The two most common solar energy systems that you can add to your home: solar water heating and solar electric.
A solar water heating system preheats the water that goes into your existing water heater, which reduces the amount of gas or electricity your water heater consumes.
A solar electric system generates electricity that can be used throughout your home, which reduces the amount of electricity you need to purchase from your power company.
When your system generates more electricity than you use, the excess goes into the grid and you receive a credit from your utility.
The components installed with a solar energy system
Both solar electric and solar water heating systems utilize panels that are most commonly mounted on your roof. Solar water heating panels, called collectors, are usually 30-50 square feet in size.
A typical system has one or two collectors. Photovoltaic panels require about 100 square feet of area for each kW installed.
Video: Energy 101- Solar Photovoltaic “PV”
A solar electric system includes a wall-mounted inverter to change the DC electricity produced by the panels into AC “household” electricity. The inverter is a little bigger than a briefcase and can be installed indoors near your breaker panel or outdoors in a shaded location.
Solar Water System Heating System
A solar water heating system typically includes an 80-gallon solar storage tank that is installed near your existing electric or gas water heater. Both conventional tank and tankless units are compatible with solar water heaters. If you don’t have room for a second tank, units that contain the solar storage and an electric water heater in a single 120-gallon tank are available.
Not ready to take a giant leap into a large scale solar system… start by harnessing the sun’s energy to power up your electronics.
Are you thinking of going solar or has already taken the leap…? Please share your experiences in the comment section.
When affected with disasters through no fault of your own- you may fall out of status due to failure to file or follow up with the USCIS due to logistics, loss of documentation, lack of funds, etc… Under these special situations the USCIS may consider the foregoing reasons in deciding to extend or change your current immigration status if failure to comply is directly connected to the disaster.
USCIS Fee Waiver
If you are unable to pay the fee for a USCIS service or benefit, you may request that your fee be waived for certain forms by filing a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912 (or a written request).
Obesity is measured by using a scale known as the body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight (in kilograms) by their height (in meters) squared. BMI provides a more accurate measure of obesity or being overweight than weight alone.
Adult Obesity or Overweight Ranges
["For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
See the following table for an example. The table is for a 5'9" individual
124 lbs or less
125 lbs to 168 lbs
18.5 to 24.9
169 lbs to 202 lbs
25.0 to 29.9
203 lbs or more
30 or higher
It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat. For more information about BMI, visit Body Mass Index..."]
["Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might affect your weight include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active.
Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases."]
Obesity is associated with increased risks of cancers of the esophagus, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon and rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and possibly other cancer types.
The information on this website is general in nature and is provided for entertainment purposes only; it is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice nor is it intended to diagnose or cure any disease, illness or discomfort you may be experiencing. For medical advice contact your healthcare provider or call 911. “911” equivalent listed by Countries.
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 0 comments
A thorough background check has been performed on all experts with whom you will exchange your personal and private information. The background in part check ensures Experts meet all core qualifications (education, licensing, on the job experience, as well as the category specific requirements).
A: Using the AccuExperts service is time effective, on point, affordable and most of all: the answers are verifiable, credible and reliable.
Why scour the Internet using a variety of keywords and queries to hopefully find up-to-date and credible answers which may resemble your current situation- only to end up with an answer which is questionable and absolutely unreliable.
Be smart and utilize the expertise of AccuExperts for answers specific to your problem or issue.
The AccuExperts Support Center and Forum stands ready to answer your inquiries about using the site should you have any difficulties.
For answers tailored specifically to your situation. Why wait…? Give AccuExperts a try!
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 0 comments
Dr. Don Huber is a leading GMO expert. He is an award-winning, internationally recognized scientist, and professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University for the past 35 years.
There are NO peer-reviewed scientific papers establishing the safety of GMO crops. There are, however, both clinical and peer-reviewed scientific papers showing the hazards of GMO crops, including harmful secondary effects.
Epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases alongside our increased usage of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our food.
Glyphosate is not “just” an herbicide. It was originally patented as a mineral chelator. It immobilizes nutrients, making them unavailable for your body. It’s also patented as a potent antibiotic that can devastate human gut bacteria.
The EPA recently doubled the amount of glyphosate allowed in food. Soybean oil is now allowed to contain a whopping 4,000 times the limit at which it can impact your health…
Research conducted by de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):706-726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.706. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm
[... Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others .
We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity.
This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded .
All three GM maize varieties contain a distinctly different pesticide residue associated with their particular GM event (glyphosate and AMPA in NK 603, modified Cry1Ab in MON 810, modified Cry3Bb1 in MON 863). These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.
Furthermore, any side effect linked to the GM event will be unique in each case as the site of transgene insertion and the spectrum of genome wide mutations will differ between the three modified maize types.
In conclusion, our data presented here strongly recommend that additional long-term (up to 2 years) animal feeding studies be performed in at least three species, preferably also multi-generational, to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.
Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.]
Read more… de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):706-726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.706. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm
DACA is the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and it is not limited to the Latino population.
If you are a non-immigrant who meets the criteria listed below- you may apply for consideration after conferring with your chosen counsel.
Do you qualify for DACA consideration?
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Anyone requesting consideration for deferred action under this process must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order, as summarized in the table below:
I have never been in removal proceedings, or my proceedings have been terminated before making my request.
At least 15 years old at the time of submitting your request and not over 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012.
I am in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and I am not in immigration detention.
Not above the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, but you may be younger than 15 years old at the time you submit your request.
Timeframe for Meeting the Guidelines
You must prove
That on June 15, 2012 you
As of the date you file your request you
Were under 31 years old
Had come to the United States before your 16th birthday
Were physically present in the United States
Entered without inspection by this date, or your lawful immigration status expired as of this date
Have resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
Were physically present in the United States; and
Are in school, have graduated from high school in the United States, or have a GED; or
Are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
Education and Military Service Guidelines
Your school or military status at the time of requesting deferred action under this process
Meet education or military service guidelines for deferred action under this process (Y/N)
I graduated from:
Public or private high school; or
I have obtained a GED.
I am currently enrolled in school.See the Education section of the FAQs for a full explanation of who is considered currently in school.
I was in school but dropped out and did not graduate. I am not currently in school and am not an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
I am an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
Selected Frequently Asked Questions
Cases in Other Immigration Processes
Q1: Will I be considered to be in unlawful status if I had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal pending before either USCIS or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) on June 15, 2012? A1: Yes. If you had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal, or similar relief, pending before either USCIS or EOIR as of June 15, 2012, but had no lawful status, you may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Q2: Can I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS if I am in immigration detention under the custody of ICE? A2: No. If you are currently in immigration detention, you may not request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS. If you think you may meet the guidelines of this process, you should identify yourself to your detention officer or contact the ICE Office of the Public Advocate so that ICE may review your case. The ICE Office of the Public Advocate can be reached through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) or by email at[email protected]
Q3: If I am about to be removed by ICE and believe that I meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, what steps should I take to seek review of your case before removal? A3: If you believe you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines and are about to be removed, you should immediately contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) or by email at[email protected].
Q4: If individuals meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals and are encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or ICE, will they be placed into removal proceedings? A4: This policy is intended to allow CBP and ICE to focus on priority cases. Pursuant to the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, if an individual meets the guidelines of this process, CBP or ICE should exercise their discretion on a case-by-case basis to prevent qualifying individuals from being apprehended, placed into removal proceedings, or removed. If individuals believe that, in light of this policy, they should not have been placed into removal proceedings, contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) or by email at[email protected].
Q5: If I accepted an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process or my case was terminated as part of the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process? A5: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals even if you have accepted an offer of administrative closure or termination under the case-by-case review process. If you are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the guidelines and warranting discretion as part of ICE’s case-by-case review, ICE already has offered you deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
Q6: If I declined an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process? A6: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS even if you declined an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process.
Q7: If my case was reviewed as part of the case-by-case review process but I was not offered administrative closure, can I be considered for deferred action under this process? A7: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS even if you were not offered administrative closure following review of you case as part of the case-by-case review process.
Q8: How will ICE and USCIS handle cases involving individuals who do not satisfy the guidelines of this process but believe they may warrant an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under the June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memoranda? A8: If USCIS determines that you do not satisfy the guidelines or otherwise determines you do not warrant an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, then it will decline to defer action in your case. If you are currently in removal proceedings, have a final order, or have a voluntary departure order, you may then request ICE consider whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion under the ICE June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memoranda through any of the established channels at ICE, including through a request to the ICE Office of the Public Advocate or to the local Field Office Director. USCIS will not consider requests for review under the ICE June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memoranda.
Q9: What should I do if I meet the guidelines of this process and have been issued an ICE detainer following an arrest by a state or local law enforcement officer? A9: If you meet the guidelines and have been served a detainer, you should immediately contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate either through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) or by email at[email protected].
Read more… for the complete list of DACA requirements and answers to your general questions or consult with a qualified immigration attorney
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 0 comments
I Took a Stance Today and Joined the Democratic Party
This decision has been years in the making and so today, I changed my Voter’s Registration from Independent to Democrat.
Since and throughout President Obama’s election and reelection, I have witnessed various despicable acts and verbiage from certain members of the Republican Party- which has both disgusted and caused me great personal pain and empathy for those who were victimized by same.
Throughout my life and career, I have met some wonderful persons- affiliates of the republican party whose candidacy I would support for office- based on their personal views, apparent fairness and ability to be objective on a case by case basis prior to rendering a decision on the bench, personally or otherwise.
Conversely, I have watched high ranking members of the Republican Party make derogatory remarks towards: African Americans, Latinos and Blacks, LGBT communities, Women, Immigrant youths and Brown-skinned Immigrants, among others.
Their preoccupation with our child bearing, their stance on immigration reform and the seeming lack of humanity and compassion, etc… I find is too much to bear. No one is perfect; however, the insidious nature of their bad-faith dealings appear to be terminal, as they outdo every other act at every turn with their apparent inability to control their visceral reactions.
Moreover, the lack of candor, outright disrespect for the highest office in these United States which is currently occupied by a Black man, I find downright unforgivable.
Based on a thorough review of the foregoing, including this current Republican government shut down… I have reached the conclusion that the decisions stemming from the House lack any basis or objectivity and are self-serving to say the least. I have failed to find any redeeming value in their actions.
The assertions that the members of the House of Representatives are holding the American people and the economy hostage due to their dislike of the Affordable Care Act and Obama is correct. In my opinion, the republican actions are fueled by a desire to preclude President Obama from all credits stemming from a successful launch of the Affordable Care Act and/or is an attempt to taint its success with their footprint in order to reap credit and/or future benefits in upcoming elections- as they gloat to having fixed the “broken” Affordable Health Care System which Obama screwed up.
Had the members of the House been of a different socioeconomic, racial or ethnic class engaged in such behavior – these same subjects would have assigned the label of hoodlums, economic terrorists and thugs, etc… to the culprits.
I have always dealt with others with the respect they’ve earned and rightly deserve based on their dealings with me and others. Hence, my hesitation to choose an affiliation, until now…
As much as I’ve examined and pondered the situation, I failed to see any light at the end of the Political Tunnel looking towards the next election. Should the republicans be placed in charge, I believe their first actions will be to deconstruct all the gains put forth by the Obama administration within their first hundred days.
Upon realizing that my adopted country is taking a path which I find alarming… as an immigrant and black female, I cannot in good conscious send reinforcement to Washington by casting another republican vote, irrespective of my kin or professional rapport with the candidate. Thus, I am no longer a registered Independent. As it appears, regrettably, birds of a feather do flock together, irrespective of common sense.
Why go public…? I suspect there may be others undergoing similar soul searching who may benefit from my experiences and decision.
Will going public have a negative impact…? It may. I may lose followers, friends, clients and potential clients. I only hope the fallback commensurate with the degree of my perceived sin… but you know what I AM THE WINNER FOR HAVING FOUND MY POLITICAL VOICE.
As always, I am here to listen, give feedback or guidance, in my capacity as attorney, counsellor or friend.
The best way to find breast cancer early is with a mammogram. If you are a woman age 50 years or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Symptoms may include—
New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
Pain in any area of the breast.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Having mammograms regularly can lower your risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when and how often you should have a screening mammogram.
Why should I have a mammogram?
Regular mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.
Where can I go to get screened?
Most likely, you can get screened for breast cancer at a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. If you want to be screened for breast cancer, call your doctor’s office. They can help you schedule an appointment. Most health insurance companies pay for the cost of breast cancer screening tests.
Are you worried about the cost? CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) offers free or low-cost mammograms. Find out if you qualify.
[... The increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer is thought to be due to increased levels of estrogenen obese women. After menopause, when the ovaries stop producing hormones, fat tissue becomes the most important source of estrogen. Because obese women have more fat tissue, their estrogen levels are higher, potentially leading to more rapid growth of estrogen-responsive breast tumors...] Continue reading @ http://fatbellybusters.com/obesity-and-cancer/
Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a parent, sibling, son or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor about your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk.
Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Can men get breast cancer?
Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.
Breast Cancer Statistics
How many people get breast cancer each year?
In 2009 (the most recent year numbers are available)— 211,731 women and 2,001 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer.*† 40,676 women and 400 men in the United States died from breast cancer.*†
*Incidence counts cover approximately 90% of the U.S. population; death counts cover approximately 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution when comparing incidence and death counts. Read more…
In 2013, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be:
232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors.)
64,640 new cases of in situ breast cancer (This includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), of those, about 85 percent will be DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer and LCIS is a condition that increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. Learn more about DCIS and LCIS.)
39,620 breast cancer deaths
The wait is over: The Affordable Care Act is here! Despite the shenanigans in the House… the US Senate and President Obama did not cave and as scheduled The Affordable Health Care Act aka ObamaCare lives on. Sign up starts today October 1, 2013.
Most Americans have private health insurance or participate in public programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, but many Americans are uninsured due to finances and/or pre-existing conditions. For the first time, the health insurance marketplace is saturated with people friendly affordable health insurance options. For those who do not wish to participate in the government marketplace… there are alternatives- among which is HealthCompare (Sponsor), click on the links below to request your free quotes, then decide…
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, includes new health insurance coverage and financial assistance options, including the Premium Tax Credit, for individuals and families purchasing insurance through the Marketplace. The IRS administers the tax provisions included in the law. VisitHealthCare.gov for more information on coverage options and assistance.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, contains many tax and other provisions for employers. The IRS administers the tax provisions included in the law. VisitHealthCare.gov andSBA.gov/healthcare for more information on other provisions.
Here we are again; the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month… despite our efforts- Relationship Violence still plagues our diverse communities. Domestic Violence is a worldwide human problem and the statistics are shameful.
One must ask: are we putting forth our best efforts to quash or cure this monster amongst us?
Domestic Violence Identification
Domestic violence AKA domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.
Additional Criminal Forms of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.
Possible Additional Aggravating Challenges
Alcohol consumption and mental illness can be co-morbid with abuse, and present additional challenges in eliminating domestic violence.
Cultural Challenges Presented
Awareness, perception, definition and documentation of domestic violence differ widely from country to country, and from era to era.
Domestic Violence encompasses:
Violence against men
Domestic violence against men
Castration Involuntary penis removal
Other genital mutilation
Rape campus corrective prison…
Violence against women
Domestic violence and pregnancy
Female genital mutilation
Murder of pregnant women
Rape In campus
Pregnancy from rape
Violence against prostitutes
What can we do?
In addition to showing understanding, compassion and assistance to strangers, friends and loved ones undergoing such abuse, we can always do more… .
We must be introspective, then place ourselves in the shoes of the victims… what would we require from others, were we placed into such peril?
Please use the following link http://www.charitynavigator.org/ or any other from the Internet to provide financial support to a Domestic Abuse/ Violence organization within your State, Nationally or Internationally.
Working together as a team we can put an end to Domestic Violence/Abuse within our lifetime.
The proposed regulations provide that, for any calendar month, an individual has minimum essential coverage if the individual is enrolled in and entitled to receive benefits under a program or plan that is minimum essential coverage for at least one day during the month.
B. Liability for shared responsibility payment
1. Liability for Dependents
In general, section 151 allows individual taxpayers a deduction for personal exemptions for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, and any dependents (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer for the taxable year. Section 152 defines dependent to include a taxpayer’s qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Although a section 151 deduction is allowable to a taxpayer for the taxpayer’s dependents (as defined in section 152), a deduction is allowed to a taxpayer under section 151 only if the taxpayer properly claims the dependent. Consistent with section 5000A(b)(3), the proposed regulations provide that a taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment imposed for any individual for a month in a taxable year for which the individual is the taxpayer’s dependent (as defined in section 152) for that taxable year. Whether the taxpayer actually claims the individual as a dependent for the taxable year does not affect the taxpayer’s liability for the shared responsibility payment for the individual. Read more…
Specific Rules and Process for Receiving an Exemption
Consistent with the statute, the final regulations provide nine categories of individuals who are exempt from the shared responsibility payment. These categories are as follows:
• Individuals who cannot afford coverage;
• Taxpayers with income below the filing threshold;
• Members of Indian tribes;
• Individuals who experience short coverage gaps.
• Religious conscience;
• Members of a health care sharing ministry;
• Incarcerated individuals; and
• Individuals who are not lawfully present.
The statute specifies that the religious conscience exemption and the hardship exemption are available exclusively through a Health Insurance Marketplace or Exchange. Four categories of exemptions are available exclusively from the IRS through the filing process – the exemptions for individuals who are not lawfully present, taxpayers with household income below the filing threshold, individuals who cannot afford coverage and individuals who experience short coverage gaps. The rule provides a choice to individuals for the exemptions in the three remaining categories – members of a health care sharing ministry, individuals who are incarcerated, and members of Indian tribes. These exemptions can be obtained either through a Health Insurance Marketplace or through the tax return filing process.
Starting in early 2015, individuals filing a tax return for 2014 will indicate which members of their family (including themselves) are exempt from the provision. For family members who are not exempt, the taxpayer will indicate whether they had insurance coverage. For each non-exempt family member who doesn’t have coverage, the taxpayer will owe a shared responsibility payment.
The Bill as currently drafted has not made provisions for same sex couples- as it is widely believed that a majority of right wingers would surely abandon their support of same.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, vows that he would not support the Bill with a provision for green card on behalf of their same-sex partners.
Let’s be realistic- The Senate, in my opinion, with the current pulse of discontent regarding Immigration Reform sweeping the nation- post Boston- will be seeking an excuse to back out of this deal should the same sex couple issue be pressed upon them. If reports are accurate, President Obama, a supporter of gay rights- has been warned by Republicans that such a provision would lead them to abandon the legislation altogether.
CIR Bill Legislation Current Provisions
As it stands, the legislation allows the purported 11+ millions of people living in the U.S. illegally to obtain “registered provisional immigrant status” six months after its enactment- if they meet current eligibility criteria.
Current Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must have been continuously present in the United States before Dec. 31, 2011- and must be clear of any criminality, that is: felonious judgments and not more than two misdemeanors on their records and must pay a fine in the amount of $500.00.
This provisional immigrant status lasts six years and is renewable with an additional fee payment of $500.
Legal Permanent Residency
Legal Permanency or Green Card Status may be sought after a ten year period with the payment of a $1000.00 penalty and proof of a lack of Tax liability.
Under this current language, the Bill makes provisions for Youths who were brought to the US as minors to be eligible to apply for Green Card status after five years.
Highly Skilled H-1 visa immigration is to increase in number from the current limit of 65,000 to possibly 180,000 depending on unemployment levels in the US.
Agricultural workers would be granted legal status via “blue cards” with which they would be eligible to apply for Legal Permanent Residency after a certain period.
Guest worker visas will be issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, instead of the Department of Labor, as currently done.
In summary, the Bill is far more complicated than I care to detail at this stage. My only hope is that as the debate ensues in June, a more user friendly version emerges in its inclusion of a shorter waiting period for sibling relative of immigrants, and a possible shortening of the provisional residency period, thus, allowing a quicker pathway to US Citizenship.
This is a great day for our country as the most significant immigration policy debate in decades has been unfolded.
Health care is expensive and few individuals can afford to pay the full costs. Having health insurance allows you to get the treatment you need without incurring huge medical bills.
Most Americans have private health insurance or participate in public programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, but many Americans are uninsured due to finances and/or pre-existing conditions.
Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans will be able to get health insurance regardless of income or health history.
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act allows all Americans to get comprehensive health insurance and offers new rights and protections. Some provisions of the law have already taken effect while others will be implemented in the coming years.
Starting October 1, 2013, you will be able to enroll in health insurance through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. The Marketplace can help you compare plans and find one that fits your needs and budget.
Use these resources to help you find insurance and learn more about the Affordable Care Act:
Health Insurance Available Now – Enter your location and answer a few basic questions to see health insurance options available now. http://finder.healthcare.gov/
Health Insurance Effective in 2014 – Use the Health Insurance Marketplace to compare plans. Enrollment starts October 1, 2013 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. https://www.healthcare.gov/families/
Watch this 11-minute video to learn how the Affordable Care Act reforms health insurance.
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The official committee report for S. 744 can be found here.
The Senate Judiciary Committee completed its consideration of S. 744 on Tuesday, May 21. The Committee voted 13-5 to favorably report the legislation to the Senate floor for consideration. The bipartisan legislation was introduced on April 17, and the Committee began consideration of the legislation on May 9.
The amended text of S. 744, which includes all amendments that were adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee over the course of its five mark up sessions, is now available here. This version contains technical corrections to the amended text.
The original text of S. 744 can be found here. The Sponsors’ Amendment is an update to the original text of S. 744 and is considered a substitute amendment. All amendments considered in committee are referenced to this Sponsors’ Amendment.
A full list of amendments filed by Senate Judiciary Committee members on May 7, 2013 is available online; amendments considered by the Committee can be found here.
Recent Update: June 24, 2013
Senators voted Monday by a margin of 67-27 vote, 15 Republicans joined Democrats in backing to add 20,000 more Border Patrol agents to the southwestern border and require a total of 700 miles of fencing within a decade, clearing the way for the broad immigration bill to pass the chamber this week
Click here to watch a C-SPAN Video dated Jun 24, 2013:
Business Leaders News Conference on Senate Immigration Bill
Final CIR Immigration Bill Amendments Likely by Week’s End
The issue of Border Security (a major divide among the legislature) hopefully resolved… a final Amended CIR Immigration Reform Bill appears likely by week’s end and up for a vote soon.
As of July 10, 2013, The Immigration Reform Bill as signed by the Senate has been in Limbo before the House- Boehner has announced that they “House” will not accept the Bill as presented. However, since it appears that the Republicans need the Hispanic vote… they “House” may fashion some piecemeal approach at reform.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain.
Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking is a $32 billion per year industry, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.
Human trafficking is a hidden crime, as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.
Methods of Coercion
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including economic hardship, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma can be so great, that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
Traffickers often operate by:
Using violence or threatening the person or the person’s family members;
Harming or depriving the person of basic necessities, such as food, water, or sleep;
Making false promises of love or companionship;
Making false promises of a good job and home;
Restricting contact with friends or family;
Limiting freedom of movement;
Controlling the person’s identification documents;
Threatening deportation or law enforcement action;
Garnishing the person’s salary to pay off alleged debts; and/or
Preventing the victim from attending religious services.
Human Trafficking First Responders Video
How to Identify and Assist a Human Trafficking Victim: Video
Click here to visit the “DHS Blue Campaign Website” for more educational materials including resources to help recognize and assist Victims of Human Trafficking encountered in our daily lives
Available Immigration Benefits
Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Traffickers often take advantage of poor, unemployed individuals who lack access to social services. The T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa) is a set aside for those who are or have been victims of human trafficking, protects victims of human trafficking and allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
T Visa Eligibility
You may be eligible for a T visa if you:
Are or were a victim of trafficking, as defined by law
Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking·
Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States
Click here for additional T Visa information from USCIS
U Visa Eligibility
The U visa is a temporary relief available to undocumented immigrant victims of certain qualifying Criminal activity.
U Visa Qualifying Criminal Activities:
Criminal activities include and not limited to: Abduction, Abusive Sexual Contact, Blackmail, Domestic Violence, Extortion, False Imprisonment, Felonious Assault, Female Genital Mutilation, Being Held Hostage, Incest, Involuntary Servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder, Obstruction of Justice, Peonage, Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Slave Trade, Torture, Trafficking, Witness Tampering, Unlawful Criminal Restraint and Other Related Crimes including attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above, etc…
October o8, 2013: NBC News has reported a Law suit will be filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday despite the U.N.’s longstanding immunity to all legal claims of wrongdoing.
Since the cholera outbreak began near Mirebalais, Haiti in late 2010, just ten months after a devastating earthquake, more than 650,000 Haitians have contracted the disease, which had been unknown in the country for centuries. It has now spread to Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and has now killed more than 8,500 people.
Three Years Post Haiti Earthquake- No Human should have to continue to exist under such appalling conditions, occurring through no fault of their own, on a long term basis.
I am absolutely certain that a majority of NGO‘s had the best intentions and outlook and were indeed honest and sincere about helping to alleviate the horrible conditions which plagued the Haitian People Haiti Lies in Ruins… post Earthquake. I’ll leave it up to the readers to draw their own conclusions about the cause of the grand failure and more importantly how to overcome and move toward a sustainable solution to this horrible continuing tragedy.
I do not have my head stuck in the sand… I can only imagine how hard it must have been to deal with a stoic and dis-functioning government. President Preval was mostly absent Where is Haiti’s Government? from the scene for at least three days and could not be found for comments or guidance during the early hours of the crisis.
I am truly grateful to all Humanitarians who came forward- putting their careers and lives on hold- risked their health and safety to assist Haiti in its time of need…. But I believe it’s time to rethink this strategy, if any, because it is not working…
Haiti’s Republic of NGOs’ Must Be Held Accountable
“Then came the flood of NGOs from around the world, with some estimates putting the number of organizations there to ‘help’ at 9,000. Some of those had great impact. Others had impact that was slower to progress than expected. But many only added to the chaos and confusion on the ground.”
“… donors pledged $5.3 billion for Haiti’s recovery…. Meanwhile, the money that did reach Haiti has often failed to seed projects that truly respond to Haitians’ needs. The problem is not exactly that funds were wasted or even stolen, though that has sometimes been the case. Rather, much of the relief wasn’t spent on what was most needed.”
NGOs in Haiti Face New Questions About Effectiveness
I realized that some of the monies pledged failed materialized, with that said- Let’s try to put a roof over the heads of countless displaced women and children- as soon as possible- To do less is bordering on abusive conduct by omission. The Haitian government’s opposition, if any, should not be a hindrance to this truly humanitarian goal.
Last and certainly not least… Let’s Not Forget The Cholera Epidemic Which We Inherited!
5 (a) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the
6 ‘‘Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act
7 of 2013’’ or the ‘‘DREAM Act 2013’’.
8 (b) ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR CERTAIN ALIENS9 WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN.—
10 Chapter 5 of title II (8 U.S.C. 1255 et seq.) is amended
11 by inserting after section 245C, as added by section 2102
12 of this title, the following:
13 ‘‘SEC. 245D. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR CERTAIN ALIENS14 WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHIL15DREN.
16 ‘‘(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
17 ‘‘(1) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—
18 The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the
19 meaning given such term in section 102 of the High
20er Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002), except
21 that the term does not include institutions described
22 in subsection (a)(1)(C) of such section.
23 ‘‘(2) SECRETARY.—The term ‘Secretary’ means
24 the Secretary of Homeland Security.
1 ‘‘(3) UNIFORMED SERVICES.—The term ‘Uni
2 formed Services’ has the meaning given the term
3 ‘uniformed services’ in section 101(a)(5) of title 10,
4 United States Code.
5 ‘‘(b) ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR CERTAIN ALIENS6 WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN.—
7 ‘‘(1) REQUIREMENTS.—
8 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of
9 Homeland Security may adjust the status of a
10 registered provisional immigrant to the status
11 of a lawful permanent resident if the immigrant
12 demonstrates that he or she—
13 ‘‘(i) has been a registered provisional
14 immigrant for at least 5 years;
15 ‘‘(ii) was younger than 16 years of
16 age on the date on which the alien initially
17 entered the United States;
18 ‘‘(iii) has earned a high school di
19 ploma or obtained a general education de
20 velopment certificate in the United States;
21 ‘‘(iv)(I) has acquired a degree from an
22 institution of higher education or has com
23 pleted at least 2 years, in good standing,
24 in a program for a bachelor’s degree or
25 higher degree in the United States; or
1 ‘‘(II) has served in the Uniformed
2 Services for at least 4 years and, if dis
3 charged, received an honorable discharge;
5 ‘‘(v) has provided a list of each sec6
ondary school (as that term is defined in
7 section 9101 of the Elementary and Sec
8 ondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C.
9 7801)) that the alien attended in the
10 United States.
11 ‘‘(B) HARDSHIP EXCEPTION.—
12 ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary
13 may adjust the status of a registered provi
14 sional immigrant to the status of a lawful
15 permanent resident if the alien—
16 ‘‘(I) satisfies the requirements
17 under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), and (v) of
18 subparagraph (A); and
19 ‘‘(II) demonstrates compelling
20 circumstances for the inability to sat
21 isfy the requirement under subpart
22 graph (A)(iv).
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A conditional permanent resident receives a green card valid for 2 years. In order to remain a permanent resident, a conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the condition during the 90 days before the card expires. The conditional card cannot be renewed. The conditions must be removed or you will lose your permanent resident status. Read more…
The Office on Violence Against Women is a component of the United States Department of Justice. In recognition of the severity of the crimes associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA 1994) as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. VAWA is a comprehensive legislative package designed to end violence against women and was reauthorized in both 2000 and 2005. The legislative history of VAWA indicates that Congress seeks to remedy the legacy of laws and social norms that serve to justify violence against women. Since the passage of VAWA, there has been a paradigm shift in how the issue of violence against women is addressed.
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) was created specifically to implement (VAWA) and subsequent legislation. OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities around the country to facilitate the creation of programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
VAWA was designed to improve criminal justice responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to increase the availability of services for victims of these crimes. VAWA requires a coordinated community response (CCR) to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, encouraging jurisdictions to bring together players from diverse backgrounds to share information and to use their distinct roles to improve community responses to violence against women. These players include, but are not limited to: victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation and corrections officials, health care professionals, leaders within faith communities, and survivors of violence against women. The federal law takes a comprehensive approach to violence against women by combining tough new penalties to prosecute offenders while implementing programs to aid the victims of such violence.
The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) and the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Re-authorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) reauthorized the grant programs created by the original VAWA and subsequent legislation, as well as established new programs. Specifically, the new programs of VAWA 2005 include the Court Training and Improvements, Child Witness, and Culturally Specific programs. The VAWA 2000 re-authorization…Read more
VAWA Re authorization Benefits for DV Victims
“VAWA” falls under the Humanitarian Visa category and is available for certain Battered Spouses (male or female), Children and Parents of US Citizens and Permanent Resident Abusers.
“VAWA” is a Self-Petition which means that the abuser need not be aware, nor will s(he) be notified by the USCIS that the applicant has filed to attain legal status in the USA.
Upon establishing a Prima Facie case a Determination Notice will issue to enable filing for monetary benefit, among other available statutory relief from the various coordinating governmental entities.
Employment Authorization issuance is a possibility as part of the benefits available under “VAWA”.
For more information on ways the VAWA Re authorization Benefits for DV Victims
See, the USCIS Websitefor further eligibility criteria and procedures for filing for such relief.
(1) In general.-In the case of an alien who is a national of a foreign state designated under subsection (b) (or in the case of an alien having no nationality, is a person who last habitually resided in such designated state) and who meets the requirements of subsection (c), the Attorney General, in accordance with this section-
(A) may grant the alien temporary protected status in the United States and shall not remove the alien from the United States during the period in which such status is in effect, and
(B) shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the United States and provide the alien with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit.
(2) Duration of work authorization.-Work authorization provided under this section shall be effective throughout the period the alien is in temporary protected status under this section.
(A) Upon the granting of temporary protected status under this section, the Attorney General shall provide the alien with information concerning such status under this section.
(B) If, at the time of initiation of a removal proceeding against an alien, the foreign state (of which the alien is a national) is designated under subsection (b), the Attorney General shall promptly notify the alien of the temporary protected status that may be available under this section.
(C) If, at the time of designation of a foreign state under subsection (b), an alien (who is a national of such state) is in a removal proceeding under this title, the Attorney General shall promptly notify the alien of the temporary protected status that may be available under this section.
(D) Notices under this paragraph shall be provided in a form and language that the alien can understand.
(4) Temporary treatment for eligible aliens.-
(A) In the case of an alien who can establish a prima facie case of eligibility for benefits under paragraph (1), but for the fact that the period of registration under subsection (c)(1)(A)(iv) has not begun, until the alien has had a reasonable opportunity to register during the first 30 days of such period, the Attorney General shall provide for the benefits of paragraph (1).
WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the posting of a final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances. The final rule establishes a process that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin. The process will be effective on March 4, 2013 and more information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at www.uscis.gov.
“This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa,” said Secretary Napolitano.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received more than 4,000 comments in response to the April 2, 2012 proposed rule and considered all of them in preparing the final rule.
“The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens, which is precisely what this rule achieves,” USCIS Director Mayorkas said. “The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated from those they rely upon.”
Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States to become lawful permanent residents must leave the U.S. and obtain an immigrant visa abroad. Individuals who have accrued more than six months of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver to overcome the unlawful presence inadmissibility bar before they can return to the United States after departing to obtain an immigrant visa. Under the existing waiver process, which remains available to those who do not qualify for the new process, immediate relatives cannot file a waiver application until after they have appeared for an immigrant visa interview abroad and the Department of State has determined that they are inadmissible.
In order to obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence, and demonstrate the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent. USCIS will publish a new form, Form I-601A, Application for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, for individuals to use when applying for a provisional unlawful presence waiver under the new process.
Under the new provisional waiver process, immediate relatives must still depart the United States for the consular immigrant visa process; however, they can apply for a provisional waiver before they depart for their immigrant visa interview abroad. Individuals who file the Form I-601A must notify the Department of State’s National Visa Center that they are or will be seeking a provisional waiver from USCIS. The new process will reduce the amount of time U.S. citizen are separated from their qualifying immediate relatives. Details on the process changes are available at www.regulations.gov.
DHS Announces Final Rule to Support Family Unity During Waiver Process. Read more…
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 0 comments
Humanitarian Parole is used to bring someone into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a compelling emergency. (e.g., earthquake, tsunami or other similar disasters)
Who can apply for Humanitarian Parole?
Anyone can file an application for Humanitarian Parole based on an urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit needs.
How long can a Parolee remain in the United States?
Humanitarian Parole, if granted, will be for a specific time period. The parolee must depart the United States prior to that expiration date or reapply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services “USCIS” for reconsideration.
What immigration benefits does a grant of Humanitarian Parole bestow?
A grant of humanitarian parole does not bestow any immigration benefit to a parolee.
If you need humanitarian parole for medical reasons, you must submit the following, with documentation to support any assertions, where available:
An explanation from a medical doctor stating the diagnosis and prognosis, and how long the treatment is expected to last
Information on the reasons why you cannot obtain treatment in your home country or in a neighboring country
The estimated cost of the treatment and an explanation on how the treatment will be paid for
How you will pay to return to your country
If you are considering filing for Humanitarian Parole benefit for yourself or on behalf of another, consult an Immigration attorney.
The information on this website is for general purposes only and is not intended to be taken as applicable to your specific individual case. Furthermore, accessing this website, viewing, downloading, or otherwise receiving information contained therein does not constitute nor create an attorney-client relationship with our firm.
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 2 Comments
Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Visa Fact Sheet
Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa Fact Sheet
Immigrants are particularly vulnerable because many may not speak English, are often separated from family and friends, and may not understand the laws of the United States. For these reasons, immigrants are often afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance. Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships.
This fact sheet will explain domestic violence and inform you of your legal rights in the United States. Also, this fact sheet provides the same information as the pamphlet titled, “Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa.” The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) requires that the U.S. government provide foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses immigrating to the United States information about their legal rights as well as criminal or domestic violence histories of their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s and spouses. One of IMBRA’s goals is to provide accurate information to immigrating fiancé(e)s and spouses about the immigration process and how to access help if their relationship becomes abusive.
Questions & Answers
Q1. What is domestic violence? A1. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior when one intimate partner or spouse threatens or abuses the other partner. Abuse may include physical harm, forced sexual relations, emotional manipulation (including isolation or intimidation), and economic and/or immigration-related threats. While most recorded incidents of domestic violence involve men abusing women or children, men can also be victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence may include sexual assault, child abuse and other violent crimes. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, even with your spouse, and can be committed by anyone. Child abuse includes: physical abuse (any injury that does not happen by accident, including excessive punishment), physical neglect (failure to provide food, shelter, medical care or supervision), sexual abuse, and emotional abuse (threats, withholding love, support or guidance).
Under all circumstances, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are illegal in the United States. All people in the United States (regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnicity, national origin or immigration status) are guaranteed protection from abuse under the law. Any victim of domestic violence – regardless of immigration or citizenship status – can seek help. An immigrant victim of domestic violence may also be eligible for immigration related protections.
If you are experiencing domestic violence in your home, you are not alone. This fact sheet is intended to help you understand U.S. laws and know how to get help if you need it.
Q2. What are the legal rights for victims of domestic violence in the United States? A2. All people in the United States, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, are guaranteed basic protections under both civil and criminal law. Laws governing families provide you with:
The right to obtain a protection order for you and your child(ren).
The right to legal separation or divorce without the consent of your spouse.
The right to share certain marital property. In cases of divorce, the court will divide any property or financial assets you and your spouse have together.
The right to ask for custody of your child(ren) and financial support. Parents of children under the age of 21 often are required to pay child support for any child not living with them.
Consult a family lawyer who works with immigrants to discuss how any of these family law options may affect or assist you.
Under U.S. law, any crime victim, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, can call the police for help or obtain a protection order.
Call the police at 911 if you or your child(ren) are in danger. The police may arrest your fiancé(e), spouse, partner, or another person if they believe that person has committed a crime. You should tell the police about any abuse that has happened, even in the past, and show any injuries. Anyone, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, may report a crime.
Likewise, if you are a victim of domestic violence you can apply to a court for a protection order. A court-issued protection order or restraining order may tell your abuser not to call, contact or hurt you, your child(ren), or other family members. If your abuser violates the protection order, you can call the police. Applications for protection orders are available at most courthouses, police stations, women’s shelters and legal service offices.
If your abuser accuses you of a crime, you have basic rights, regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, including: the right to talk to a lawyer; the right to not answer questions without a lawyer present; the right to speak in your defense. It is important to talk with both an immigration lawyer and a criminal lawyer.
Q3. What services are available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the United States? A3. In the United States, victims of crime, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status, can access help provided by government or non-governmental agencies, which may include counseling, interpreters, safety planning, emergency housing and even monetary assistance.
The national telephone numbers or “hotlines” listed below have operators trained to help victims 24-hours a day free of charge. Interpreters are available and these numbers can connect you with other free services for victims in your local area, including emergency housing, medical care, counseling and legal advice. If you cannot afford to pay a lawyer you may qualify for a free or low-cost legal aid program for immigrant crime or domestic violence victims.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-787-3224 (TTY) www.ndvh.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse
and Incest National Network (RAINN)
1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) www.rainn.org
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) www.missingkids.com
The National Center for Victims of Crime
1-800-211-7996 (TTY) www.ncvc.org
Note: These are organizations whose primary mission is safety and protection.
Q4. If I am a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or other crime, what immigration options are available to me? A4. There are three ways immigrants who become victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and some other specific crimes may apply for legal immigration status for themselves and their child(ren). A victim’s application is confidential and no one, including an abuser, crime perpetrator or family member, will be told that you applied.
Self-petitions for legal status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Cancellation of removal under VAWA
U-nonimmigrant status (crime victims)
These immigration benefits each have specific requirements that must be established. Consult an immigration lawyer who works with victims of domestic violence to discuss how any of these immigration benefits may affect or assist you.
Q5. How does the marriage-based immigration process work? A5. The marriage-based immigration process involves several steps to obtain legal immigration status in the United States, and over time, to be eligible for citizenship. These steps depend on the type of marriage-based visa you travel on to the United States, as well as other factors. The following information is an overview of some of these types of visas, as well as information on your legal rights.
K-1 nonimmigrant status (as the fiancé(e) of a United States citizen). You are required to either marry the United States citizen within 90 days of entry or to depart the United States. Following your marriage to the U.S. citizen who petitioned for you, you must file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). If your Form I-485 is approved, your status will be adjusted from a K nonimmigrant to that of a conditional permanent resident. You will have that conditional status for two years.
If you remain in the U.S. without marrying the U.S. citizen who sponsored your K-1 visa, or marry someone else, you will violate the terms of your visa, have no legal status, and may be subject to removal proceedings or other penalties.
K-3 nonimmigrant status (as the spouse of a United States citizen). You are allowed to enter the United States temporarily while waiting for approval of a family-based visa petition (Form I-130). Once the Form I-130 is approved, you are entitled to lawful permanent residence (a “green card”) and will need to file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).
All other marriage-based immigration status holders should refer to the information given to them from the U.S. consulate. Additional information may be found online at http://www.uscis.gov.
Q6. What are the penalties for marriage fraud? A6. Immigrants cannot receive immigration benefits if they knowingly enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration law or solely for an immigration benefit. Conviction for marriage fraud can involve imprisonment for up to five (5) years and fines up to $250,000 (U.S. currency). Immigrants who commit marriage fraud may be removed from the United States and may be permanently barred from future immigration benefits in the United States.
Q7. If I am married to a U.S. citizen who filed immigration papers on my behalf, what is my immigration status? A7. If you have been married less than 2 years when your Form I-485 is approved, you will receive a conditional permanent residence status or “green card” from USCIS. Ninety (90) days before the second anniversary of your conditional residence, you and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on your lawful residence. To do so, you must prove the marriage is in “good faith” and valid. Once the conditions are removed, you have permanent residency that is not dependent on your U.S. spouse.
If you have been married more than 2 years when your Form I-485 is approved, you will receive permanent residence status from USCIS. On that date you will no longer be dependent on your U.S. citizen spouse for immigration status.
There are three situations when the law allows conditional residents the option to request a waiver of the requirement that you and your spouse file jointly to request removal of the conditions. 1) The removal of a conditional resident from the U.S. would result in extreme hardship; OR 2) The marriage was legally terminated, other than by death, and the applicant was not at fault for failing to file a timely application to remove the conditional residency; OR 3) During the marriage the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse subjected the conditional resident to battery or extreme cruelty. All three waivers are filed on Form I-751 and require you to prove your marriage was in “good faith” and not fraudulent.
Q8. What other ways does the U.S. government try to inform foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses about their rights and protect them and their children from abuse? A8. As mentioned above, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA) is a law in the United States that changed the marriage-based immigration process to help foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses. IMBRA mandates that the U.S. government give immigrating foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses information and self-help tools to help protect them against violence from the partners who sponsor their visas. Immigrating fiancé(e)s and spouses are often unfamiliar with the U.S. laws and unsupported by family or friends to escape violence at home.
IMBRA required a pamphlet be written and distributed to tell you about laws and services that can help you in the United States if you are abused. The pamphlet is titled, “Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa.” The pamphlet presents the same information as this fact sheet. IMBRA prevents U.S. citizens from sponsoring multiple visas for foreign fiancé(e)s if they have a history of violent crimes. IMBRA requires the U.S. government to give foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses of U.S. citizens a copy of the criminal background check that USCIS does on U.S. citizen-sponsors, as well as a copy of the visa sponsorship application.
Q9. How does the U.S. government regulate “International Marriage Brokers”? A9. If an agency qualifies as an “international marriage broker,” it is prohibited from doing business with you if you are under 18 years of age. The agency is required to give you background information on the U.S. client who wants to contact you, including information contained in federal and state sex offender public registries, and get your written permission before giving the U.S. client your contact information. The agency is required to give you a copy of the pamphlet mentioned above.
Q10. Can I rely on the criminal background information on my U.S. citizen fiancé(e) or spouse? A10. The criminal background information compiled by the agency comes from various public sources, as well as information provided by the U.S. citizen clients on immigration applications. USCIS does not have access to all criminal history databases in the United States. The U.S. citizen sponsor may not tell the truth in the sponsorship application. It is also possible the U.S. citizen has a history of abusive behavior but was never arrested or convicted. Therefore, the criminal background information you receive may not be complete. The intent of IMBRA is to provide available information and resources to immigrating fiancé(e)s and spouses. Ultimately you are responsible for deciding whether you feel safe in the relationship.
Q11. Can foreign spouses who are victims of domestic violence also be victims of human tracking? A11. Other forms of exploitation, including human trafficking, can sometimes occur alongside domestic violence, when the exploitation involves compelled or coerced labor, services, or commercial sex acts. Help regarding human trafficking may be found at:
The following recommendation is not exclusive of the type of planning to be performed when arranging travel for the Elderly. Speak with a physician and travel professional to ensure that all vaccinations are up to date and advisories (Governmental and Health) have been disclosed.
Ensure that the destination- national or international is weather friendly.
Seniors are easily compromised by adverse weather conditions, such as and not limited to: high humidity, extreme cold/ heat exposure, among others.
Additionally, non-potable drinking water, lack of access to prescription medication and medical care may be at issue.
Perform a pre-travel destination search to line up all information on local resources.
Book direct flights whenever possible, if unable to do so
Make sure to allow adequate time for transfer through the airport to the connecting terminal
Request expedited/priority boarding
Purchase seat with extra legroom
Wear layered clothing to provide for warmth and adjusting the temperature as needed
Take a wrap or sweater for extra warmth
Pack comfortable clothing and shoes for walking appropriate for the expected travel activities
Pack a Change of Clothing in carry-on, in case of lost baggage
Pack all medications in carry-on luggage, to ensure access while in flight
Get there early, 2 hours or so for national flights
Request gate and boarding assistance through the use of wheelchair and carts, etc…
Getting around the airport
The Federal Aviation Administration “FAA” has strict guidelines on rendering assistance for persons’ with disabilities (physical or mental impairments) by ensuring the provision of wheelchair, electric carts and medical assistance is available;
Moreover, the FAA allows in-flight oxygen concentrator with a doctor’s written statement of medical necessity. (Sample Application) – Onboard usage may not be permitted, however. Check with airline.
[“6/29/2012 AC 150/5220-21C
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
A fundamental goal of this AC is to promote the simple, fast, and dignified boarding of all passengers regardless of their physical, sensory, or cognitive capabilities through the use performance standards, specifications, and recommendations for aircraft boarding equipment.
NOTE: The Department of Justice issued 28 CFR Part 36, adopting enforceable accessibility standards under the ADA consistent with the minimum guidelines and requirements of the Access Board. The rule at 28 CFR Part 36 adopts the Access Board guidelines found at 36 CFR Part 1191, Appendix D (2009), and these guidelines now have legal effect. Accordingly, all references to 36 CFR Part 1191, Appendix D (2009) throughout this AC, are codified at 28 CFR Part 36.
1.2. PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.
a. The equipment in this advisory circular (AC) provides accommodations for a wide range of passengers, including those with mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments. It is important to recognize that, for each of these types of disabilities, there exists a full range of characteristics. Mobility impairments range from people that have difficulty walking due to use of a prosthetic to the high level quadriplegic. Likewise, sensory impairments are on a continuous scale; most people with visual and hearing impairments are not totally blind or deaf but may have a very limited range of visual or aural stimuli that they can detect.
b. Understanding that all of the different disabilities include a wide range of severity is essential in planning equipment that is appropriate for everyone. Many manifestations of a disability must be considered so as not to leave out certain groups of individuals with mobility impairments. For example, the typical reference made for “persons with mobility impairments” is that of wheelchair users. But elderly passengers who walk with a shuffle must also be considered. As such, the importance of handrails, level surfaces at transitions, and appropriate floor surfaces play a significant role in the overall equipment design.
NOTE: For purposes of this document, the term “wheelchair” includes any wheeled mobility aid in which a person sits - typically this includes scooters, manual chairs, and power chairs. “]
Finally- based on the physical, emotional or cognitive impairments of the traveler, it may be advisable to hire the services of a travel companion to ensure a safe, worry free travel experience and successful and timely arrival to the desired destination.
Resources: Senior Travel Safety Precautions and Logistics
Getting Home to the USA After Being Stranded Overseas
Did You Know… that you can apply for Repatriation Loan from the US Government if you find yourself destitute overseas?
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE BEFORE DEPARTING THE US
TO ENSURE YOUR SAFE RETURN
Make three (3) copies of your Passport Identification page and Visa, if applicable;
Leave two (2) copies with family and friends whom you can readily contact in an emergency;
Take along a copy with you; keep it in a separate safe place from your actual original Passport;
Leave with the above persons copies of your itinerary and other details of your travels- as they too can contact the authorities regarding your whereabouts in the event of a catastrophic event;
Scan and email a copy of your documents to yourself for subsequent retrieval if needed;
Take along four (4) Passport Photos (taken within 30 days of your recent travels);
Take along various forms of identifications; such as and not limited to : State Driver’s License, School ID, Work ID.
Make sure to keep those items in a safe place to protect them from theft or from being lost.
Take along a copy of your Birth Certificate, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship, whichever is applicable;
If planning to remain in one particular country or territory overseas for an extended period (over two weeks) or if country conditions are unstable: register with the US Embassy promptly upon your arrival- this will ensure or facilitate their ability to contact you in the event of an emergency and/or evacuation of US Citizens from the region.
Promptly report to the police; request an official Police Report.
ITEMS NEEDED TO APPLY FOR PASSPORT
Passport Photos, taken within the last 30 days.
PASSPORT APPLICATIONS WITHIN THE USA
Use this link for Locations where to apply by zip code.
Utilize a Passport/Visa Expedite Service; or the Expedited Services of the US Department of State.
For medical emergencies overseas contact the local US Embassy for a listing of Doctors/Hospitals or Medivac Services that cover the country location.
In the event that you are unable to provide the funds for your own transportation back to the US, you may apply for a Repatriation Loan.
NON US CITIZEN RESOURCES
Eligibility may include the following:
Replacement of your Green Card;
Replacement of your I-94, Initial Non-Immigrant Arrival/Departure Records.
IF STRANDED IN THE USA DURING A CATASTROPHIC EVENT IN YOUR HOMELAND
Eligibility may include the following:
Temporary Protected Status;
Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status;
USCIS Application Fee Waiver, if eligible.
FOR CATASTROPHIC EVENTS IN YOUR HOMELAND WHILE PRESENT
Eligibility includes, but is not limited to the following:
by Yolette M Saintiny (Yolette M Saintiny, Esq.) 0 comments
Foreign nationals who seek permanent residence in the United States and receive an immigrant visa will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee beginning February 1, 2013.
The new fee of $165 was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010. USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the cost of processing that is performed in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS and are admitted to the United States.
Note: Applicants will now have two separate fees to pay. They are still required to pay the DOS visa application processing fee, and will now also have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.
What the Fee Covers
The immigrant fee will cover the cost of USCIS staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card.
Who Needs to Pay the Fee
Any individual who on or after February 1, 2013 receives an immigrant visa package from a United States consulate or embassy abroad (including Canada and Mexico) will pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.
The fee does not apply to those entering the United States under inter-country adoptions programs.
Children admitted into the United States under the Orphan or Hague Adoptions Process are currently exempt from paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee; however, USCIS will consider the cost of processing immigrant visas issued by the DOS for the Orphan and Hague process the next time there is an adjustment to the fee schedule.
When and How to Pay the Fee
Applicants must pay this fee online through the USCIS website. Applicants should submit payments after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States.
Applicants can electronically submit the fee by answering the questions on the USCIS website by providing their:
checking account information, or debit or credit card information.
All check payments must be drawn on a U.S. bank.
If the applicant is unable to make this payment, another person can make this payment on the applicant’s behalf.
Failure to Pay
The applicant will not receive a green card until the required USCIS Immigrant fee is paid.
Failure to pay does not affect the lawful status of the applicant. While the applicant can use their Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, for one year to document they are a lawful permanent resident, once that I-94 stamp expires, the applicant will need to possess a green card as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status.
Implementation of New USCIS Immigrant Fee Feb. 1
New fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas after individuals receive their visa packages from the Department of State abroad
WASHINGTON—On Feb. 1, 2013,U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States. This new fee was established in USCIS’sfinal ruleadjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.
USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS. This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The implementation of this new fee is further detailed in aFederal Registernotice scheduled for publication tomorrow.
In order to simplify and centralize the payment process, applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States. DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.
USCIS processes approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee.