Seeking Asylum in the U.S.A.

Asylum is a form of relief from removal that is granted if a person is able to prove that he or she will be harmed on return to their native country. The applicant must file the application (Form I-589) within one year of their entry into the U.S., whether they enter legally or not. The person must prove that they belong to one or more of several groups facing harm, on the basis of political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group or religion. The individual must prove that he or she has suffered past persecution or has […]

In a Seller’s Market What A Homebuyer Should Know

Thinking of buying your first home? Congratulations! You’re making a very smart decision. Rents right now are unusually high, and in many cases, you could make a mortgage payment on your current house or apartment that would be cheaper than the rent check you scratch out each month (or the one that is automatically debited from your account). No matter what a stockbroker might try to tell you, residential real estate is still a good investment, and it forms the basis for a higher net worth as you age and have to start thinking about retirement.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements for Same-Sex Couples

Although some same-sex couples may not want to admit it, divorce may be on the horizon for them. It’s the unfortunate reality in today’s world. With ambiguous laws and some states still not realizing certain types of civil unions, the division of assets could be much hazier when it comes to same-sex couples separating. If you are getting ready to tie the knot or enter into a partnership, it may be a good time to consider obtaining a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to protect your assets.

Marriage & Fraud in Immigration Law

Usually, the philosophy of the law in the U.S. is that a person is innocent until proven guilty of any violation of the law. When it comes to marriage to an undocumented person already in the U.S., however, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) has a presumption of fraud until the parties to the marriage have proven that their marriage is not solely for the purpose of obtaining lawful permanent residence – the “green card.” There is a heightened perception that natives of Nigeria and Ghana are more likely than not to engage in marriage fraud and those marriages are […]

Traveling in the Trump Era

Or learning to love your immigration attorney! Traveling by air since January 20th, 2017 has become complicated for many noncitizens. The Executive Orders issued by President Donald J. Trump have caused heartache and fear to run rampant in immigrant communities. The first Executive Order (EO), dated January 27th, intended to prevent anyone who was from seven mostly Muslim countries entering the U.S. Those countries are Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, and Libya. It also ended indefinitely the ability of Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., in spite of years-long background checks to ensure that anyone entering was not a […]

Being Present

In the past, I have written about the magic of the “Fish! Philosophy” and its four principles: Choose your attitude, make their day, be there, and play. I have found myself, and others around me, struggling with one of the these four, namely “Be there,” or as I call it, “Being present.” There is so much going on around us all the time – cellphones, TV screens, laptops – our brains are almost always over-stimulated. Even watching CNN is a chore, playing into our need to be overstimulated by not only a multi-panel discussion, but a quick moving news scrawler […]

You Don’t Wanna Cry about Ransomware

The internet saw a massive ransomware attack on May 12th, when computers in nearly 100 countries were hit and held hostage to hackers. The hackers demanded those affected pay a ransom to have their files and systems released. The attack hit medical networks and government agencies especially hard, as they are more vulnerable since they tend to upgrade their systems less frequently than businesses. It’s all a reminder of how important it is to safeguard your computer’s security.

Staying Diversified

Before money can be invested, the wise investor must believe in this crucial concept: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Asset allocation is the art of balancing risk and reward through the diversification of your investments into appropriate asset classes. It’s one instrument that helps to determine the appropriate blend between fixed and equity assets. It helps to smooth out the peaks and valleys that you find in the more volatile portfolio.

Strategies for Investing Cash

The stock markets are at all-time highs and don’t appear to be ready to change course any time soon. If you have a rollover from an old 401k or some saved cash, you may be asking yourself if this is the right time to invest that money. You may want to have your money invested right away so that you don’t miss the potential upside of the market, or you may want to wait on some or all of your investing for fear that the market may pull back. When clients come to me with cash to invest, I typically […]