Opinion & Community

Returning to the US after months of being outside

Question: I have been outside the US for 8 months and have friends who went back to the U.SA. and were forced to give up their Green Card and then enter on a B2 Visitor Visa. Will that happen to me?

Answer: If there is an absence of intent to permanently reside in US coupled with objective circumstances, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can lose their status even if they visit the US often. An LPR may have multiple residences, but US residence must be the permanent one. In other words, LPR status may be lost if abandoned. Possession of reentry permit does not prevent DHS from inquiring as to whether the holder abandoned his residency; it simply prevents the DHS from relying solely on the duration of the absence as a basis to determine abandonment. Further, a reentry permit does not bar DHS from refusing admission to the holder and placing him in removal proceedings.

Question: This sounds scary. What do I do?

Answer: First of all, while it is possible to lose your residency, you cannot be forced to sign the paper giving up your right to be a lawful permanent resident. Thus, the first item you want to do is to NOT SIGN ANYTHING. It is your right to not sign and they cannot force you to sign. Additionally, DHS (the officer at the port of entry) cannot force you to take a B2 Visitor Visa instead. You must request to see an Immigration Judge. This will make is so that you will be placed into proceedings to see the Immigration Judge to argue whether or not your residency has been abandoned or not.

Question: How can I protect myself?

Answer: First, if you will be gone for a while from the US, you must keep your assets in the US. Keep a lease if you can. Pay US taxes. Hold furniture in the US. Keep the bank account, etc.

Question: Is there a maximum time that I cannot come back with my Green Card?

Answer: Yes. It will allow you entry to the U.S. up to 354 days after you have left. Thus, do not leave more than 1 year at a time.

Question: Is all lost if I’m gone more than 1 year?

Answer: No. You will be able to file an Application at the Consulate to show you did not abandon your residency in the US and to explain the reasons for the lengthy departure (i.e., taking care of your sick mother, testifying in some case, working on estate matters, etc.) and if granted, you will be able to get paroled into the US.

Question: What is the burden of proof? Meaning how much do I have to prove to win?

Answer: Once a colorable claim to LPR status is made, the burden is on DHS to prove abandonment by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence. Thus, you must just show a reasonable claim that you did not abandon your residency and then DHS has a much higher burden of showing in fact you did abandon your residency. In fact, clear, unequivocal and convincing is an extremely high burden for them to meet. This makes winning on your part easier.

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Developing Emotional Intelligence

Care Indeed’s staff and select caregivers attended a Town Hall meeting at Hilton Garden Inn Palo Alto where the topic of ‘Developing Emotional Intelligence’ was discussed. During this seminar presented by Jim Mitchell of Fred Pryor Seminars, they learned how to interact, communicate, and collaborate successfully with all types of people and personalities.

Care Indeed is a leading home care provider in the Bay Area. For more information about their services, please call (650) 328-1001or go to www.careindeed.com.

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Bi-National Conference Converges in Scottsdale, Arizona and Culminates in Jalisco, Mexico Inbox x

Phoenix, ARIZONA --- TheFederation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) announced this week that the 2017 Bi-National Business Conference's (a.k.a. Federation 2017)"Early Bird Registration" is now open until April 30, 2017. TalkingStick Resort, a 4-star diamond resort hotel in the heart of scenic Scottsdale,Arizona, will be the venue of this value-packed "business tobusiness" gathering on November 10 to 12, 2017. Federation 2017 isorganized in collaboration with FPACC Foundation, Inc. and in cooperation withthe Filipino American Business Chamber of Commerce of Arizona.

Afterbarely taking a break from a successful trade mission and participation inthe Philippine Business Conference last October 10 to 15, 2016 which generatedmemos of agreements worth several billion pesos in industries such asinfrastructure, medicine, energy, telecommunications, and real estate,Federation 2017's theme of "Bridging Trans-Pacific Commerce in a ChangingWorld" is geared toward business matching opportunities among its chambermembers, affiliates, as well as government and industry leaders in the US andthe Philippines. A delegation from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce andIndustry's (PCCI) Philippines-US Business and Economic Council (PUBC) isexpected to attend the conference.

What'sunique with Federation 2017? Before and after the Arizona conference, businessleaders from the Philippines will maximize their trip by attending B2Bconferences in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Jalisco, Mexico where they expect tocontinue their business matching activities and sign up new business matches.The schedule for Federation 2017 starts with a Friday opening reception andcontinues with Saturday's plenary and topic-focused sessions, and culminateswith a Saturday Formal Evening Gala.

Oneof the highlights of the conference is the signing of a Memorandum of Agreementbetween the Ministry of Trade and Commerce of Jalisco, Mexico and their newbusiness matches, perfectly timed with the 450th anniversary and commemorationof the Philippines-Mexico Spanish Galleon Trade. Scheduled is a visit to thesalt factory that was started by Filipino slaves and a rediscovery of the townof Tequila where the Filipino "tuba" is brewed and is considered alocal staple. In the works is the search for the Filipino "mole"sauce that was brought to Mexico by Catarina de San Juan, y a Filipina slave.

The Early Bird Registration rate is $195 per delegate whichincludes the 3-day conference and gala dinner. The registration fees increaseto $250 per person, sliding up to $400 per attendee just before the conferencedates. For more information about participating in Federation 2017, includingsponsorships, advertising, and trade show booths, contact Charmel dela Cruz,Vice President for National Conference, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at http://FPACC.net.

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Is CPAP for you?

(Correction: In my previous column on sexually transmitted diseases, I inadvertently equated Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to genital herpes virus. HPV is an entirely different virus than genital herpes virus.)

What is CPAP?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, the best treatment, the accepted evidence-based standard of care, for persons with confirmed Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What is OSA?

OSA is a condition where the individual takes very shallow (ineffective breaths during sleep, or even holds his/her breaths for an abnormally prolonged period of time (apnea) for dozens of times during the night, depriving the person of oxygen, which could lead to arrhythmias (heart irregularity) and in some cases, heart attack and even death. Unfortunately, not every healthcare provider, even today in the United States, recognizes OSA as a significant factor in the causation of metabolic (diabetes-T2 and other endocrine) illnesses, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and alarmingly, even of various cancers.

What causes OSA?

There are some individuals whose anatomy of the throat allows the soft palate (roof of mouth at the back) to fall back and block the upper airway passage while asleep. This obstruction is commonly seen among those who snore, but not all who snore has OSA. This obstruction makes the diaphragm and the chest muscles work a lot harder to bring air into the lungs, momentarily waking up the person, on and off, jerking, choking, and gasping for breath several times during sleep.

What are the dangers of OSA?

Besides the arrhythmias and possible heart attack, OSA also deprives the person of a restful, satisfying sleep. As alluded to above, OSA has been linked to increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and to elevated risk for cancer. Lack of sleep also decreases the sense of well-being, mental acuity, concentration, work performance, and all these expose other people, society in general, to the danger of driving accidents. Those with untreated OSA are also less efficient, more forgetful, and cranky members of the work force. They are always tired, have excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), and doze off frequently. They lack stamina and their sex life is also affected. Almost all of these individuals do not realize OSA is the cause of their problem. Actually, even among physicians, OSA, while common, is still an under-recognized and under diagnosed medical entity.

How common is OSA?

One in five Americans, or about 60 million, have obstructive sleep apnea, 4 percent among males and 2 percent among females. Extrapolated figure for the Philippines would place the incidence at about 4-5 million Filipinos suffering from OSA. In Hong Kong, the prevalence is about 7 percent, in India, 13.7 percent. Its only in the past 2 decades or so that physicians have been more aware of OSA and CPAP therapy and have been referring more and more patients to Pulmonologists for Sleep Studies. The “epidemic” of OSA is more common than we think.

What are the associated predictors?

The typical associated predictors for those who are prone to develop OSA are: male more than female, older age group, usually above 40, greater BMI (Body Mass Index, obesity), larger neck circumference and waist to hip ration, smoking, snoring, high blood pressure, longer time to fall asleep, and higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale score. To some extent, family history of OSA.

How is the diagnosis confirmed?

When the physician suspects a person to have OSA, the diagnosis is confirmed by a Sleep Study (Polysomnography). This study, which requires sleeping overnight in a sleep clinic or hospital, where the person is connected to various devices to monitor, among others, the brain activity, oxygen level, EKG, heart rate and breathing rate, while a video records movements and snoring, etc., while asleep. When positive for OSA, the diagnosis is confirmed, and a second night needs to be spent in the sleep clinic to titrate the CPAP parameters needed for actual CPAP therapy, like how much pressure is needed to keep the airway open (which differs per person), etc. These parameters are used when prescribing the CPAP therapy. The machine will be calibrated and set according to the person’s needs for an effective use every sleeping hour each day.

How comfortable is CPAP use?

Contrary to what might think as “obvious,” the use of CPAP mask or nasal pillows (depending on the user’s preference after trying them) at bedtime is surprisingly comfortable. After getting used to it within a week or so, the user might even miss it or might not feel secure without it. The CPAP machine has a controlled water heater reservoir which provides warm humidified air. Using it religiously provides a sense of safety from lack of oxygen and from developing a heart attack. CPAP use among those with OSA assures them a more restful and satisfying sleep every day. Many prefer the nasal pillow, but if one is a mouth-breather, the mask is recommended.

Is CPAP use for life?

Yes, since OSA is only treatable but not curable, one has to use CPAP for life. But as I have alluded to, once one is used to it, CPAP use could be 
“addicting” (reassuring is the more appropriate term) because of its life-saver reputation and all the benefits CPAP provides, including a satisfying restful sleep.

Are other gadgets any good?

Countless “non-CPAP” gadgets advertised on various media are useless and not scientifically based. They market the items to stop snoring, but snoring is not the cause of OSA. The CPAP stops snoring also. Snoring is only a symptom. Even if you stop snoring, the blocked airway is still there. The treatment should be directed to the collapsing airway passage, by “filling it up” with continuous high pressure (enough to keep the airway open for effective respiration) so oxygen can get into the lungs. Without exception, all those “non-CPAP” marketed items are useless and a waste of money. They are also dangerous because they provide a false sense of security, which could delay or preclude proper and prompt medical consultation and avoid a medical disaster.

More and more physicians, other healthcare providers, and the public are becoming aware and acutely conscious about OSA, its diagnosis, and the wonderful CPAP treatment. This trend is gratifying because the earlier the diagnosis is confirmed and the CPAP therapy is instituted, the sooner the incidence of all OSA-linked diseases listed above will be minimized through prevention around the world.

Visit philipSchua.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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FILAM JOINS CAST OF 14 IN 'WHY DREAM IN INGLEWOOD' PLAY

Fil Am actor Paterno, center, plays multiple roles including a corrupt headmaster made to kiss the rear of persons he wronged.

Text by PNews Contributor Louinn Lota
Photo by Lydia V. Solis
(Part 1 of 2)

INGLEWOOD, CA. – Audience members walked with a cast of 14 actors, actresses and a violinist as they strutted, marched and danced through Edward Vincent Jr. Park here, in the first installment of a four-act play based on the 18th-century Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber.”
In a nice natural green-setting kick-off to Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, Filipino American actor Robert Paterno, a Houston, Texas transplant to Los Angeles, played a corrupt headmaster at an all-boys’ school made to lick the boots and kiss the rear of the persons he wronged. It was just one of multiple roles by Paterno, born in the United States, but whose parents are from Davao City, Philippines. Paterno also plays a Taoist priest in Act I of the traveling-stage play.
“I think this is a really epic and relatable story and we have such a wonderful opportunity to tell it with a group of actors that really represents the diversity of Los Angeles,” Paterno said. The actor also has had recurring roles on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” and “Vampire Diaries.”
The 18th century “rom-com,” by Ts’ao Hsueh Ch’in, is a moral fable of manners between two cousins who were born, not with silver spoons in their mouths, but jade pendants. It weaves supernatural entities who appear in dreams, and it details the decline of the once-noble Chia family during the Ching Dynasty.
Playwright and Director Henry Ong adapted the comedic romance into the four-act, six-hour play, “Why Dream in Inglewood?” as part of the Inglewood Growing Artists Performed Projects Initiative Artist’s Grant awarded to Ong. Violinist Longo Chu added live music to the performance on-the-move. Chu had to carry his instrument and music stand as the actors turned green lawns into palaces and schools and surreal rooms filled with magical happenings.
“I am excited to finally work with Henry Ong,” Paterno added. Paterno, who received his bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M, was also a Forensic Science teacher with Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth.
Acts I-II, the first installment of “Why Dream in Inglewood,” with a lunchtime intermission, will next pick up the story on Saturday, May 20, with Acts III-IV. On Saturday, May 27, the classic story of star-crossed lovers will have a marathon show of Acts I-IV, with three intermissions outdoors at the Inglewood Amphitheatre, Edward Vincent Jr. Park, 714 Warren Lane, Inglewood.
“Telling stories that bridge cultures and communities is so important, and we can’t wait to share this experience with the Inglewood community,” said Paterno, who earned his MFA from Southern Methodist University in Texas.
“It’s free admission,” said Ong. “Wear comfortable shoes, for walking with the traveling cast and bring brown bag lunch. For more information: Inglewood Parks and Recreation (310) 412-8750.
Or visit https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=why%20dream%20in%20inglewood

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Protests continue against Trump's continued refusal to release his tax returns

"WHAT DO WE WANT? TRUMP'S TAX RETURNS. WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW.
'WE WANT A LEADER, NOT A TAX CHEATER. WE WANT A LEADER, NOT A FRIGGIN' TWEETER."

Closer to the hundred days into theTrump presidency: photographs and anger have spoken for themselves.
Scenes allover are simply depicted across the country: from Los Angeles to Boston; from Seattle to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Palm Beach,Florida, illustrated how three thousand people spread out in droves to display a veritable racket contiguous to Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, the first choice of the '45th' who has proceeded to line up his weekend activities without any contradiction at all.
The now well-known hideout of Trump's new I.D., 'the First Golfer' drew some easy-to-read signs: "Twinkle Twinkle Little Czar, Putin Put You Where You Are," struck a vehemence on the Trump motorcade: it was forced to take a circuitous route back from Trump International Golf Club, where the owner was reported to have concluded his sixteenth round since taking office, courtesy of a Palm Beach Post report.
The same report stirred a twitter grumble from Trump: "Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies. The election is over."
Truth to tell, the named protests weren't small at all. Nobody paid for them.
Indeed, as Trump has underscored: the election is over. But what kind of leadership has he shown that has spawned protests galore?
Those same protests represented the most recent manifestations of a popular movement that Trump himself has been adjudged to have inspired. Isn't it an example of one that has established itself as an important presence on the national political scene? Similarly, it is regarded as one which Trump and his Republican allies/enablers increasingly need to contend with.
The two-week Easter break saw numbers of G.O.P. congressional members forced to contend with their own constituents upset over the failed Republican effort to dismantle Obamacare.
In all clarity, most of the protesters at Republican events might be identified as non-G.O.P. voters. Neither are they all Democratic activists.
Anti-Trump rally participants have shown they are activists: college graduates outraged by Trumpism; office workers whose ire sprung from Trump's utter refusal to release his tax returns; doctors and nurses strongly concerned about the health-care system; retirees constantly worried about members of their younger generation; and above all: Americans from all walks of life who are pronounced in their beliefs that Trump is certainly unfit for office.
Thus, it is inevitable to conclude: Trump represents a grave danger to the country.
Troubles proceed to mount as Trump continues in office; instead of diminishing the protest movement, he has encouraged it. Although the political system has been characterized as tainted by huge funds and influence-peddling, political participation has taken a principal role.
Federal officials, jurists, Democratic and Republican legislators, including Trump himself, cannot ignore nationwide activism and public opinion.
Increasingly growing tax-day protests have exhibited how the President has no wish to release his returns. Too, he has not shown indicators in setting up a proper blind trust for his business assets, or of separating his family from the machinery of government.
Currently, as has been proven in less than a hundred days, the Trump administration is bent on rolling back the clock in myriad ways that will present difficulties to halt what commenced since January20th.
The principal problem is Trump himself.
Throughout his career, troubles abound. And the nation's length and breadth cannot and must not be further damaged.
The American people need act immediately before the degree of the worsening national stature gets beyond repair.

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‘Immigrant festivals’  

Immigrants do not only come with their families and belongings when they arrive in the United States. They bring with them their cultures, languages, and traditions as well.
Immigrants do not only join and enhance the country’s work and labor force and expand entrepreneurship, business opportunities, and the consumer market (which are integral to the nation’s wealth creation). They also share their cultural traditions that enrich the multicultural fabrics and character of the towns, cities, counties, and communities where they live and raise their families.
In San Francisco, notice the many immigrants attending masses in Roman Catholic churches every late Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Imagine if there are no Filipinos, Mexicans, South and Central Americans parishioners who go and attend services at these churches. For sure many of these churches will be empty and they have to be closed.
St. Patrick’s Church in downtown San Francisco is a good example.
The church was originally an Irish parish. The face of the parish has changed and the church is now predominantly Filipino who are recent and new immigrants and who call South of Market as their new home and community. The old Irish parishioners who moved out of the community just come to worship on special occasions and holidays. Other non-immigrant churchgoers are usually tourists and visitors in San Francisco who find the church accessible for religious services and worship as it is a downtown area church.
Tourists and occasional visitors cannot sustain the parish’s religious, community rituals, and traditions. It is the devotion and dedication of many immigrant parishioners that sustain these rites and traditions at churches like St. Patrick’s.
Celebrations such as feasts of saints that are observed and practiced in the old country are also observed and noticed at churches like St. Patrick’s where immigrants worship.
For Filipinos, we celebrate the Sinulog and the Feast of Santo Nino which is popular among Cebuanos, Visayans, and Santo Nino devotees in the U.S. Then there are the celebrations to commemorate the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz in September and the Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan every May of each year.
Irish churchgoers still come to St. Patrick’s to hold their traditional feasts and services like the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (May 17) on the Saturday of the week when St Patrick’s Day is celebrated. Filipino parishioners usually join Irish churchgoers to celebrate at the church’s social hall. Filipinos also celebrate a feast close to St. Patrick’s Day observance, the Feast of St. Joseph, which is observed every March 19th.
Immigrant fiestas or pistahan celebrations are also not limited to the feasts of patron saints as there are also celebrations and festivals that are non-religious in nature.
At SoMa Pilipinas, there is the annual Pistahan which is held every second weekend of August at the Yerba Buena Gardens and the Barrio Fiesta (Baryo Piyesta) which is held in May at the SoMa Recreation Center.
Pistahan and Barrio Fieasta are well attended and these celebrations have been sustained by the SoMa community for many years.
The Pistahan was an original project of the Filipino American Arts and Exposition (FAAE) and this explains why there are different pavilions that showcase Filipino culture, arts, seniors, and youth-oriented activities.
The Pistahan also features Filipino food and commercial vendors, corporate and media sponsors, and a parade that is held on Market Street in San Francisco. For entertainment, local and Philippine performers and celebrities brought in from the Philippines are usually featured during the celebration.
The Barrio Fiesta in South of Market is more community initiated and oriented. It is the coming together of the families and the community in SoMa to celebrate their neighborhood’s rich immigrant history and heritage.
This year the Barrio Fiesta will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Gene Friend Recreation Center on Sixth and Folsom Streets from 10am to 4pm.
What is unique about the Barrio Fiesta is that organizers do not only serve lechons (roasted pigs) but they actually showcase and demonstrate to the public how the pig is prepared and roasted.
Let us all give our support to these immigrant festivals and celebrations. Diversity makes this country and our communities richer!

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336.

Jesus conceived his mission to be that of the Son of Man, who came to offer himself in obedience to God's redemptive plan.

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TPS as a Pathway to a Green Card

By Attorneys Nancy E. Miller and Michael Bhotiwihok

In Ramirez v. Brown, the Ninth Circuit recently held that a Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) recipient is eligible to adjust to legal permanent resident status in the United Status. The Ninth Circuit reasoned that receiving TPS deems an individual to be in lawful status and satisfies the nonimmigrant requirements, such as inspection and admission, for adjustment of status purposes.
In Ramirez, a dispute arose over whether being a TPS designee provided a pathway to obtaining lawful permanent residence status under the adjustment statute. The United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (“USCIS”) found Ramirez ineligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status on that ground that he last entered the country without inspection therefore he had not been inspected, admitted or paroled as required by Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) Section 245(a). The Ninth Circuit held that being a TPS designee provides a pathway to a green card. Residents in the Ninth Circuit who are TPS recipients now can adjust to lawful permanent status in the United States instead of consular processing in a foreign country.
INA Section 245(a) requires that an applicant prove that he or she has been inspected and admitted (or paroled) before being eligible to adjust status to lawful permanent residency. Because of the Ramirez decision, TPS recipients who entered the United States without inspection are now considered admitted and qualify for adjustment of status under INA Section 245(a) provided they have an independent means of immigrating.
Prior to the Ramirez decision, adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency in the United States could be achieved by proof of a legal entry, an exception under INA 245(i), advance parole, or parole based on a family member in the United States Armed Forces.
The Ninth Circuit decision is significant because of the geographic reach of the large number of TPS recipients affected in California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. Further, TPS recipients do not have to leave the United States and consular process through a United States Embassy or Consulate. Families are kept together and lives continue in the United States.
The Ninth Circuit joins the Six Circuit in finding that noncitizens with a grant of TPS who entered the country illegally are eligible to apply for a green card in the United States. However, the Eleventh Circuit is at odds with the Ninth and Sixth Circuits thereby creating a split. Until the conflicting decisions are decided by the United States Supreme Court, there will be inconsistent application of immigration law among the Circuit Courts and throughout the country.
TPS may be granted by the USCIS to foreign nationals due to conditions in their country, such as a natural disaster or civil war, which prevent the foreign nationals who are living in the United States from returning safely to their country. The Department of Homeland Security has currently designated the following countries for TPS: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
TPS status allows foreign nationals to live and work in the United States without the fear of being removed/deported. TPS is a temporary benefit that does not directly lead to a green card. However, registration for TPS does not prevent one from applying for nonimmigrant status, adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, or any other immigration benefit or protection.
For TPS recipients outside of the Sixth and Ninth Circuits, attention must be directed to monitoring current pending cases in their respective jurisdictions. For example this year, in Bonilla v. Johnson, the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, held that a grant of TPS satisfies the threshold requirement of admission for purposes of becoming eligible for adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident.
In addition, TPS recipients should consider alternative routes to obtaining a green card. The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (“Provisional Waiver”) allows beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions who were not inspected and admitted to the United States to apply for a waiver of the ten-year bar that will be triggered by departing the country to apply for an immigrant visa abroad. The Provisional Waiver allows applicants to know whether their waiver is approved or not before departing the United States. Thus, the uncertainty and risks of leaving the United States to consular process are alleviated. The Provisional Waiver decreases the time that families are separated and keeps families together during the consular processing of an immigrant visa.
Any TPS recipient should seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney to discuss his or her immigration options and eligibility to obtain a green card in the United States.

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Mark Jimenez, ex-Manila congressman, passes away at 70

By ROSE-AN JESSICA DIOQUINO, GMA News
Businessman and former Manila representative Mark Jimenez has passed away, his family confirmed on Tuesday.

In a statement, the ex-lawmaker’s family said their patriarch passed away at 6 a.m. He was 70 years old.

His remains will lie in state at Funeraria Rey in Pandacan, Manila on Thursday and Friday, with Masses at 7 p.m.

His body will then be moved to the Heritage Park in Taguig City. A final Mass will be held there on Sunday, 8 p.m.

Jimenez, Mario Batacan Crespo in real life, left behind 13 children.

“He embodied a story for all of us, one of starting humbly, rising above all his circumstances and eventually choosing a life of service. This is the story we choose to remember him by, as his children, all 13 of us, and his chosen children, in District 6 in Manila,” the family’s statement read.

Jimenez was a classmate turned close ally of former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who once dubbed him a “corporate genius.”

He made a fortune in the United States in the 1980s, via a computer distribution company based in Miami, Florida, with extensive reach in Latin America.

He returned to the Philippines months before the 1998 presidential elections, and Estrada eventually named him adviser on Latin American affairs.

Jimenez ran and won as congressman for the sixth district of Manila in May 2001, after Estrada was ousted via “EDSA Dos.”

However, the House Electoral Tribunal unseated Jimenez in 2002 for alleged vote-buying.

The following year, he was convicted in Miami, Florida after pleading guilty to charges of election conspiracy and tax evasion, while working as a businessman in the US.

He served his two-year sentence in a US federal prison before he was extradited to the Philippines.

In 2009, he filed his certificate of candidacy for president, saying he was doing it to show everyone that he was a victim of human rights violations. —NB, GMA News

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