Immigration Seminar, Painesville, Ohio
So what happens when Mr. Francis Fungsang speaks about various aspects of the immigration process and takes questions from a multi-lingual audience? Such was the case on Thursday, January 12th, at the Morley Library in Painesville, Ohio. Mr. Christopher Rivero, Spanish translator and writer for the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, translated for Francis.
A very informative evening in which quite a few people dealing with situations pertaining to immigration received direction as to what to do next, and people wanting to find out about U.S. immigration policy got a clue as to what a labyrinthine undertaking it is.
Mr. Fungsang started off by acknowledging that in two weeks we will have a new U.S. President, and we are all wondering what he will do to change the status quo. As has been evidenced by the past eight years, the President of the United States can only do so much without the approval of Congress. For example, several years ago President Obama tried to enact comprehensive immigration reform, but Congress refused to pass it. President Obama had to rely on Executive Actions to accomplish a few things. But the only Executive Action that withstood subsequent pressures was the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.
The big question now is what the incoming Trump administration will do about DACA. A hopeful sign is that last month, U.S. Senators of both major parties have introduced the "Bridge Act," which will give the those benefiting from DACA a three year reprieve. Mr. Fungsang recommended that those currently registered in the DACA program definitely renew their status, while those who are eligible but currently unregistered to wait and see what the Trump administration is going to do; there should be more clarity in the next few months.
Then Mr. Fungsang asked the audience, "What do you want me to talk about?" The two hour Q and A began. Among the issues that Mr. Fungsang was called upon to address (with the help of Mr. Rivero who did a swell job communicating with the Hispanic audience members) were fees for applying for citizenship, deportation proceedings, requirements to obtain a Green Card, sponsorship issues regarding family members vs. friends and acquaintances, the problems created by inattentive immigration attorneys and, not surprisingly, more about the in's and out's of DACA.
Several audience members requested information for making appointments with the Margaret W. Wong & Associates staff in Cleveland.
Accompanying Mr. Fungsang and Mr. Rivero were members of the team at Margaret W. Wong and Associates: Mr. Gordon Landefeld, Mr. George Koussa, and Mr. Michael Patterson, who arranged use of the Morley Library for this endeavor. All of us were very pleased about the public turnout which, according to Mr. Landefeld's calculations was 50 people.
No small thanks for the evening's success should go to Ms. Myra Rosario of All Media Design Group. Ms. Rosario promoted the event via lawn signs, print media and the airwaves via Mr. Nelson Cintron's La Nueva Mia 88.3 FM. Mr. Cintron interviewed Mr. Fungsang for 20 minutes on air on Tuesday January 10 (it was only supposed to be 10 minutes but Mr. Cintron graciously gave Mr. Fungsang additional time) on his radio show, advertising the seminar.
Also in attendance was Lake Health, with flyers for those seeking medical reports as required by some immigration applications, and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, providing Spanish language support information.
As for audience reaction, we're going to quote a good friend of ours who came to learn and was genuinely stunned by the complexity of U.S. immigration proceedings. Our friend said, "it was an eye opener for me. Who makes these crazy rules?"