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Malamute

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Malamute last won the day on February 15

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About Malamute

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    Certified Addict!
  • Birthday 12/10/1963

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Denver, CO
  • First Name
    Marion
  • Landed
    Dec 2008
  • SA Location
    CPT, PLZ, JNB
  • Language
    English

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  1. Just an update - thanks SJ272 for pointing out the change to a 'last in, first out' policy which means that this family's case should get heard in court within months and not years. That is a good thing, not only for this family, that will know one way or another whether they can build a life here in the USA, instead of waiting for years to hear whether or not they will be placed in deportation proceedings, but also for others considering this route, to hear quickly what the outcome could be. Of course, each case is unique. There are plenty of South Africans - and South African families - that have claimed asylum - so this case isn't a 'first'. Most of those are waiting - some for years - for their hearing, and with the 'last in, first out' policy, they could wait several years more, meantime, living and earning in the USA on work permits. I imagine it would be very hard on many of them to be told - years later - that they must leave. I see the lawyer representing this family has also posted some videos, and I was shocked at how uniformed they seemed to be about the situation in SA, when taking on a family claiming asylum, not to mention racially fixated. They quote 'a politician' (Malema) as a data point in the case for 'South African white farmers' to claim asylum (The EFF has only 25 of the 400 seats, and is not even the official opposition in SA), as well as the 'fact' that their farm is being taken away - they have been inventoried, and cannot sell anything. The consititution has not yet been changed to permit land expropriation, and neither is it likely to be, before the elections. The President has stated many times that the intent is not to have a land grab of going concerns, but to take vacant, unused land for distribution. If she is going to represent them, I hope she has more than these flimsy bits of information, as the burden of proof is on the asylum seekers. The lawyer herself states that it is very easy to pass the 'credible fear' interview - and she quotes that 95% of asylum seekers do.........but the hearing in front of a judge is a whole different matter. As SJ272 states, the majority of asylum applications are actually denied at that point.
  2. Indeed, compassion is needed for all victims of violent crime, and unfortunately there is a lot of that in South Africa - yes, the farmers, but also gang violence in the townships, gender-based violence etc - all too pervasive in SA society - no individual or group is immune. We don't know the particular set of circumstances of this family that sets them apart from that, which would give them claim to asylum. That said, the current Attorney General released a ruling in January last year stating: "The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim." It is not unusual that this family was paroled into the USA - it appears to be pretty common, but the burden of proof that they have claim to asylum is on them, and the court will decide the merits of their claim, although their day in court is probably some years away. In 2017, only 20% of those claiming asylum were granted - so there is a high bar of proof, and a high refusal rate.
  3. That makes more sense, but makes nonsense of the claim in the title of the video "South African family granted refugee status in the US" , and verbal claims that they have been 'granted amnesty' and given an 'asylum visa' So, they, like many others have been TEMPORARILY paroled into the USA, where they can now APPLY FOR Asylum. Their application will be considered by the authorities and may or may not be granted. Similar applications have failed in the past. Video is misleading at best.
  4. Calling BS on this video: - Posted here by a GUEST in entirely the incorrect topic. - The person speaking uses the terms 'granted amnesty in America' 'granted refugee status in the USA, 'asylum visa' interchangeably. and the statements just don't add up. The person speaking claims to be very involved in this sort of thing - so surely they should know the difference. Amnesty, by the way, is forgiveness for a crime......... - The big claim is that this South African family crossed the US border on Thursday 07 Feb, were detained until Saturday 09 Feb, and then immediately granted refugee status in the USA - per the headline of the video This just isn't how it works. - Refugee status must be applied for from outside of the USA - and under USA law, a refugee is someone who is located outside of the USA. So, having entered the USA, they could not, here apply for refugee status - so where does this big celebration of their instant granting of refugee status come from? - Asylum status can be applied for from within the USA or at the point of entry - there is no 'asylum visa' as claimed in this video. You apply for this status - it isn't a visa , and it can take a long time to be adjudicated - certainly not 2 days while you are in detention, and then you are instantly granted 'refugee status' - which is a status only valid outside the USA. In addition, the YouTube channel etc is filled with hate speech - mostly from the followers, which is not the fault of the channel - except that they should evict people spewing such racist drivel!
  5. Malamute

    Passport Renewal

    Glad you received it - mine was about the same duration through LA. The delay isn't such a big deal if you plan for it, but so many people forget about it until they need it, and realize they sit with an almost expired passport - and then rant about it, and about the consular staff, when the problem is of their own making! As you explained after you spoke with them, it isn't in their control.
  6. Malamute

    One last step!

    Congrats! You are almost there. If you can, get the passport application all done at the ceremony - very easy to do - just fill in most of the form in advance but don't sign it. I received mine a week after the oath ceremony.
  7. Malamute

    California Road Trip

    Summer in San Francisco (i.e. actually in the city) can be COLD - misty, foggy, definitely not shorts and T-shirts, as you would think for summer in California. More like jeans and hoodies. Immediately add about 15-20F once you go north of the Golden Gate Bridge, or to the South Bay (San Jose etc), and 20-30F if you go to the East Bay (Oakland). Very much about micro-climate in the Bay Area, especially in June and July. Summer really comes to downtown San Francisco in September. The further south you go, the warmer it will get, but if you are hugging the coast, it is always a bit cooler with the ocean breeze.
  8. Malamute

    Sending item to SA

    Absolutely can recommend Postbox Courier - specifically for packages to South Africa. https://www.postbox-courier.com/. Through the Post Office - it can take months - if it arrives at all. DHL/UPS/FEDEX are options, but VERY expensive. I recently sent a package through Postbox courier for $49. It was picked up by the recipient in Cape Town 6 days later - no issues or hassles with VAT or import duty. DHL and similar had quoted $258 - $300. They partner with Pargo in SA - so you designate a Clicks store, and they pick up there. Works great. Must be a special item, however, to warrant the cost of shipping.
  9. Malamute

    California Road Trip

    I used to live in the Bay Area, so a couple of ideas: You can't go wrong with Union Square - there is a lot going on, basically right in the heart of everything going on in San Francisco. Fisherman's wharf, I found to be a little 'tatty' actually. there are lots of 'grab and go' places to eat. A little bit further down is Pier 39, which is much nicer - lots of restaurants etc - but expect to pay the prices! If you stay at Union Square, you can do the traditional SF Cablecar ride down to Fisherman's wharf (sometimes it is so crowded, you will wait for several to go by before you can get on). While down that way, check our Ghirardelli Square - home of the chocolate. If you have a car, do take a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County and stop in Sausalito. You can also drive through the Baker Bunker road down to Rodeo Beach, and then come back over the top - you get amazing views of the GG bridge and the whole of San Francisco while you are there. If you can, spend a whole day up in the North Bay - and go to Muir Woods (you must book parking in advance these days), and if you have time, up to the top of Mt Tam for more amazing views of the entire Bay area. Love the North Bay area. If you don't have a car, try taking the ferry from the Ferry Building (a 'must see' too - lots of gourmet stores and some nice restaurants) across to Sausalito for lunch - or even the ferry up to Larkspur - the 30 minute trip is very scenic.
  10. Malamute

    DV-2019

    I see there is a very slow start to the numbers for DV2019. For October, AF numbers current only up to 2 750. In prior years, the available numbers in the first month (October) where much higher Oct 2017 (for DV2018) 8 500 Oct 2016 (for DV2017) 8 000 Oct 2015 (for DV2016) 9 100 Oct 2014 (for DV2015) 8 000 Oct 2013 (for DV2014) 7 500
  11. Malamute

    One last step!

    Jason, great post - and congratulations - you are almost there! I did my passport application at the ceremony, and a week and a day later, had my shiny new American passport in hand! The following week, I went to the Social Security offices, and updated my SS record - which now reflects I am a citizen. That was the last I have had to deal with any sort of immigration stuff - a great feeling. I was DV2008, and had my interview in December 2013, and the ceremony a month later. I also chose to retain my SA citizenship, so did all that paperwork a couple of months before the ceremony, so hold dual. Getting a new SA passport was quite a mission last year, with all the forms you need this side, but not unmanageable.
  12. Malamute

    Passport Renewal

    I am sure they get very tired of complaining South Africans phoning up only 2 or 3 months after they applied, and then giving the consulate an ear-ful, that they haven't got their new passport yet, as seems to happen. Personally, for both letter of retention and passport, I found the LA consulate very polite and easy to deal with.
  13. Malamute

    Passport Renewal

    Your passport doesn't have to be valid once you enter the USA - (once you are here as an immigrant on a Green Card - which is the moment you are stamped in - there is no obligation legally to maintain a current passport) but bear in mind you won't be able to travel beyond the borders without it, so not having a valid passport is not a very good idea. Especially as, once in the USA, it takes about 6 months+ to get a new SA Passport. As a GC holder you are not eligible for a USA passport. You can remain a GC holder and never naturalize, if that is what you choose to do. After you have been a GC holder for 5 years, you are eligible to naturalize as US Citizens, provided you meet all the requirements, which include how many months of the preceding 5 years you have spent in the USA, absence of any felonies etc. Naturalization can take a couple of months at least from the time you start that process. Once you are a USA citizen, you are eligible to apply for a USA passport - and that is fairly quick - from a few days (expedited) to a couple of weeks. If you are not wanting to retain dual citizenship, you need do nothing - you will remain a SA citizen up until the moment you take the oath at the naturalization ceremony. Then you will no longer be a SA citizen. Should you wish to retain it - fill in the forms and file the fee at the SA consulate a couple of months before you intend to naturalize, and you will be granted an exemption from losing your SA citizenship when you naturalize. You must have that exemption in hand before you take the oath as a US citizen. So, in short, your SA passport can expire once you are in the USA, but you won't be able to travel anywhere - even back to South Africa - so best plan is to make sure your SA passport has 6+ years validity on it when you enter the USA to see you through the period until you are eligible to naturalize and get your US passports.
  14. Malamute

    Dv-2018

    Britsimon popped up briefly on this forum in 2015 about this exact issue - in fact at the time SJ272 (then SJ27) was going through the process. Pretty much insisting that sponsorship was important - a number of folks - including myself weighed in that we did not need this - in fact no-one weighed in that they HAD in fact been asked for it.
  15. Malamute

    Dv-2018

    Excuse the question - but who told you that someone needs to be your sponsor? What visa are you on? DV? If you have $50k ready to bring - highly unlikely that the consulate will require you to have a sponsor. Most DV applicants do not. If the consulate has told you that you need a sponsor, then I understand, different story.
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