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Know When to Fold 'Em

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You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was a kid, my father, one of his favorite musicians was a guy named Kenny Rogers. And Kenny Rogers passed away recently. And so I thought I would shoot a video in his honor. And that's why I went with the line know when to hold them, know when to fold them. And that comes from a song called The Gambler that we used to listen to on my father's turn table all the time when I was a kid.

We know all the words. I could sing it for you now, but you would probably be upset about that.

But when we talk about knowing when to hold them or knowing when to fold them, what I mean is sometimes you have to withdraw your immigration case. Sometimes you need to run away from your immigration case. There's a mistake in it or there's a problem. And it's better to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

So you fold in poker, we were playing poker with the kids this weekend because we're stuck in the house, and if you have a good hand, you hold onto the cards. If you have a bad hand, you fold. You turn the cards and then you end your participation in that round of the game. And so Kenny Rogers talked about this old gambler who taught him that lesson.

And it comes across in immigration too, all the time. So I was talking to a young man this weekend about a situation where he was very surprised as to why his citizenship case had been pending for so long. And so we talked about different questions that came up in his interview. We talked about his overall immigration history.

And he had a very clean immigration history, no crimes or anything. But he said, "Jim, the officer got all hung up on this one question."

And I said, "Well, what was the question?"

And he said, "Well, the officer asked me the question, 'Have you ever falsely claimed to be a US citizen?' And I said to her, 'Hey, well, I think when I was 17 I might have told Sears that I was a US citizen when I applied for a job.'"

Now I was in pain when he told me this because he didn't know the legal significance of this, but I did. And the reason this is important is because a false claim to citizenship can prevent you from ever getting your citizenship, and it can also put you in deportation. It's a deportable offense. Falsely claiming to be a US citizen is one of those cardinal sins inside immigration.

And so we talked it all through and I was trying to nail down whether he left himself any wiggle room. Because in reality, when I questioned him, he wasn't entirely sure that he had done it. And he had just given a stupid answer. He did not think that he had actually done it. He wasn't sure. And I talked him off that ledge.

And so we then talked about, "Well, your case has been pending for a year and a half. You could just wait to see what happens, but you might want to withdraw the case. And if you withdraw the case, the officer who has it up on the shelf somewhere can just grab it, put the withdrawal notice in the folder and then move on."

And so we talked about folding, we talked about not holding. We talked about folding that hand and trying to live to fight another day, and that's what he ultimately decided to do.

In fact, by the end of the day when I went home, he'd already gone to the post office and withdrawn that case. So I was a little bit sad that I had freaked him out. But at the same time, I was glad that I had educated him as to what was going on. So I'm glad he folded, and sometimes that's the right answer.

You can refile later, you can nail things down/ and we're going to try to track down those records from Sears to see if in fact he ever did claim that he was a US citizen. So it's a real problem. In that case, I'm glad he withdrew it. And I think that withdrawing a case overall is a good idea when you're in a situation like that where your case is fundamentally flawed, where it's not going to get approved, and where it's likely that if it doesn't get approved that you might also get put into removal proceedings. Obviously, those stakes are very high.

So if you have questions about a questionable application or if you think your application that you have on file is flawed, or if you need help getting an application on file, give us a call, (314) 961-8200. You can always email us at [email protected]. We have this Facebook group. It's called Immigrant Home. We'd love to see you in there. We're putting lots of good immigration information in there every day. And if you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we create videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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