Recent Entries

How to Earn a Conditional Permanent Residence in the US despite a Pending Divorce

The process of divorce can be long and complicated; but for individuals that are applying for US citizenship, it may serve as a serious concern as it may affect their immigrant status. Before taking action, contacting a Cedar Rapids divorce lawyer and an immigration lawyer may be advisable.

As a spouse of an American citizen, one of the advantages you will have with regard to your green card application is its faster processing. This is because as a spouse you are classified as an immediate relative in Immigration laws. However, if divorce precedes your citizenship grant, will that mean invalidation of your application?

One of those required of immigrants applying for citizenship is to have a sponsor who is a US citizen. Without a sponsor an applicant’s application may be issued a denial or, worse, the applicant him/her self may even be deported. However, by filing a waiver of termination instead of opting to withdraw the application for citizenship, the applicant, who is a foreign spouse, may be awarded conditional permanent residence even while going through the process of divorce.

To gain the privilege of filing a waiver of termination, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has imposed requirements which need to be met. Submission of one or more of these requirements, along with the waiver, will prove that the marriage of the applicant with the US citizen was valid and not just a means to gain a citizenship status.  The requirements include proofs of the:

  • Validity of the marital union, like shared bills, evidence of marital properties, photos and any other document or material that will substantiate the union
  • Possible extreme hardship the foreign spouse will experience if deported back to his or her place of origin
  • Abuse or cruelty of the American spouse (thus the divorce), such as affidavits from neighbors and family members and a sworn statement from the spouse him or herself

On its website, the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, tells of the complexities involved in filling-out documents, filing these and in keeping up with the updates or changes affecting immigration policies. For the foreign spouse, especially, understanding the contents of the Immigration law may be an added burden. Thus, in any procedure and concern, the best assistance a foreign-spouse will have can only come from an immigration lawyer, who knows and understands the Immigration law and who is commited to serving his/her clients.

Insulating Garage Doors

Recently, there has been a rise in the number of people wanting to have their garage doors insulated. More and more people are choosing this option because they believe it is a great investment, and insulating your garage doors pay off quickly. Because many people view their garage as an extension of their workplace or as a social gathering spot, having proper insulation is just reasonable, but is it really that necessary?

First off, a properly insulated garage door can lower your energy bills by a certain amount. Proper insulation can make you less likely to require air conditioning, therefore keeping costs at minimum. You don’t need to have manually heat or cool it. Another thing is that garage insulation can reduce noise. Whether it is from outside or inside, noise from any direction is blocked out. With little noise, you don’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors when you are working loudly in your garage; likewise you are not bothered with the outside noise when you prefer to have silence in your garage.

It may seem unnecessary, but having your garage insulated can actually increase your home’s value if your plan to have it resold. Garage insulation is a much-sought after feature because of its noise-reduction features and energy efficiency factors. Accordingly, durability is also a factor for insulated garage. These insulated garage doors are stronger against pets and other animals, therefore making it a sturdier investment than non-insulated ones.

Comfort is one last thing that an insulated garage door can provide. With proper insulation, temperatures are kept in an even temperature, making it more effective in preventing things inside the garage protected from weather-related damages. There are also cars that can have a hard time to start when they are kept cold for a significant amount of time, so you can protect your car’s engine with an insulated garage.

Many people believe that a home’s central point is the garage. Other than having the right design and style for your garage door, choose to have more eco-friendly and comfortable garage door by choosing to have it insulated.

No Compensation for Adult Trespassers Who Get Injured

Many American families believe that the benefits of having a pool in their backyard surpass the cost required to have one. Changes in their financial situation, however, plus the amount of bills to pay and the inconvenience that the pool construction and installation will require render such belief far from being made into reality.

Such scenario can be true, but only if the kind of pool you have in mind is the usual in-ground pool that is built after digging a few feet into the ground of your backyard; in the case of above ground pools, however, it’s a totally different thing.

Above-ground pools are the easiest kinds of pools to build; these are the cheapest too when talking about construction cost. The pool is made using prefabricated kits that even customers will find quite easy to assemble and since it is not permanently embedded where it is constructed, it can easily be disassembled when you want to move it to another place or if you plan to move to another residence.

Like any other pool, an above-ground pool can be very tempting to go to, especially for children (including neighbor’s children), if it’s within their sight. But this can be very dangerous to children since getting in and out of this type of pool isn’t quite easy; it requires going up and down steel steps which can be very slippery when wet.

The problem is, sometimes, even adults are tempted to take a dip, especially at night when the owners are already asleep or when there’s nobody at home. People who do this are either not aware of, or are ignoring the privacy and exclusivity of the property and whatever is within it. Now, it is common knowledge that entering a private property, without the owner’s consent, is trespassing – a criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment, a fine or both. Entering property without consent is a criminal act and could get a person in trouble, even if the intent was not malicious.

An online article published in the website of Ritter & Associates talks about the dangers of, and the accidents, linked to above ground pools. Now, if a trespasser actually sustains an accident while using your pool illegally, will you, as owner, be held liable for the injuries he or she sustains?

Based on what the law says, if the trespasser who got injured was a child, then the owner may be held accountable for that child’s injuries. This is not the case with regard to adult trespassers, though, unless it can be shown that the owner maliciously or intentionally did something that will harm the trespasser. The only thing that he or she is sure to receive is the title, “injured trespasser,” nothing more, for adult trespassers are generally never legally entitled to receive compensation for the injuries they have sustained.

GranuFlo and the Severe Harm it Caused in Patients

Kidneys are among the most important organs in the human body since these are the ones responsible in cleansing the blood of waste, as well as in converting to urine any extra fluid that the body has no more use for. Thus, it is very important that people keep their kidneys healthy for these to be able to function well.

When kidneys start to fail in performing such tasks, however, dialysis will have to be resorted to. Dialysis is a procedure that removes unwanted fluid and wastes to keep the blood clean. Using a dialysis machine, blood, which is drawn from the patient, is processed through the removal of damaging elements, like creatinine and urea. To remove these harmful elements, as well as keep helpful chemicals in the bloodstream effectively, a drug called Granuflo is used.

GranuFlo, a product of Fresenius Medical Care, was specifically manufactured for people suffering from kidney failure. It is actually a dry acid product that effectively cleanses the bloodstream of acids and other harmful elements during kidney dialysis; it also ensures the correct balance of electrolytes in the bloodstream.

Despite its effectivity, however, the drug has been discovered to cause severe adverse effects that do great harm in people who use it. These severe effects include metabolic alkalosis, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmias, heart attack and sudden death. In 2010 alone, 941 cardiac arrest cases due to Granuflo were recorded, not including other equally severe cases yet.

Despite the severity of the adverse cases, Fresenius Medical Care sent information about the dangers caused by the drug only to clinics owned and managed by it. Other dialysis clinics in the US were never informed about the findings, resulting to the continuous use of Granuflo, which led to accusations of medical malpractice despite their absence of knowledge.

The dangers presented by Granuflo and Fresenius’ failure to inform all health providers of the drug’s deadly effects were enough to make the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decide on issuing a Class 1 recall of Granuflo (Class 1 recall is the most serious form of recall that the DFA issues); this recall was issued on March 29, 2012.

Recent Car Safety Improvements: Keeping Pedestrians and All Others Safe

On its wesite, the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., identifies car accidents as one of the major causes of severe injuries and untimely death for millions of people in the US. This is because there are about five million car accidents that are reported in the US annually and, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top three factors that wreak the greatest harm and damages are speeding, drunk-driving and reckless driving.

If all of the three factors mentioned above can cause so great a damage to vehicles and certain still objects, just imagine their effect if the accident would involve a pedestrian.

Statistical records show that there are about 70, 000 pedestrians, most commonly individuals who are alcohol-impaired, senior citizens and children, who end up as car accident victims in the US every year; roughly about 4, 500 of those victims die on the spot or some days after the accident. Hopefully, the latest car safety standards required by the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), such as the electronic stability control, the forward collision warning and automatic braking systems, would do the job these were designed for.

Another safety feature which technology is giving cars of today is the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System, coupled with Full Auto Brake. One famous car manufacturer is expected to incorporate these as standard devices in its line of cars in 2014.

The US government, which is doing all it can to ensure the safety of everyone and other motorists on the road, ought to think about requiring this special features in every car to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths to more than 50% annually.

Concerned groups, however, say that all car safety features may probably be good only depending on the driver who still has control of the vehicle. This argument only makes the challenge to car manufacturers stronger, urging them to boost the performance of these features so that their effectivity will no longer depend greatly on the driver.

SSDI: A Federal Government Program for the Totally Disabled

The working group is one of the very important factors that continue to make America a major economic force around the world. That is why, to take care of the working group, the federal government passed and implemented laws that would ensure the welfare its members, especially if someone among them suffers disability.

One of those laws is the Social Security Act, which was signed on August 14, 1935. One of the largest programs that the Social Security has enforced since the mid of 1956 is the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. This program is meant to provide financial assistance to members with disabilities. Members, because the SSDI gets its funds from the SS taxes that employed individuals pay.

The totally disabled are the intended beneficiaries of Social Security disability benefits. And, when referring to disabled, Social Security means:

  • People who can no longer perform the work that they did before being disabled
  • Due to their medical condition, the disabled cannot perform any other work
  • The disability may either last for about a year or result in death

This means that people whose disability is partial or short-term are not covered by SSDI. They can, instead, avail of the workers’ compensation for the disability that they have sustained. To help SSDI applicants know if they are qualified to avail of the benefit, Social Security has made a list of severe medical conditions; if your condition falls in that list then you definitely qualify for the benefits SS offers.

The benefits paid by SSDI also include some of your family members; but to make sure that you can avail of the benefits, besides the disability you are suffering from, you ought to have been employed long enough and have paid Social Security taxes (employees’ pay slips usually identify SS tax payments as “FICA,” that is, Federal Insurance Contributions Act).

University of Texas Student Group Cancels “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

Yet another racial controversy rocked the University of Texas last week.

The Young Conservatives of Texas group was planning on having some of its members wear signs that say “illegal immigrant”. Volunteers who returned them to the YCT booth would receive a $25 gift card.

The goal of the game was to call attention to the issue of illegal immigration, according to the group.

This proposal met such outrage from the UT community that it was canceled a few days after its announcement. UT administration publicly stated that the game was completely against the school’s values.

It’s incredible that a group of 18-to-22 year olds collectively decided that this was a good idea to attract attention to their organization and its values. Was there not one single student sitting in the meeting who thought to call his peers’ attention to the fact that many UT students are illegal immigrants?

The group certainly overachieved if its goal was to “create a discussion,” but it failed to spark a productive one. Stunts like this make it nearly impossible for opposing viewpoints to take the group seriously.

A reasonable, well-thought-out argument against the acceptance of undocumented workers may have helped others understand that (highly controversial) point of view. Publicly making a mockery of their fellow peers who may be undocumented, however, only serves to completely discredit the group.

Passenger Train Derails in New York

A New York City passenger train traveling into the city’s famous Grand Central Station in Manhattan derailed Sunday morning. The train derailment killed four people and left more than 65 others injured.

The derailment occurred on a stretch of track near the intersection of the Harlem and Hudson rivers. At that point, the track banks hard. Normally, train conductors slow the locomotives down as they approach the curve. Unfortunately, the brakes did not respond to the conductor’s inputs that fateful morning, and the train barreled into the turn at full speed, which can be as fast as 70 mph.

The train’s event recorders are being analyzed by the National Transportation Safety Board in hopes of finding additional causes of the accident so that further train derailments can be prevented.