Sunday March 26, 2006

Immigration snafu

'Immigrants Arrive' USPS postage stamp I strongly disagree that illegal immigrants deserve whatever they get. Our nation’s immigration policy is completely totally wack, and the difference between a “legal immigrant” and an “illegal immigrant” is determined by that policy, not by the immigrant’s choice. By definition, an immigrant is someone who’s left everything they know behind for a life, usually, of hard work and some degree of permanent outsider status. For an illegal, this status is augmented by the knowledge that they could at any time be sent back to an uncertain fate in their home country. (And don’t make me lecture you on the role immigrants have played, and continue to play, in the US economy.)

Criminals who prey on illegal immigrants (who are at the most vulnerable point in their lives) deserve our contempt. The US should ease its immigration policy (if not open its borders altogether). I direct the reader to John’s comment in the first link, above, and to the excellent movie Life and Debt.

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  1. Rick    Sun Mar 26, 07:42 PM #  

    Whoa. Hold on, Alesh.

    #1, I never said they deserve what they get. What I DID say is that I can’t go to bat for them when they’re pretending to be something they aren’t in order to gain legal status. “They are on their own” is what I said.

    #2, I have and will continue to support legal immigration efforts by all people who want to come into the U.S. I fully supported letting the Cubans who ended up on the 7-Mile-Bridge into the U.S. and said so at SotP. I thought it was wrong for the Coast Guard to send them back and, as it turns out, I was right. Common sense won out.

    Just because our immigration laws aren’t want we want them to be doesn’t mean people are entitled to scam their way into this country.

    Haitians, or anyone for that matter, masquerading as American Indians is just plain wrong. Maybe it’s okay with you, but it’s something that I can never support no matter how discriminatory or unfair our immigration policies may appear to be.

    .



  2. alesh    Sun Mar 26, 08:32 PM #  

    #1: What you said is: “These ‘victims’ are scammers being scammed and, as such, are on their own, as far as I’m concerned.”

    #2: If it were Haitians caught on that bridge, they’d have been sent back without any discussion. That’s because ANY immigrant from Haiti is an illegal immigrant.

    These people are desperate. They are illegal immigrants because there is no way for them to be “legal” immigrants. Given that, it’s just plain wrong to judge any effort they may make (that doesn’t hurt anyone else, which this obviously doesn’t) to acquire legal status.

    SO, I see no reason why fraud against them is any less contemptible then fraud against anyone else (I would argue it’s more contemptible).

    (That aside, it’s bizarre how fast that miamisnews trackback appeared on your site, rather then a direct link to my post.)



  3. Rick    Sun Mar 26, 09:23 PM #  

    Your point about the Haitians being on the bridge and being sent back is a valid one and one that shows the disparity between the way they are treated and the way Cubans are treated. But it’s certainly not something that I was addressing in my post. Somehow you came to the conclusion that I was telling all illegal immigrants to take a hike or that they deserve anything that they get.

    Let me clarify again: illegal Haitian immigrants who want to pretend that they are Native American Indians will not receive my support. Period. I’m not against all illegal immigrants. But in this specific case, I do not support the Haitian’s claims. It’s a pretty simple position, I think, and one that shouldn’t be mischaracterized to make it look like I’m some kind of conservative wingnut who wants to close our borders.

    MiamisNews has your post up on their site. I’m not following what you’re saying.



  4. alesh    Sun Mar 26, 10:29 PM #  

    Rick (#1): “Just because our immigration laws aren’t [what] we want them to be doesn’t mean people are entitled to scam their way into this country.”

    OK, I went and looked up the word “scam,” and it turns out that your use of it is, in fact, compatible with the dictionary definition. It doesn’t sit right with me, though. To me, the word scam implies that they’re somehow harming someone else. They’re not.

    They’re breaking the law, yes, but laws that are not moral SHOULD be broken (for the love of God, hasn’t American history taught us that much?).

    These people are desperate. If you agree that the laws are wrong (?), then why not support these people’s non-violent efforts to get around them?



  5. John    Mon Mar 27, 01:29 AM #  

    Alright, someone stop me here. No? Okay. It’s funny that the posting above (about the hunger striker)is here this one exists. Let’s face it. We are living in the time of an empire. We/they do awful things to people. We ignore misery and pain around us and cry when we are told to feel. People way above our pay grade do even worse. We all pretend to be moral about it. We are selective in our morality and we have our morality selected for us. Does any one care that the US has supported the regime that many people “exiled” themselves from that brought about the one that caused the picture of the hunger striker? (I don’t because many of those people committed crimes greater than me and people I see every day.)But somehow I have never seen a picture of the non-voluntary hungry and ill that exist in places that we do like, whether it be in the Third World or here in our own country. I think I stepped over a few on my way to work. Does anyone care that after a good ol’ war against the Sandinistas Nicaragua and has become a nation once again of death squads, a total lack of freedom of press (if anyone could afford to indulge in such things there) and the poorest nation in the hemisphere next to that Hell in July Haiti. Ditto Honduras, Guatamala, the DR (shit, most of Latin America or practically all of Sub-Saharan Africa). Does anyone care that some of the same Indians from Central America that walk our streets fled death squads that our government trained and often abetted with our soldiers and mercenaries only to be “ILLEGAL” domestic peasants. And then there is my fav, freedom of expression. We don’t have freedom of press or freedom of conscience. What I have, and many of my class and social grouping/strata have is the right to discuss (within limits) and pretend that I have more power than I actually have. I’m happy that thanks to living in this empire, as a citizen of a certain background I usually can live a fat and sassy existence, indulge in consumerism all at the expense/ignornal of starving, muted people here and abroad. Oh there is hope- hopefully I and others can help to make a small difference in great injustices. However that is accomplish, I hope that we can try not to break laws and I personally don’t lose any of my rights as a social security card citizen of our Empire. That was the first and last non-Miami specific post I’ll put up on a Miami blog. Thanks Alesh! Stop being right and making me heatedly agree.(PS, Rick,I DO get your point about the INDIAN thing being particularly egregious in light of the continuing and glorified GENOCIDE.)



  6. Rick    Mon Mar 27, 06:23 AM #  

    Alesh, could it be that by posing as American Indians these Haitians are lessening the chances of those Haitians who are using legitimate means and following the rules? I don’t know. Are there so many resident alien cards granted per country per year?

    As far as morals go, they’re like opinions. Everyone has their own. If given too much change at the grocery store, some people would just pocket it and walk out. Some would keep it and not say a word and let the clerk suffer for it at the end of the day.

    Pretending to be someone I’m not crosses my “moral line.” Obviously, it’s okay with you if done for the right set of circumstances. No big deal. But it’s where we differ.



  7. alesh    Mon Mar 27, 08:10 AM #  

    Rick~ We may have to agree to disagree, but for now, I find your position internally inconsistent: If I keep the extra change, I’m arguably hurting the cashier and stealing from the store. It’s an act with victims, whereas you can’t seem to identify any victims of these people’s actions.

    Pretending to be someone I’m not crosses my “moral line.” Obviously, it’s okay with you if done for the right set of circumstances. No big deal. But it’s where we differ.

    What about Jews during the Holocaust? What about fair-skinned African-Americans during Jim Crow? What about Indians during the Trail of Tears? All people who might have pretended to change their identity to avoid presecution; would they all have “crossed your moral line,” too?

    Go read about the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, those fucked-up rules (aimed only at Haitians, notice!), and click on a couple of those links I gave above.

    John~ Yes, I’ve read my ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel,’ I’ve read my Noam Chomsky. I am aware, to some small degree, of what’s happening in parts of Central and South America, and I’m aware that our government has sometimes contributed to those situations. I’m much less sure of how we proceed from here.

    Does any one care that the US has supported the regime that many people “exiled” themselves from that brought about the one that caused the picture of the hunger striker?

    Maybe you can elaborate what you mean by this a little?



  8. John    Mon Mar 27, 08:26 AM #  

    Ha! Wouldn’t with a ten foot pole. ;) You’re so a trouble maker Alesh. Keep up the great work. And I think Rick’s concern may be more with the unseemliness of using Native Americans and maybe the anarchy that might ensue if these things become widespread practice. Yes? Hmmm. What’s going on with the Marlin stadium thing?



  9. Rick    Mon Mar 27, 08:33 AM #  

    As I pointed out, Haitians who decide to become Indians to obtain legal status may be harming their fellow Haitians who chose to represent themselves as Haitian.

    Equating U.S. immigration policies to the Nazi’s efforts to commit genocide is kind of a stretch, don’t you think Alesh?

    Wow. Never in my life did I think I would have to debate why Haitians representing themselves as Native Americans wasn’t right.

    I’ll be quiet and let others have a say.



  10. Native American    Mon Mar 27, 09:14 AM #  

    Burned, scalped, ripped off, infected with smallpox, and genocided almost out of existence; school drop-out, unemployment, and alocoholic rates the highest in the land…...and somebody out there is pretending to be me and mine? I pity the poor soul from the bottom of my beating heart. I got nothin’ and no one, but count on my help.



  11. Robert    Mon Mar 27, 09:35 AM #  

    I don’t think anyone should justify Haitians (or any other group) lying to gain legal status.

    However, and this is where I see Alesh’s point, our immigration system sort of encourages this type of behavior. I don’t think we should just open up borders, but we should have some common sense and give Haitians and others the opportunity to present their cases.



  12. John    Mon Mar 27, 10:21 AM #  

    Greeeaat comment Native friend (or is it amigo)? I’m proud at this moment to be a Miami blogger.



  13. alesh    Mon Mar 27, 01:38 PM #  

    Rick: Equating U.S. immigration policies to the Nazi’s efforts to commit genocide is kind of a stretch, don’t you think Alesh?

    I challenge you to go back and read what I said, ‘cause you’re getting it extremely wrong. (Hint: you said it was over your “moral line” to impersonate someone else. I tried to point out some other situations where people were forced to do just that, to see if it was “over your moral line” in those situations. So… is it?)

    Robert: I don’t think anyone should justify Haitians (or any other group) lying to gain legal status.

    Does being hungry and not being able to afford bread for your kids justify stealing the bread? It’s that old saw.

    Look, guys: It’s possible to imagine a situation where ANYONE would agree that it’s moral to lie. The only question is whether this is one of those situations. Let’s see . . . you have a country (Haiti) where people are being killed and chopped up with machetes and dying of starvation, and you have another country that’s capable of taking them in and refusing to do so…

    It’s a different story if someone can show me some evidence that doing so somehow hurts other immigrants (or anyone at all).



  14. KAIB ("Klotz" As In "Blood")    Mon Mar 27, 03:23 PM #  

    You’re all wearing this issue back-asswards. You’re all talking like we need to make immigration fairer and easier. I agree with the fairer part, but easier? There’s too many people in this country now, and I don’t mean too many of any particular color or flavor. There’s too many people on earth, period. Corrupt and perverted immigration laws are nature’s way of winnowing out a certain percentage of the population.

    We should apply strict immigration standards not only to would-be immigrants, but established citizens as well. Instead of FCATs, we should have IMMI-CATs. Upon graduation, if a kid can’t pass, he gets deported to the country of his ancestors, even if it was 6 generations ago and the country technically doesn’t exist any more. Yeehah! Toss ‘em outta the plane when you cross into the former country’s airspace. Same deal every ten years for adults until age 75, at which time euthanasia is encouraged.

    What’s that? Time for my medication again? Oh, all right…..



  15. Rick    Mon Mar 27, 09:17 PM #  

    Okay, I went back and see what you’re saying, Alesh.

    I don’t agree that at least two of the three examples you gave are the same as the Haitian’s case. If the Haitians don’t pretend to be Indians, what happens to them? Well, they may, and I emphasize may, get caught and be sent back to Haiti. And they might get killed there like they might get killed here (Wait, wait….I know things are bad in Haiti, but what I’m talking about is random street violence). And there’s a slim chance that they’ll actually obtain legal status like thousands of other Haitians have somehow managed to do.

    The Jews and the Indians didn’t have as many choices as I remember.*

    And, finally, for the third time, Haitians using improper means to obtain legal status may be keeping legitimate Haitians from obtaining theirs.

    *I’m not familiar with the Jim Crow laws.



  16. noneya    Tue Mar 28, 12:05 AM #  

    all you liberals MUST be immigrants.



  17. alesh    Tue Mar 28, 06:51 AM #  

    I see, Rick. So you’re changing your position from “it’s never permissible to pretend to be someone else,” to “it’s permissible to pretend to be someone else if you’re in enough danger.” Additionally, you don’t believe that Haitians are in sufficient danger for you to grant your approval.

    I suppose that clears things up, although if you believe that “they might get killed there like they might get killed here,” then I suspect many Haitian immigrants would tell you that you in fact have no clue about how bad things are in Haiti.

    Having said that, if Haitians’ using improper means to obtain legal status does in fact keep legitimate Haitians from obtaining theirs, then that does change things. However, I have no evidence to suggest that this is the case, and your use of the word “may” suggests you have none, either.



  18. Rick    Tue Mar 28, 08:21 AM #  

    Having conducted no studies on the matter, I do not have concrete evidence to suggest that Haitians posing as American Indians are taking the place of those Haitians who are doing things the right way. But doesn’t it seem reasonable to believe, Alesh, that if only so many Haitians are granted legal status every year, like every other country in the world, that these Haitians who have become American Indians are locking out others? If you have information to indicate otherwise, I’d be open to hear it.

    Although I never said it, I’ll go with your conclusion that my “moral line” is flexible and dependent upon the circumstances.

    I haven’t been to Haiti in a few years, but I would hardly describe it as a situation with ramifications comparable to Nazi Germany or the Wild West. Okay, so maybe a little like the Wild West, but you get my point.

    And, for the record, I’m also against Iranians posing as Eskimos and the Chinese masquerading as Puerto Ricans. Just so there’s no misunderstanding.



  19. alesh    Tue Mar 28, 09:40 AM #  

    Information? All you need is logic to see that if there were limit on the # of legal Haitian refugees, and if some Haitians used a Native American identity to gain citizenship, (hypothetically, since it never happened), then obviously they’re not being counted as Haitians toward that total. QED.

    (BTW, there is no such limit or quota: the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, which I linked earlier, states a number of rules that determine the circumstances under which citizenship is an option (for example, it excludes anyone who entered the US after 1995); it has nothing about a quota.)

    The circumstances between modern Haiti and Nazi Germany are different, true. I suspect, though, that if you are being brutally killed for something that is no fault of your own, those differences start to look a bit academic.



  20. riley-o    Tue Mar 28, 01:41 PM #  

    Rick-

    your “displacement” theory (if only so many Haitians are granted legal status every year, like every other country in the world, that these Haitians who have become American Indians are locking out others?) sounded good… and then a question: are these “American Indians” still considered immigrants? counted against a quota (if indeed one exists)?



  21. Native American    Tue Mar 28, 05:00 PM #  

    Still” considered immigrants? Riley-o, American Indians were never considered “immigrants.” “Sub-humans,” “savages,” “lowlifes,” “monkeys” (said Jack Abramoff as he pocketed millions of dollars from us), but not “immigrants.” No, we never managed to achieve that lofty and revered status. In fact, thanks to the news surrounding this story, some of us are investigating the possibility of becoming Haitians. Know any scammers we can call?



  22. noneya    Tue Mar 28, 09:00 PM #  

    native american sounds less of a native american than a caucasian…

    i’m into insightful, though.



  23. Rick    Tue Mar 28, 09:52 PM #  

    Well, it appears as though there is a quota system.

    http://www.kkeane.com/quota-faq.shtml

    And riley-o…good question. Indeed, the original article that I linked to at SotP said:

    “Little said a center client told a staff attorney that she no longer needed to continue her case for a green card because the tribal certificate was a quicker way to get status. Little said her office managed to persuade the immigrant to continue fighting for the green card because the certificate was ``bogus.’’

    The immigrants offered the certificate believed it protected them from deportation, Little said.”

    It would appear as though they just pull out this bogus tribal certificate when questioned about their immigration status. If that’s the case, it may not affect the quota numbers as I had originally thought.

    But as a side issue, how crazy would it be to have a Haitian tell you they were an American Indian?

    ***Another aside: Alesh, no html capability in comments??



  24. Manola B    Wed Mar 29, 12:11 AM #  

    I’ve been hesitating to put my toes in this discussion, but I can say this: for sure, Haitian colonial and contemporary history is nothing more than a continuous blood bath, and that I’m not surprised anyone would do anything to get out of that hell island. RIght or wrong from our perspective, we can’t imagine how horrible it must be to sell out your integrity like this. I am sure that no Haitian reallly wants to be part of a bogus tribe.

    I have a soft spot in my heart for Haitians, because knowing their history and how Cubans get special treatment, well it’s just crazy. (And I’m a Cuban-American, ok?) I don’t know the political answer, but I do know that if you are a parent and your child is lying on a dirty floor, crying, hungry with flies flitting about your child’s swollen pot-belly, it’s time to do whatever you need to do to survive and get to a better place … I don’t care where you’re from. You will do what you have to do when there is no other answer coming from your own “country,” whatever that means. Sad but true. It’s the history of all human exile, really.

    The grand irony, and please riddle me this: people taking desperate measures to get into this country (most likely out of sheer desperation, really) and all those jobs that apparently Americans don’t want to do being outsourced to other countries. Hmm … it’s more than a snafu. It’s a tragedy.



  25. "Gypsy" Ed Romany    Wed Mar 29, 12:08 PM #  

    My people have been hounded out of every country in Asia and Europe for centuries, and even today are treated like sub-human scum. We did everything we could just to survive, just to keep our babies from getting pitchforked by police and soldiers just for the sport of seeing which way the blood and brains would spurt. So yeah, we lied, cheated, stole, and skulked around. (Then again, we’re Gypsies—that’s what we do!)

    If those Haitians thought they’d found a way out—and a way in—more power to ‘em. They don’t have the option to wait for a fairer system; they’re dead meat if they do. I understand, I approve, and I hope you comfortable established Americans never find out first-hand what it’s like otherwise. I only urge your understanding, as you understood once before when I showed up desperate and begging for asylum under Lady’s Liberty’s lifted lamp.



  26. riley-o    Wed Mar 29, 01:54 PM #  

    native ~ duh on your immigrant status. you miss my point. rick’s policy basis for not supporting the “poseur route” to the wonders of our “last-one-in-gets-to-mop” market paradise is that innocent, process-abiding haitians would be displaced by those brandishing the bogus credentials of the first americans. this math does not bear out, logically, since your bogus bretheren and sisteren would have effectively removed themselves from the “countable” pool of immigrants by their misdirection. No sir, you are not an immigrant, and perhaps historically your people have been subjected to more dismal realities than the haitians and/or others in the immigrant class, but don’t you think the opportunity is here for your sovereign councils to start floating all your boats with all that royal flush? i mean to be done in by the white man again and again is despicable, i agree, but to be victimized by your own leaders, well now, that demands a closer look too…



  27. MM    Wed Mar 29, 02:20 PM #  

    I worked at a job (the details of which I don’t want to get into) where I dealt with what used to be INS and the State Dept. to help people resolve pending cases. So I can clarify a bit some of the immigration policy comments that have been made here….

    Basically, there’s no such thing as becomming a legal resident just because. You either have to apply for and receive political asylum (which does NOT happen for Haitians, only in extreme individual cases that can’t be applied to everyone as a whole). Asylum works in cases where one can clearly prove that their life would be in danger if sent back. Asylum cases I’ve seen granted are along the lines of Columbians who have physcial proof (threatening letters, deaths in the family) that guerillas are after them. Being from a poor country in upheaval is not a basis for granting asylum (but if you’re Haitian and can prove that they’re after you specifically, you have a chance – understand the difference?) – or be eligible under certain categories.

    There is no provision in current immigration law that grants residency just because you’re here. You can only become a resident if a U.S. citizen (relative) sponsors you, or if you win a spot in the world visa lotto, or if you have certain kinds of specialized worker visas that allow you to apply for permanent stauts after X amount of years. (Cubans also have a special Cuban lotto – 10,000 visas a year, and a program to grant visas to Cubans on the island who are persecuted for their opposition to the government. This one requires a lot of proof and isn’t easy to get).

    There is indeed a limit on the number of visas available through the world lotto, and every year, different countries get different amounts of visas allotted to them. However, unless special provisions are made during specific years, you have to actually be living in that country to qualify (there was at one point a provision known as 245-I, but it’s complicated and I’m not getting into it right now).

    The quota system that Rick’s link referred to is specific to cases where a permanent resident or citizen petitions for a relative. The categories are divided into order of “importance,” and work accordingly. A citizen petitioning for a spouse, parent or minor child is the first category – there is no quota for it. These cases are resolved in 1 to 1 1/2 years (and that’s immediate processing). The other categories are citizen petitioning for adult single children, citizen petitioning for married adult children (includes their spouse and minor children), citizen petitioning for siblings (and their spouse and minor children), and permanent resident petitioning for spouse and minor children. Citizens cannot petition for nieces/nephews or grandchildren who are over 18, or grandchildren who may be minors but don’t have parents included in that petition. Permanent residents cannot petition for parents, adult children or grandchildren. Because there’s a limit on the number of visas avaiable each year in all these categories, there’s a backlog. The worst one is citizens petitioning for siblings – that’s an 11 – 12-year wait. Why? Because in all categories, the number of petitions exceeds the number of available visas, hence the quota system.

    Now, all these people being petitioned for are in their native country, not here. If you’re one of these eligible people but you’re here (entereted illegaly, on an expired visa, whatever), you’re here illegaly, period, and the law does NOT favor you. This is where it gets fucked up. If you’re one of these people, when your visa is ready to be processed, you would have to go back to your country to get it, because these cases receive ultimate approval at the embassies and consulates. But, when they interview you and see that you’ve been in the U.S. illegaly for however many years, the penalty for that is to not be allowed back in for X amount of years (3 to 10, depending on how long you were here). So, you’re stuck back home, denied your visa, and the fact that you lived in the U.S. illegaly is noted on your file, so when you go back and try again, you’ll probably be denied or will have a hard time of it.

    Under the 245-I provision that I mentioned, a pardon of sorts was granted to people who were here illegaly, and if they were eligible to have a relative petition for them, they could apply for permanent status without having to return to their native country to get their visas. It would all be done here, and the whole “you’ve been here illegaly” thing would be overlooked. However, 245-I, which can be put into effect at INS’ discretion, is not currently in effect as far as I know. This was last done in the early 2000’s, and you had to have been in this country by a certain date.

    I know nothing about worker visas and the quotas for those.

    Also, just to clarify—when a citizen or relative petitions for a relative, they don’t get perm status immediately. They get a visa, which allows them to come here legally, and after a processing period, they eventually get perm resident status.

    I’m exhausted.



  28. John    Wed Mar 29, 06:53 PM #  

    Okay that MM post was informative, actually great, but partially wrong. It’s 20,000 for Cuba, the highest limit set on any country in per capita visas. Secondly, visas are granted by a lottery but two things stand out. One, there is no exhaustive process for these visas- a large number of Cubans, including my family visit the US. (And I visit them, though with GWB’s policy I now have to sneak through the Bahamas.)Ironically the visa limit has never been filled because the it is the US, not Cuba that does the selection, and as happens when people want to visit from Jamaica, or DR, etc. the US tries to make sure that these are people who are JUST visiting. Or maybe they like the idea of rafters (as long as they are not Haitians, Dominicans, Colombians, Chinese…) As opposed to any other group the Cuban Adjustment Act allows a Cuban to say “I’m staying” and “where are my benefits”. The refugee status for Cuban entrants is basically automatic (as long as you don’t have an “I love Che” t-shirt on). The US State Department takes the position that if given a chance, Cuba would engage in massive dumping of anyone the government found to undesirable, as they threatened to in the 1990’s.



  29. Rick    Wed Mar 29, 07:28 PM #  

    Ummm….if I just delete my post over at SotP, can we pretend this conversation never happened?



  30. MM    Wed Mar 29, 08:48 PM #  

    John, are you referring to visitor visas? I was referring to the special Cuban lotto that’s part of the migration accords, and these are visas that allow Cubans to come in as permanent residents (I could be off on the number, it’s been a few years since I worked in this field).

    Also, I didn’t even touch on the whole visitor visa thing, but yes, when someone in another country applies for a visitor visa, consulate officials are indeed instructed to grant them only to those who are the least apt to stay. In fact, when you show up to apply for a visitor visa, you have to bring proof that you have “compelling reasons” to return – lots of money, a profitable business, lots of land, and most importantly, no relatives in the U.S. who would be able to file a petition on your behalf so that you can eventually gain legal perm residence (the categories I mentioned before).

    I’ve seen plenty of cases (all from Cuba, Central and South America) of denied visitor visas. Yes, the policy favors the wealthy, but there are times when regular people are allowed to visit. The biggest reason someone is not granted a visa, again, is if they have relatives here. It’s a red flag.

    But just to clarify, my previous post did not refer to visitor visas, just the ones granted as the result of relative petitions or through lotteries. These knds of visas include perm resident status as part of the deal.