Don't Worry About That RFE

There are countless threads all over the internet—not just in Facebook groups devoted to H-1B visas or H-4 classification but also on platforms like Reddit, Quora, LindIn, etc.—where someone is asking for advice on how to respond to an RFE (Request For Evidence) issued by DHS. 

The overwhelming majority of these threads end in denials with the OP wondering out loud what was wrong with their response and what should they have done to avoid the sad ending. 

The sad fact is that these visa denials had nothing to do with how people responded to the RFE or what kind of documents they did or didn't send in with it. 

The decision to deny the visa was probably already made well before the RFE was ever issued. In other words the decision to deny was already final, a fait accompli, before any evidence was requested. The mailing of the RFE, the wait, the exchange of letters, and the subsequent mailing of denial were just 'window dressing.'

We’re not trying to be incendiary here. We’re just trying to warn people not to invest their hopes, their very future, in a futile process whose outcome is predetermined. Visas will be refused not because they fail to comply with the law, but because the Trump Administration is determined to deny them. This government is counting, among other things, on the fact that the people most affected by this subterfuge are not in any position to object to what it does.

The person most affected by a denial, the H-1B visa holder him-or-herself (called beneficiary in DHS jargon) is technically not even allowed any voice to object with when, after many years of living here, he or she is told to leave in 180 days.The business visa immigration scheme involves an agreement between the government and an employer. The visa holder plays no part in this agreement, they just 'benefit' from it when government and employer agree. The government advanced this argument in the case of Usha Sagarwala. It is sure to make again. (https://tinyurl.com/y2e5abmp).

But even if the beneficiary had the right to object, as the judge allowed in Ms. Sagarwala's case, Trump’s government is still willing to lie about any fact that affects their decision. They will deny an H-1B renewal by claiming for example that the requirements of the job have changed, or that the job does not qualify as a "specialty occupation," where in fact there has been no change in either the position or its requirements. The people running DHS know any individual challenging their lies will have limited resources and that such a challenger will likely have to spend his or her life savings to prove the truth, whereas the government has almost infinite resources to defend whatever it wants say and hence drag out the proceedings until the challenger goes bankrupt.

We decided to address the government's disdain for the truth today because there is new evidence of the Trump Administration lying about immigration procedures—AGAIN!

Today with much fanfare, Fox News Cameras, and the usual panoply of underlings, the United States government announced a deal with the government of Guatemala. (https://tinyurl.com/y3bsaduq)

According to this deal, Guatemala one of the most serious human rights violators in the world, is now a country that can accept, process and extend protection to asylum seekers. Any Guatemalan fearing harm who seeks asylum in the US will now be denied if the government determines they didn’t ask for protection before leaving Guatemala. 

Here is a clip of the man currently in charge of DHS confirming what the accord means: 

https://twitter.com/aflores/status/1154860244838649856?s=20

Where is the lie, you ask. We know these officials are lying because we compared what they said today to other documents, published by the same government they work for, where political expediency is not as big a factor. Through this comparison we see for example that "judges, prosecutors, plaintiffs, and witnesses continued to report threats, intimidation, and surveillance, most often from drug trafficking organizations." (https://tinyurl.com/y5xaqc4w) If judges and prosecutors in Guatemala are being threatened and intimidated, how can ordinary citizens feel safe?

It doesn't matter what the State Department says. It doesn't matter that the State Department also works for Trump. It doesn't matter that the supreme court of Guatemala had said such an agreement would be illegal. All the mattered today is that another opportunity was created for the cameras and that the sixty odd million people who voted for this president will cheer.

What today's White House produced episode of reality TV shows is that in the USA, the law, regulations and reality itself have become mere formalities, matters of expediency that can be manipulated, revised and reasserted to achieve the political aims of those running it.

H-1B visa holders take note. Plan ahead. The outcome of the RFE you may receive could already have been determined before it was ever mailed to you.