongreso at malagdaan ito ni Presidente Barack Obama bilang tugon sa kanyang ipinangakong reporma sa imigrasyon.   

 

Ang Republican Party ang malaking balakid at malakas na puwersang humahadlang ngayon para sa isang bagong batas na mag-aayos sa sistema ng imigrasyon at sa pagkukulang ng “broken system” ng ating batas imigrasyon sa ngayon.     

 

Nakakalungkot nga lamang na sa pagbabago ng Speaker of the House, nagpahayag kaagad ang Republican congressperson na napili, si Speaker Paul Ryan, na hindi siya makikipagtulungan kay Presidente Obama sa pag-o-overhaul o pag-aayos ng mga polisiya sa imigrasyon.

 

Mula sa mismong bibig niya, anya, isang "ridiculous notion” ang pag-aayos ng batas at sistemang imigrasyon “because Obama cannot be trusted on the issue.”  

   

Kung hindi nagtitiwala ang mga Republican kay Presidente Obama sa isyu ng imigrasyon, kanino sila nagtitiwala?  Ano ang gagawin nila sa sirang sistema at batas imigrasyon ng Amerika?  

 

Hindi natin dapat kalimutan ang biyayang idinulot sa maraming imigrante ng Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.   

 

Hindi natin dapat kalimutan na matagumpay na naisagawa ang pagiging batas ng INA sa sigasig ni Presidente Johnson sampu ng kanyang mga kapartido sa Democratic Party sa pangunguna ni Sen. Edward Kennedy at sa pakikipagtulungan at pagsuporta ng mga Republicans noon.

 

Sa eleksyon sa 2016, huwag nating kalimutan ang matigas at baluktot na paghadlang ng mga Republicans sa batas na magpapabuti at magbibigay ng bagong kaayusan sa sistema at polisiyang imigrasyon sa bansa.   

 

Magtiwala tayo na may mga political liders na tulad nina Lyndon B Johnson, Sen. Edward Kennedy, at Presidente Obama na gumawa at gumagawa ng naaangkop na hakbang para ma-reporma ang sirang sistema ng imigrasyon sa Amerika.  

Mahalaga ring balik-tanawin ang taong 1965 sa Pilipinas.

 

Noong 1965 ay nanalo sa eleksyon si Ferdinand E. Marcos laban sa nakaluklok na pangulo ng Pilipinas noon, si Presidente Diosdado Macapagal, sa halalan para sa panguluhan ng bansa.

 

Nahalal o na-re-elect muli si Presidente Marcos noong halalan ng 1969 at tinalo niya ang standard bearer ng Liberal Party, si Sen. Sergio Osmena, Jr., sa sinasabing isa sa mga “maruming eleksyon” na naganap sa poder o panguluhan ni Marcos.  

 

Sa pangalawang term ni Marcos naganap ang mga malakihang protesta ng mga kabataan at estudyante sa Mendiola (malapit sa Malacanang at Plaza Miranda) at ang pagputok ng First Quarter Storm o “FQS” sa pangunguna ng mga makabayang aktibista.

 

Ang isyu ng protesta ay sari-sari--- mula sa pagtaas ng mga bilihin, mababang pasahod, korapsyon sa gobyerno, matinding kahirapan ng mga mamamayan, karahasan at militarisasyon kasama na ang brutal na pag-trato ng militar at mga pulis sa mga mamamayan, pagsupil sa mga karapatang pamamahayag at karapatang pantao, at marami pang iba.

 

Nagdaan ang mga araw at buwan noon at lalong lumakas ang puwersa ng kilusang aktibista hindi lamang sa hanay ng mga kabataan at estudyante kundi maging sa hanay ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod, unyonistang manggagawa, magsasaka, at mga magbubukid.

 

Hindi na  lamang nakasentro ang pagkilos at aktibismo noon sa Kamaynilaan kung hindi maging sa mga malakihang siyudad at bayan-bayan sa buong kapuluan.

 

Sa kaawa-awang kalagayan ng ekonomiya at pangkabuhayan sa bansa noon at sa kawalan ng oportunidad, ang pagbubukas ng imigrasyon sa Amerika na dulot ng INA ang siyang malaking umakit sa hanay ng mga kabataang nagtapos sa kolehiyo at mga propesyonal para lumisan at dumayo bilang mga imigrante sa Amerika.

 

Noong 1972, sa hangarin ni Marcos na mamalagi sa poder at kapangyarihan pagkatapos ng legal niyang termino na sinasaad sa saligang-batas na hanggang 1973 lamang ang kanyang second-term, idineklara ni Marcos ang Batas Militar.

 

Ang rehimen ni Marcos at ang Batas Militar ang siyang tinitignan bilang pinakamadilim na panahon ng Pilipinas mula ng maging malayang republika ito.

 

Hindi natin dapat kalimutan ang sinapit ng bansang Pilipinas at ng mga mamamayan nito sa ilalim ng rehimeng Marcos at ng kanyang batas militar.         

   

Hanggang sa susunod na linggo po!

 

(Si Jojo Liangco ay isang abogado sa tanggapan ng Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. sa San Francisco, California.  Ang kanyang praktis ay hinggil sa mga kaso sa linya ng immigration, family law, personal injury, bankruptcy, business law, DUI cases, criminal defense at traffic court cases.  Ipadala ang inyong mga komentaryo kay Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 o tumawag sa telepono (415) 974-5336).  

Atty. Lourdes Santos Tancinco on Annulment

Published in Round Table

Atty. Lourdes Santos Tancinco, The Columnist

 

Dear Atty. Lou,

 

My cousin entered the United States as fiancé and got married within 90 days. She received her green card last March 22, 2015. They lived together for 9 month until they got into a big misunderstanding and decided to get annulment or divorce.

 

My cousin got hired last July 23, 2015 at Target. The question is after the annulment or divorce is granted is it possible that she can stay and continue working? My husband and I are willing to sponsor her to help her stay. She wants to fight to stay here and continue to work. Thank You!

 

Josie

 

---

 

Dear Josie,

 

Your cousin has a conditional resident status having been married for less than two years.  Since she received her green card on March 22, 2015, she will have a valid status until March 22, 2017.  Hence, her employment with Target is still considered as an authorized employment.

 

Before her expiration of 2017, she should be able to remove conditions of her residence. If she is divorced by that time, she should make sure that she does not obtain an annulment based on “fraud.” There is a difference between the “annulment” and divorce due to irreconcilable differences. Your cousin should make sure that if the U.S. citizen spouse files for annulment it is not based on the fact that the there was “fraud” in the marriage.  If the termination of the marriage is due to fraud, there is a strong probability that the green card status of your cousin will be revoked.

 

 In order to remove the conditions of the resident status and extend the green card beyond March 22, 2017, the non-citizen must prove that she entered into marriage in good faith. This means that the marriage was not entered to circumvent immigration law or simply for the purpose of getting the green card. She has the burden of proving that they intended to live a life together as husband and wife. While there is no hard and fast rule in determining what and how much evidence is necessary to prove a valid marriage, it is important to know what the immigration examiners are looking out for in determining fraud. As per U.S.C.I.S Adjudicator’s Field Manual, there is possible marriage sham if the following exist: (1) separate cohabitation; (2) disparity in age; (3) marriage between relatives; (4) no common language; (5) multiple prior marriages and (6) marriages arranged by third parties.  

 

The fact that there was a break down in the marriage, in itself, is not a ground to deny the grant of the waiver of joint filing. Divorce based on irreconcilable differences will be the appropriate way of terminating the marriage to avoid a finding of fraud.

 

Atty. Lou

 

 

(Lourdes Santos Tancinco, Esq is a partner at the Tancinco Law Offices, a Professional Law Corp. Her principal office is located at One Hallidie Plaza, Ste 818, San Francisco CA 94102 and may be reached at 1 888 930 0808; email atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or check their website at www.tancinco.com or www.facebook.com/tancincolaw. The content provided in this column is solely for informational purpose only and do not create a lawyer-client relationship. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. This column does not disclose any confidential or classified information acquired in her capacity as legal counsel. Consult with an attorney before deciding on a course of action. You can submit questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Atty. Crispin Lozano on Denial of Green Card, Others

Published in Immigration

Atty. Crispin Lozano, The Columnist

 

 

When a person applies for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident of the United States, or for citizenship or naturalization, a lack of good moral character, a finding of moral turpitude, and certain criminal offenses can result in a finding of inadmissibility, denial of visa, or denial of naturalization.

 

There are permanent and conditional bars to the determination of good moral character.

We will discuss the conditional bars to naturalization in this article.

 

Q: What do conditional bars to good moral character mean?

A:  Conditional bars are not permanent in nature and are triggered by specific acts, offenses, activities, circumstances, or convictions within the statutory period for naturalization, including the period prior to filing and up to the time of the Oath of Allegiance. Some crimes bar you from naturalizing for only the five or three years prior to your applying for naturalization. That’s because the law requires a naturalization applicant to prove five years of good moral character as a condition for naturalizing, three years if you qualify under the special rules that apply to certain spouses of US citizens.

 

Q: What crimes are considered conditional bars to good moral character?

A:  Crimes in this conditional bar category include any crime involving moral turpitude, two or more gambling offenses, a drug offense, two or more nonpolitical offenses for which a judge sentenced you to five years’ imprisonment or more, and any crime for which you were confined to prison for more than 180 days. So, if the crime is in this group, but is not an aggravated felony, you can naturalize five (or three) years after having committed the crime.

 

Q:  How can it be determined that an act is a crime involving moral turpitude?

A: Whether an offense is a CIMT is largely based on whether the offense involves willful conduct that is morally reprehensible and intrinsically wrong, the essence of which is a reckless, evil or malicious intent. The Attorney General has decreed that a finding of “moral turpitude” requires that the perpetrator committed a reprehensible act with some form of guilty knowledge.

 

Q:  What crimes can be considered crimes involving moral turpitude?

A:  A crime involving fraud or dishonesty is usually considered to involve moral turpitude.

Other crimes the law considers to involve moral turpitude are: arson; assault with intent to kill or inflict serious bodily harm; bigamy; blackmail; bribery; bad check convictions; burglary; counterfeiting; larceny; perjury; prostitution; rape; drug crimes; receiving stolen goods; robbery; and sexual offenses. These crimes may be divided into crimes against a person, crimes against property, sexual and family crimes, and crimes against the authority of the government,

 

Q:  When are crimes against a person considered a CIMT?

A:  Crimes against a person involve moral turpitude when the offense contains criminal intent or recklessness or when the crime is defined as morally reprehensible by state statute. Criminal intent or recklessness may be inferred from the presence of unjustified violence or the use of a dangerous weapon. For example, aggravated battery is usually, if not always, a CIMT. Simple assault and battery is not usually considered a CIMT.

 

Q:  When are crimes against property considered a CIMT?

A: Moral turpitude attaches to any crime against property that involves fraud, whether it entails fraud against the government or against an individual. Certain crimes against property may require guilty knowledge or intent to permanently take property. Petty theft, grand theft, forgery, and robbery are CIMTs in some states.

 

Q:  When are sexual and family crimes considered CIMTs?

A:  It is difficult to discern a distinguishing set of principles that the courts apply to determine whether a particular offense involving sexual and family crimes is a CIMT. In some cases, the presence or absence of violence seems to be an important factor. The presence or absence of criminal intent may also be a determining factor. The CIMT determination depends upon state statutes and the controlling case law and must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Offenses such as spousal or child abuse may rise to the level of a CIMT, while an offense involving a domestic simple assault generally does not. An offense relating to indecent exposure or abandonment of a minor child may or may not rise to the level of a CIMT. In general, if the person knew or should have known that the victim was a minor, any intentional sexual contact with a child involves moral turpitude.

 

Q:  When are crimes against the authority of the government considered crimes involving moral turpitude?

A:  The presence of fraud primarily determines the presence of moral turpitude in crimes against the authority of the government.

 

Note:   This is not a legal advice.

 

 

SUCCESS STORIES

  1. On May 22, 2015, we received an approval of I-751 waiver of joint petition based on spousal abuse.
  2. On May 18, 2015, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client based on marriage with big age gap between spouses.
  3. On May 6, 2015, we received an approval of PROVISIONAL WAIVER for a Mexican national in Ciudad Juarez based on petition by US citizen spouse.
  4. On April 30, 2015, we received an approval from the Immigration Court of I-751 review based on spousal abuse.
  5. On April 20, 2015, we received an approval from USCIS of green card for a client who used three names in her lifetime.  We submitted numerous documents to prove proper identity.
  6. On April 14, 2015, we received approval of naturalization for a client who has three DUI and a civil harassment case.  The DUI and civil harassment has all been cleared before.
  7. On April 10, 2015, we received an approval of immigrant visa for a client who originally confessed marriage is for immigration benefits only but later on had a serious relationship with petitioner.
  8. On March 30, 2015, we received an approval from the Immigration Judge for a waiver of misrepresentation involving marriage fraud that happened at the U.S. Embassy.  The alien subsequently get a green card from a petition by her mother.  She could not naturalize unless a waiver of misrepresentation is granted.  With the waiver she is now qualified for naturalization.
  9. On March 10, 2015, we received an approval from USCIS for an adjustment of status for SAME SEX MARRIAGE.
  10. On February 18, 2015, we received an approval by USCIS of green card based on self petition by an abused spouse.  Her minor children are now qualified to immigrate based on this approval.
  11. On February 10, 2015, we received an approval of green card for a client who entered without inspection.  We first sought an advance parole with USCIS so that she can travel to her country legally and come back to the U.S.
  12. On January 20, 2015, we received an approval of immigrant visa under the Provisional Waiver program for a seaman client.  She successfully arrived to the U.S. without problem.
  13. On January 7, 2015, we received an approval of adjustment of status from USCIS for a client who entered without inspection but reentered on a parole visa.  Parole visa became the basis of legal entry to allow for adjustment of status.
  14. On January 5, 2015, we received two approvals of I-601A waiver under the Provisional Waiver Program.
  15. On December 17, 2014, we received an approval from USCIS of a green card under the Violence against Women Act.
  16. On December 16, 2014, we received an approval of DACA for an alien who has a final order of removal.
  17. On December 11, 2014, we received an approval of immigrant visa for an alien who entered the U.S. as a seaman under Provisional Waiver Program.
  18. On October 7, 2014, we received an approval from the U.S. Embassy in Manila an immigrant visa for a client who entered the US without inspection under the Provisional Waiver Program.
  19. On September 26, 2014, we received an approval from the Immigration Court for waiver of misrepresentation for a client who entered as single but actually married at the time of entry to the U.S.
  20. On September 9, 2014, we received an approval from Immigration Court of adjustment of status for a client who was previously denied an asylum.
  21. On September 8, 2014, we received an approval from USCIS of Form I-601A provisional waiver for two clients.
  22. On September 5, 2014, we received an approval from USCIS for Fiancée visa based on same sex petition.
  23. On September 4, 2014, we received an approval of DACA for a client who has problem in her birth certificate.
  24. On August 28, 2014, we received an approval of green card based on spousal abuse.
  25. On August 25, 2014, we received an approval of green card based on same sex marriage with big age difference.
  26. On August 1, 2014, we received an approval of waiver of joint filing of I-751 based on spousal abuse.  With the approval she was granted permanent residence.
  27. On July 21. 2014, we received an approval of green card based on marriage that was initially denied due to inconsistencies in interview response.
  28. On July 19, 2014, we received an approval of I-751 removal of condition on residence waiver based on battered spouse.
  29. On June 11, 2014, we received an approval from USCIS of green card under Violence against Women Act.

 

 

(Crispin Caday Lozano is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Association of Consumers Bankruptcy Attorneys.  He specializes in immigration law and bankruptcy law. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 1-877-456-9266)

 

 

MANILA COUNCILOR Edward Maceda (center) with mother Manay Ichu Vera Perez Maceda and friends.

At right is actor and Manila Councilor Yul Servo. Maceda and Servo are running for congressman in Manila.

 

Next time you visit Manila, you may have an active actor and a scion of a movie family as congressmen of the city.


They are Yul Servo, Edward Maceda and Don Bagatsing who are all serving their third and last terms as councilor the city.


Servo, who is known for his role as a villain in local movies, is running for congressman in Manila's third district while Maceda, whose mother is Marichu Vera Perez, is running in the fourth district.

 

Councilor Edward Vera Perez Maceda is following the footsteps of his father, former Senator and Executive Secretary Ernesto Maceda. The elder Maceda also served as a young councillor of Manila during the time of Mayor Arsenio Lacson.

 

Maceda’s district is composed of the largely residential and educational center Sampaloc, home of the University of Sto. Tomas and several universities.

 

He is running to replace outgoing Rep. Ma. Trisha Bonoan David, a former councillor and lawyer who is serving out her third and final term as congresswoman of the district which produced illustrious leaders like the late Senator Arturo Tolentino, Mayor Ramon Bagatsing and Sergio Loyola,  

Bagatsing's grandson, incumbent Manila Councilor Don Juan "DJ" Bagatsing, is running against Maceda. The younger Bagatsing is son of former fourth district Congressman Ramon "Dondon" Bagatsing Jr. whose brother Raymond, who is Ramon Bagatsing III in real life, is an actor in the Philippines.

 

The young Bagatsing's under, fifth district Congressman Amado Bagatsing, is running for mayor in Manila and surveys showed he is leading his rivals, Mayor Joseph Estrada and former Mayor Alfredo Lim. Manilans are reportedly worried with alleged corruption and abuses by Mayor Estrada such as the imposition of fees in city hospitals, increase of taxes, demolition of city public markets and giving them to private contractors some of whom are allegedly not qualified, privatization of Manila Zoo, destruction of the century-old Army Navy Club building which is a city property and a historical building of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, among others.

 

Other Manilans are reportedly resisting the return of Lim having left City Hall with some P3 billion in debts, non-payment of IRA to the barangays, non-remittance of City workers' premiums to GSIS, Pag-Ibig Fund and Philhealth, withholding some P600 million subsidy to the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, among others.

 

Yul is John Marvin C. Nieto in real life, 32, is the number one councilor in the six districts of Manila, having won with the most number of votes.

 

His victory in his district which covers Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, San Nicolas and Binondo would be a plus factor for his quest to become the first actor-congressman in the district.

 

Add to that his success in the movies, having become an indie icon and hs won a slew of Best Actor awards here and abroad, for his work in such films as Batang West Side, Laman, Naglalayag, Torotot, Brutos and Ilusyon.

 

Servo became a household word when he was cast against the great Nora Aunor in Naglalayag, playing a taxi driver having an affair with a judge (played by Aunor).

 

The superstar has now come forward in support of his congressional bid.

As a councilor, he has been busy with humanitarian projects such as medical and dental missions, reaching out to out-of-school youth, and tapping the artistic potential of street kids, especially from his district.

 

Councilor Servo grew up in Binondo, Manila, the second eldest in a large family of four boys and four girls. His father, Martin Romano, graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in architecture but decided to become a tailor instead due to brighter prospects for the business.

 

Later the family went into billboard advertising and became even more well-off, although John modestly estimates they were just “slightly above middle” income.

 

The actor councilor started appearing in school- and church-based plays in the district of San Nicolas).

Yul actually finished criminology at the Philippine College of Criminology and was all set to become a policeman.

 

His fate changed when an uncle, Willy Cruz, an engineer who knew some actors and directors, saw his nephew’s potential to become a professional actor and introduced him to director Maryo J. de los Reyes.

 

Nieto, the budding stage play actor, later adopted the name Yul Servo after Yul Brynner who was his uncle’s favorite actor and Servo the name of the head waiter in the restaurant which the director frequented, Alex III.

 

He began his career in theater. De los Reyes made him undergo intensive workshops at PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) and Gantimpala Theater. His most memorable role was as the lead actor of Mass, the Tanghalang Pilipino adaptation of National Artist F. Sionil Jose’s novel, where Servo played Pepe Samson, a provinciano who journeys to Manila, becomes involved with colorful and shady characters, and finally joins the underground.


Superstar Nora Aunor has pledged to Yul Servo that she will join in her campaign, for which the outgoing councillor is thankful.

 

He recalled that during his first campaign, residents of the district were familiar with him because of his movie with the superstar. “Talagang sinuportahan ako ng Noranians sa distrito namin. Kaya nakakatuwa. Eh, nu’ng first kong takbo, ’yung patay na pinuntahan namin sa Quiapo, umiiyak siya dahil nagpakamatay ang anak niya.
    
“Pero nang makita na niya ako at ipakilala sa kanya, napatalon siya sa tuwa, eh! Nagtaka naman ako. ’Yun pala, fan siya ni Ate Guy. Napanood niya ’yung Nagla-layag,” said the young councillor.

Like other politicians, Yul Servo said he wants to become a senator or president someday.

 

“Eh, libre namang mangarap, eh. So taasan mo na ang pangarap mo! Ha! Ha! Ha! Pero alam kong mabigat na responsibilidad na ’yon. ’Yung senador lang mahirap na gaya ng tatakbuhan ni Vice Mayor Isko (Moreno). Parang ang hirap ng ginagawa niya. Ang laki ng mapa ng Pilipinas!” he said.

 

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