by Leah L. Tuisavalalo
For Ta'iala Immigration Blog

(FRESNO, Calif.)-On Nov. 20 and 21, 2014, President Barack Obama announced the administration's "Immigration Accountability Executive Action." The plan that the President outlined is designed to help reform the immigration system and ranges from measures to enhance border security, to new temporary protections for many of the people living in the United States without permission. Many of these changes, will directly affect...

Click to read more!

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officially announced the process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to renew their status. If you have DACA, here are the things you need to know for your renewal:

(1) The form is still I-821D, but it is a NEW version and there is NO grace period between the old form and the new one. This means that any forms sent in beginning today (June 5, 2014) must be on the updated form or else they will be rejected as...

Click to read more!

(NEW YORK CITY, New York–Saturday, May 24, 2014)–I'm here in New York City! YAY! It is indeed a dream come true just to be here. I'm still trying to keep myself from passing out from all the excitement. As I have with Hawai'i's The Bus system, I've become quite familiar with New York's public transportation systems. It took lots of internet research and lots of questions on the ground to get me to this point. During my walks on Seventh, Broadway and on my NYC public transportation...

Click to read more!

Here is a common scenario with respect to immigration issues in the Pacific Islander community: You arrived in the United States many years ago on a tourist (B1/B2) visa. You were supposed to return to your country of origin within 6 months, however, you chose to remain in the US past the expiration of your visa. You NOW have a US Citizen Spouse, child (over 21), or parent (if you are under 21), who can petition for you to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The...

Click to read more!
(Ta'iala) In the past few months, I have hosted several immigration seminars, workshops and informational booths in both California and Utah, targeting the Pacific Islander community.  During these public venues, four key things stood out to me as issues that NEED to be addressed in the Polynesian community with regard to immigration. 
First, we need to take the stigma out not having immigration status or being considered an "over-stayer."  The shame and...
Click to read more!

By Leah L. Tuisavalalo, Pasifika Immigration Law Group

(Fresno, CALIF.)--On March 4, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS or "Immigration") began accepting applications under a program that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the...

Click to read more!

By Leah L. Tuisavalalo

There are certain types of visas where you cannot have a "dual intent" – as in you can't intend
to remain in the U.S. permanently when you very clearly entered for temporary reasons. Those
visa categories include B-1/B-2 Visitors, F-1 Students, J-1 Exchange Visitors, E-3 Visa Holder, Q
Cultural Exchange Visitors, TN Visa Holders, and ESTA Visa Waiver Visitors.

So what happens when you meet the love of your life who happens to be a US...

Click to read more!

"That's a nice rack you got there little lady..." - Inappropriate Humourist

Going "rackless" is going to be the new micro-trend in fashion shopping, and I'm not talking about women having cosmetic breast reduction surgeries; which should be a crime in all "57 States". (Name that reference!)

Rackless is a fashion shopping experience where the customer purchases their clothing online from a style catalog and then works with the designers to complete the design with fabric and...

Click to read more!

BLOGGER: Vanessa Matautia

Hey you may have seen the quick little rant that I put up the night before on my FB page about Prayer in School. This would be explanation behind it as well as being my first blog here on

Here it goes....

My title is correct in that yes, I spent half my secondary education in Catholic school. Saint Elizabeth green, Saint Francis blue and white and Bellarmine lion paws. There was nothing wrong with it and I never...

Click to read more!

by tina

It's not everyday you see a judge cry so I'll never forget the story that First Circuit District Court Judge Lanson K. Kupau shared when he spoke at the 11th Annual Lumana'i Mo Samoa Scholarship Awards banquet last year. I had to fight back my own tears that night.

I never would've known about the awards banquet if it were not for my fabulous cousin Dr. Mavis Alaimalo, wife to Dr. Ernest Alaimalo, donors of this great cause: scholarships to assist young Samoans with...

Click to read more!