Friday, May 18, 2012

Immigration Fun

Mia was up all night on Wednesday through Thursday morning just non-stop coughing. She has had the sniffles basically every day since being enrolled in daycare, but it looks like she got a new string of virus in the past couple of days, because the mucus has multiplied.Needless to say, after a sleep less night for all three members of the Frenchie family, only my courageous husband made it to his regularly scheduled activities. Mia and I went to the pediatrician in the morning, where we were sent on our merry way with nothing but advice to use the humidifier and to prop her mattress up. Thanks so much, but hey, at least it's not strep. Also, upon the fear of it once again being strep, our very nice Pediatrician told me to also say "Ahh" and declared that I had more inflammation than Mia, so not to worry. Great, thanks so much. We spent the rest of the day alternating between the couch and the bed, Mia wanting to sleep on me the whole time, while I strategically try to keep my airways out of hers so as not to, you know, give her more of my inflammation.

This morning, after a full night's sleep on everyone's part, everyone seemed good enough to go in the morning, so here I am, back at work. I always dread coming in after missing more than just one day of work (wednesday was my cut-back day), but here I am at 10:30 already caught up. One of my very least favorite things was sitting in my email waiting for me to read and seethe about: an email from a person whose green card I am currently working on, saying something along the lines of: "My friend's green card was recently denied because a change in the law, so I think we should try a different approach." My somewhat polite answer: "There are a million reasons your friends petition may have been denied, whether her employer explained it to her in full or not. Green card applications are very complicated, and it isn't as simple as checking a different box. I have prepared your petition following the standards, and according to what this company is willing to offer you. I am confident in submitting this petition as we had discussed."

Don't you just love it when Clients listen to their friends, and based on that want to tell you what to do? Immigration practice, in its basic, uncomplicated, "I want to live in the US" form is very different from traditional law practice. There are petitions to prepare, and there are so many avenues to navigate. My very favorite thing about this job is just that: figuring out what the best route is, choosing which visa path to follow, whether people qualify for one over another, etc. It's very logical and diagram-y, and I like it. I started here knowing NOTHING about it, and figuring it out on my own from the USCIS website, handbooks and textbooks and from just doing it. But one of the downsides to this type of practice is that it is so detail oriented, that explaining your choice to your client can be pointless, such as it is in this case. There are so many nuances to employment-based immigration, what a company can do, what goes into a job description, who qualifies for it, what jobs you don't have a prayer of getting a foreigner for, etc. They just don't get it. And in communities that have had so much exposure to immigration, the experience their friend has, and who no doubt explained it to them in very rudimentary and nontechnical terms, is almost always taken as the best advice. No, I didn't learn about Immigration in law school, but I certainly learned how to represent a client to the best of my abilities. So please, stop listening to your friend whose green card was denied. Don't even listen to your friend whose green card was approved! Listen to me.

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