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US Gvt makes it easier for immigrants who got green cards through marriage to reapply — even after divorce

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has issued policy guidance explaining when it may adjust the status of an immigrant whose Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status has been terminated.

An immigration judge does not need to affirm the termination of CPR status before the alien can file a new adjustment of status application.

Green cards issued to foreign spouses are normally conditional, and are only valid for two years. After that time, immigrants can obtain permanent cards if the couple proves they did not marry just to get around U.S. immigration law.

But sometimes immigrants do not apply for a process known as a petition to “Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage,” either because they have divorced or they simply forgot.

An immigrant with CPR status obtains lawful permanent resident status either based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (if the marriage is less than two years at the time the alien adjusts status or is admitted for lawful permanent resident status) or based on an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa.

Last week, USCIS has updated information on how it handles some conditional permanent residence permits issued to immigrants who marry U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

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The New policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual announced Thursday puts an end to some of that uncertainty in certain circumstances, clarifying when the agency may adjust the status of a foreign national whose CPR has been canceled.

 

According to the USCIS  news release, the policy update establishes that an immigration judge “does not need to affirm the termination of CPR status before the alien can file a new adjustment of status application.”

Until the latest USCIS statement was released, if that happened and the immigrants wanted to apply for U.S. residence again because of a second marriage or other eligibility categories, they had to wait until an immigration judge affirmed the termination of their conditional permanent resident status (CPR) before they could file a new application.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s agency, petitioners can seek new permanent residence status if their CPR has been terminated and they meet one of three requirements:

▪ The immigrants have new basis for adjustment of status

▪ The immigrants are otherwise eligible to adjust status

▪ USCIS has jurisdiction over the application to adjust their status

 

The USCIS announcement also noted that the period lived by an immigrant in the United States under the previous CPR does not count toward the time required for obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

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The federal agency added that the new guidelines apply to adjustment of status applications filed after Thursday, Nov. 21.

Under U.S. regulations, married couples who want to remove the conditional status from a green card to get full permanent residence must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, during the 90 days before the second anniversary as a conditional resident.

Immigrants also can file a “waiver of the joint filing requirement due to a termination of marriage,” by accompanying the application with several documents such as the final divorce or annulment decree.

For additional information, follow the official USCIS Instructions for Form I-751.

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Wind may blow locusts away: UN

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The armies of locusts which have been ravaging parts of Kenya for the last three weeks may not march through the breadbasket counties, after all, a forecast by the United Nations shows.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) instead expects the pests to head northwest into Baringo and Turkana counties before entering Uganda.

Some swarms will fly to Ethiopia, which is battling other locust swarms.

The news comes as a relief to farmers in Nakuru, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Narok, Bungoma and West Pokot counties where much of the country’s staple, maize, is produced.

Officials who run the country’s economy can also sigh with relief.

The swarms crossed into northeast Kenya on December 28, 2019 and have spread to Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru and Laikipia.

The locusts – a lethal species of the grasshopper family that eats every green matter in its their sight – have the potential to knock down seasons of food, prompting acute hunger and substantially slow down the economy that is dependent on agriculture.

Panic had gripped the country when swarms were spotted in Kirinyaga, sparking fears that the pests were on a southwards march.

According to Dr George Ongamo, an entomologist at the University of Nairobi, FAO is basing its predictions on the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) projections that indicate a shift in the wind patterns in Kenya.

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The ITCZ is where the trade winds that flow over the country meet.

When, for instance, the ITCZ shifts to north of the Equator, the southeast trade wind changes to a southwest wind as it crosses the Equator.

Dr Ongamo, who is involved in the locust control programme at the Entomological Society of Kenya, said there are indications that the zone would shift next month.

This means the winds would change their southern-bound course and shift to the west.

“Desert locusts are poor fliers, meaning they can only fly while being carried by the wind. If direction changes after the meeting zone for the trade winds, the insects cannot fly against the wind despite the abundant vegetation elsewhere,” Dr Ongamo said.

The official, however, warned the country against complacency “since there are more swarms in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Egypt”

“We are not out of the woods yet. Caution is still advised as there are swarms of locusts outside the country to worry about,” he said.

Dr Ongamo said scouts are on the ground in affected areas looking for sites where the insects laid eggs “to eliminate them with pesticides at the larva and nymph stages”.

Meanwhile, disputes in the government and civil society have denied Kenya quick access to funds which would have been used to stop the invasion of locusts, the Nation can report.

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During a climate change summit in France in 2015, developed nations agreed to raise $100 billion by 2020 to address the pressing needs of the developing world.

Kenya was to be a direct beneficiary of the programme.

“There is a conflict between the Ministry of Environment, which coordinates activities related to climate change, and Treasury, which is the recipient of the GCF money,” said Dr George Wamukoya, lawyer and the lead official on agriculture for the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.

Dr Wamukoya notes that the locust invasion is directly linked to global warming and adds that control of the locust menace should be financed by the National Treasury using money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The Fund was established under the 2016 Climate Change Act.

The Act established the Climate Change Council, chaired by the President and which is the supreme agency when it comes to making decisions.

However, the council is yet to become operational since its establishment in 2016.

This is because the civil society has not been able to agree on a representative at the council as required by the law.

It is a setback for Kenya because emergency decisions to release funds for situations like the current locust invasion can only be taken by the council.

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Mr Peter Odhengo, Senior Policy Adviser for climate finance at the National Treasury, said money can only be released from the kitty if the locust invasion is declared a national disaster.

“Had the Climate Change Council been formed, it would be easy for it to sit down, assess the situation and release funds based on advice from experts,” Mr Odhengo said.

As a result, the burden now rests with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA).

“The sad thing is that there have been warnings and updates by FAO in its forest locust disaster watch from as early as June 2019 when the invasive and destructive insects affected parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and moved further South of the Red Sea, but there was no reaction from those concerned,” Dr Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said.

The direct link of the desert locust invasions to climate change is the unpredictability of rainfall patterns.

According to experts, rains are heavier and lasting longer than usual or expected. The ensuing greenery is what entices the otherwise slow breeding insects (in calm deserts) to be more active and fast in reproduction.

by nation.co.ke

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Dennis ‘the Menace’ Oliech retires from football

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Former Harambee Stars international Dennis Oliech has officially announced his retirement from football.

Oliech, who is said to have had hopes of being signed by a club currently in the Kenya Premier League (KPL), played for perennial champions Gor Mahia last after joining them in January 2, 2019.

As quoted on a local news outlet, Oliech resorted to hanging up his boots after failing to secure moves to the KPL, and has moved into business.

“I have officially retired from playing football and will venture into business. I had stated that I would bounce back by joining Wazito or Bandari, but nothing is forthcoming, that’s why I have not seen any need to continue,” Oliech said.

Premier League clubs are reportedly not interested in Oliech’s services.

Oliech is also reported to have cited financial constraints currently surrounding the Kenyan football scene as why he chose to retire.

“Kenyan football is on its deathbed and that is evident by the go slows and walkovers in the league,” explained Oliech.

Oliech questioned why the league’s management could not stand on its own like it did before the arrival of major sponsorships from companies like SportPesa.

The Harambee Stars talisman revealed his next step in life, saying he would act as an agent for young aspiring footballers in Kenya.

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“I will be an agent for young talented footballers so as to enable them get clubs in Europe,” Oliech revealed.

Harambee Stars

Oliech in action for Harambee Stars against South Africa in a past match [COURTESY]

Oliech is Harambee Stars’ record goalscorer with 34 goals, having announced his retirement from international football in March 2016.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the national team Harambee Stars. At this point I don’t feel my contribution has been appreciated by stakeholders. It has become difficult playing for the national team when you are not appreciated,” a dejected Oliech announced.

Oliech first played for the national team in 2002 at the age of a 17 against Nigeria in an international friendly in Lagos which Harambee Stars lost 3-0.

He went on to play in 68 matches for Harambee. His last match for the team was when he featured against Zambia in a 2-1 loss in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier tie.

Club Career

He joined AJ Auxerre on loan, where he stayed for six years, scoring 25 goals in 165 appearances [COURTESY]

Oliech started playing football for Dagoretti Santos before securing a transfer to Mathare United. He had trials with Ligue 1 side Marseille while still with the ‘Slum Boys’.

He began his career as a pro in 2003 when he signed for Qatar-based side Al-Arabi, where he scored 12 goals in seventeen appearances.

In 2005, Oliech joined French side Nantes on a four-year contract, making his debut for them on March 11, 2006. He scored only four goals in 32 appearances.

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He joined AJ Auxerre the next summer on loan, where he stayed for six years, scoring 25 goals in 165 appearances.

He announced he wanted to leave Auxerre in 2013 and joined AC Ajaccio, then in the Ligue 1 on a two-and-a-half-year deal. He scored on his debut and went on to score another seven times in 50 appearances.

He moved to Dubai CSC in February 2015 after terminating his contract with the French club.

In 2019, Oliech agreed a two-year deal with Gor Mahia, which never lived to see the light of day after the club unceremoniously terminated his contract on grounds of alleged misconduct.

By Standard 

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Lifestyle

Raburu’s wife goes on a self-discovery journey weeks after losing her daughter

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Marya Prude wife to Citizen TV host Willis Raburu has said that she is trying to rediscover herself once again weeks after the loss of her daughter.

The couple, who were expecting their first child, have taken time off after they lost their unborn baby.

Weeks ago Mrs Raburu had questioned God for leaving her when she needed him the most. Well she is making an effort to reconnect with God.

‘I don’t know who you are anymore but I want to embark on a self discovery journey and find you and love you as you deserve coz you only deserve the best.’

Willis Raburu’s wife Marya.

On Wednesday January 8 through Instagram, Prude penned a heart wrenching prayer to God explaining her emotional state.

“EVERYONE IS SO QUICK TO TELL ME ABOUT GOD. WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW IS THAT EVERY WAY I KNEW HIM, HE WAS TESTED AND HE DIDN’T PROVE HIMSELF,” SHE WROTE.

Adding,

“SO AS THEY SAY YOU SHOULD KNOW GOD FOR YOURSELF, I NOW CAN SAY, I DON’T KNOW HIM. AND I DON’T THINK I WANT TO KNOW HIM COZ HE LEFT ME WHEN I NEEDED HIM THE MOST,” MARYA LAMENTED.

A week later, Willis penned a long post to his daughter saying that she is forever etched on his mind and heart.

‘My beautiful daughter, some days are easy some days are so hard.

Today I woke up trying to imagine what it would be like to watch you sleep, ( that’s the only image I have of you) what it be like you hold warm fingers, what a sleepless night would feel like.

What it would be like to go to work tired Koz you kept me up at night, who you would look like now?

what color of your skin? if you would drink as much milk as I did when I was your age. My daughter, you are an angel now, or so they tell me and when I look up to the sky sometimes I cry, sometimes I sometimes I laugh.’

Adding

‘I want you to make so much noise in heaven, or in the multi-verse you are in,I want you to have all your the people who are with you there say “Yeap that’s Willis’ child” I miss you so much.

It’s funny that I have a picture of you but even before I look at it, your face is engrained in my heart, etched in my soul, tattooed in my very essence.

Willis Raburu

My daughter, my sweet lovely beautiful daughter, I’m sorry that you have to see daddy weak and in grief and not the pillar of strength that you and your mother need.

But my daughter, daddy loves you, since He listens to you talk to Him and tell Him, daddy doesn’t understand but daddy needs help. Rest In Palaces, RIP because you are royalty. 👼🏾👸🏾#QueenAdana.‘

By Mpasho

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