Do you know everything about immigration?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m making this video today to make it clear that I don’t know everything about immigration.
We are always researching, always learning, always doing our best, trying to improve, trying to make our systems better, trying to research the law so that we get the answers right every single time and I am prompted to make this video because some people are upset with me on our YouTube channel about a video that I made.
So just to recap, so we have hundreds and hundreds of videos on our website, on our YouTube channel and most of these go to everyday immigration questions that people just like you ask us, either by email or by phone or on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home or however. So we could be in the middle of a consult. I might pull up my notebook, write down a question and think to myself, that’ll be a good question to ask myself on YouTube and that’s how these videos sort of come about.
Well, with the stimulus check that’s been sent out from the coronavirus, I made a prediction and my prediction was that there’s a chance that USCIS could treat the stimulus check as income replacement for purposes of the public chart. So I will put a link in the email or in the notes down below to this so-called controversial YouTube video.
But what I was trying to do was predict the future and what I was trying to do was predict how USCIS will handle these stimulus checks. The question is whether receiving that could count against you in the public charge analysis and a lot of people, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association and one of the heavy hitters in immigration, Cyrus Mehta, has said that the public charge will not be invoked to cover the payments made for the stimulus.
So a lot of people are getting checks if they’ve been paying taxes for $1,200 for themselves or $500 for their kids as part of the stimulus package to respond to this epidemic that we’ve been going through.
I made the prediction that USCIS could later harm people’s chances for getting a green card through marriage or employment and hold this against them in the public charge analysis and the video has caused quite a lot of controversy. There’ve been a lot of negative comments, a lot of back and forth and it was interesting. So for the first week or so, the video was sort of dormant.
A lot of people said, “Thanks, Jim, for your info.” But it has sort of taken off again and there are a lot of people who are claiming that I’m trying to scare people or just make money or any of those things and of course if anybody watches my videos, they know that’s not why I this. That’s not my MO. That’s not how I practice as an attorney. So on the one hand, if you wouldn’t mind letting people know that in those comments that that’s not how I operate, I would appreciate it. But putting that to the side, you can do what you want.
Putting that to the side, I still stand on the position that I made before and let me be a little more specific in what I’m thinking about. Let’s say Cyrus Mehta, let’s say that the American Immigration Lawyers Association all say that this will not be deemed a public charge. My response is how can you say that? How do you know that? How can you predict that and so what I was saying in my video was that you never know what USCIS is going to try and what I really said was you can’t assume that they’re going to act in good faith.
You can’t assume that USCIS is going to treat you fairly. I sent out an email to my list this morning about this very topic that people are assuming that USCIS is a good faith actor, that they are treating people fairly. Well, that’s not the case.
They’re looking for ways to screw immigrants. So I’m not trying to scare people. I don’t care what you do. You go do whatever you want. You want to cash your check, go cash your check. It’s fine with me. But don’t come crying back to me if USCIS later says, “Oh, well you took money from the government. That’s a public charge. So I don’t know if you can get your green card.”
That’s all I’m concerned about. That’s all I care about. All I care about is protecting you and putting you in the best position I can. So don’t come onto my YouTube channel and call me out and say that I’m trying to scare people. I’m not trying to scare people. I don’t care what you do. You do what you want. You just want to cash that check and you don’t want anyone to tell you that there might be consequences.
Well, I’m here to tell you there might be consequences. So chill out and don’t be going off on me on YouTube. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t charge anybody for this video. I’m not making any money off this video.
That’s all I got to say about that. I’m not mad. I’m not mad. People can do what they want. In fact, controversy from my YouTube channel is good. We had more subscribers and more hits and likes and comments and everything on a video that we did about Donald Trump. It ended up getting 300 comments and most of them were people that were hateful towards me. That’s just fine.
YouTube doesn’t keep track of whether the comments on a YouTube video are positive or negative. YouTube just sees the activity and so controversy for me is good. It’s much better than a video that although helpful a lot of people might not see. So you guys all do what you want. You want to listen to AILA? Go ahead.
You want to listen to Mr. Mehta, he’s a smart guy. I’ve learned a ton from him. But all I’m saying is you don’t know and you got to be careful and you got to think to yourself, hmm, is $1,200 worth me losing the chance to get a green card?
If it is, go ahead. Fine with me. I’m just your humble servant. I’m just trying to help you out. I’m not trying to scare anybody and I hope you got that from this video. Thanks for watching.
As always, if you have questions about the public charge, you have questions about your stimulus check, you can give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home so that you get updated when we make videos like this. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, which is right here.
You can click to it right here and you can follow us on LinkedIn so that you get updates whenever we make videos like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.