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An important part of Christmas is buying gifts for loved ones.

Filipinos are busy filling their balikbayan boxes with pasalubong, to send to their families “back home.”  

The pasalubong may consist of clothes, food items, electronics, or other useful items, given as a way of “sharing one’s blessings.”

However, many Filipinos forget about what could be the most important “gift” for their family members: legalizing their status, or finding a way for their family members to immigrate to the U.S. and be reunited, under the same roof, not only during Christmas, but all year round.  

I know that some people have been separated from their family members for many years, because they have not done anything about their immigration situation.  

Yet if you ask the family members back home, they probably believe that nothing that could be bought in any store would mean as much as the family being together.  

Other people have their children with them in the U.S., and their children could be eligible for work authorization, driver’s license, SS #, etc. under DACA.

What a wonderful present for a child!

If you have not yet done anything about your immigration situation, and are spending yet another lonely Christmas in the U.S., maybe now is the right time to switch your spending priorities – from the usual balikbayan box items to the real gift a family wants – being together in the U.S.  

Or at least make a New Year’s resolution to finally take steps to either legalize your status and/or bring your family to America.  

On behalf of myself and my law office, Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!

***

Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 30 years, and is an active member of the State Bar of California and New York, as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Immigration Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  

He has always excelled in school:  Valedictorian in High School; Cum Laude at UCLA; and Law Degree Honors and academic scholar at Loyola Law School, which is one of the top law schools in California.  

WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

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(This is for informational purposes only, and reflects the firm’s opinions and views on general issues.  Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of a particular case. All immigration services are provided by an active member of the State Bar of California and/or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. No prediction, warranty or guarantee can be made about the results of any case.  Should you need or want legal advice, you should consult with and retain counsel of your own choice.)