How Much Are You Willing To Give For Love?

by Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

“Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses
.” –Lord Thomas Dewar.

Love is measured by how much one is willing to spend for it.”  –Emmanuel S. Tipon.

In the 1951 film “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman,” Pandora (Ava Gardner) asked the Flying Dutchman (James Mason), who killed his wife believing that she was unfaithful although she was innocent and was doomed to sail the Seven Seas for eternity until he could find a woman who loved him enough to die for him, “What would you give up for my love?” The Dutchman replied: “My salvation.”

There is an Ilocano lawyer who is spending for a 19-year-old girl as if he were a millionaire even though he is now only a thousandaire, giving her the most expensive Apple computer, iPhone, thousands in cash, paying for her tuition, all of which she is not asking for but is not refusing either. The lawyer is not asking for a quid pro quo. There is quid, but no pro quo.

Why? Is the lawyer crazy? Is he a fool? Does he “love” the girl?

Here is what the young girl wrote to the lawyer:

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for your generosity and kindness. You have a remarkable ability to make life easier for those around you, and I truly believe that your compassionate nature is one of the things that makes you such a special person. I often think that perhaps it’s this kind of goodness that leads to a longer life. Maybe God rewards those who bring happiness and positivity to others with extra time on this earth.”

Love and spending for immigration purposes
A man was with an attractive woman seeking to convert her tourist visa to a green card and asked a lawyer how much it would cost. The lawyer asked if he loved the woman.

He replied “Yes,” but he did not seem very enthusiastic. The lawyer asked: “How much would you be willing to spend?” There was a riot of silence.

The lawyer had expected a genuine lover to say, “Whatever it takes.” The lawyer asked, “If you had a million dollars, would you spend it on the woman beside you?” The man was silent. A gallant lover would have said: “Of course” or “Absolutely.”A significant number of people want to petition a so-called “loved one” to come to the United States to live with them. But when they find out the cost, they hesitate and even refuse. Why? Is the cost that much?

Here are the estimated fees to be paid to the U.S. government, subject to change without prior notice. This is not complete, is not guaranteed and should not be used as a basis for future action. Check with the USCIS and the State Department for the current fees:

For relatives abroad, the government fees total about $2,000, consisting of: filing fee for I-130 Petition for Alien Relative; Filing fee for Affidavit of Support; Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee; USCIS immigrant fee; Medical examination fee; Vaccination fee.For relatives living in the U.S. and seeking adjustment of status, the government fees total less than $2,000, consisting of the Filing fee for I-485 Petition for Adjustment of Status; Filing fee for I-130 Petition for Alien Relative; and Biometrics fee.

Here are the estimated fees for an attorney to file the petitions. Each attorney charges differently based on various factors including location of office, education, experience, and quality of work. Fees for a petition for a relative living abroad – around $2,000. Fees for adjustment of status – around $4,500.

The fees for non-lawyers such as travel agents (trouble agents?), tax preparers, and others are much lower but the quality of their work cannot compare with a lawyer, and they cannot represent the client with immigration authorities if there is a problem.

Daughters refused to spend money for father in deportation proceedings
A Filipino was placed in deportation proceedings for having been convicted of manslaughter in California based on a plea of guilty. He had loaned an automobile tire to a neighbor.

When he asked for its return, the neighbor refused and chased him with an iron bar. The man ran to his home with the neighbor in pursuit. He fled to his garage where he got his revolver and shot the man pursuing him.

His lawyer terrorized him saying that if he fought the case and lost, he could spend more than 10 years in jail but if he pleaded guilty, he would spend less than that. The lawyer did not warn him of the immigration consequences of his plea.

The Filipino’s immigration lawyer suggested that he should hire a lawyer to set aside his conviction for ineffective assistance of counsel. The cost was estimated at $10,000. He did not have the money.

His two daughters refused to help saying that they had their own expenses to take care of. The immigration lawyer suggested that they could borrow. They balked. The Filipino was deported. He was enjoying life in the Philippines with a girlfriend but then suffered a heart attack and died. Too much enjoyment?

The daughters asked the immigration lawyer how to bring the body of their father back to the U.S. The lawyer told them that it was no longer an immigration issue. They said they were willing to spend money to bring him back.

The lawyer remarked: You are willing to spend more than $10,000 to bring him back dead but you were not willing to spend that amount while he was alive to save him from deportation? A Filipino green card holder was in the Federal Detention Center undergoing deportation proceedings. He had gone to the Philippines and overstayed for more than one year. He obviously knew that he had lost his eligibility to return to the U.S. with his green card. So, he allegedly tore the page of his passport showing the date he went to the Philippines.

At the airport, the immigration officer noticed the missing pages. He asked the Filipino when he went to the Philippines, and he mumbled something like a few months ago. A quick check by the officer disclosed that he had left more than a year ago. He was charged with fraud and placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.

At the immigration court, the judge asked the Filipino if he had relatives in the U.S. who could petition for him. He said he had a daughter. The judge said that she could hold the proceedings in abeyance while the daughter petitioned for him.

The judge indicated that there was an immigration lawyer in the court and said that they could talk with him and called a recess. A man claiming to be the husband of the daughter said that she did not want to petition her father.

Her reason: “Bay bay am ta agawiden, isu pay nga paggastuan.” (Let him go back home, he is an additional expense). Wow, what kind of a daughter is that? Without her father, she would not be on Earth. Did the father complain about spending money to raise his daughter?

If love is measured by what one is willing to spend for it, do these potential immigration petitioners really “love” their so-called “beloved”?

The information provided in this article is for general information only. It is not legal advice. Publication of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you or reading by you does not establish or constitute an attorney-client relationship.

was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the 1955 bar examinations. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most prestigious legal publisher and writes columns for newspapers. He wrote the case notes and annotations for the entire Immigration and Nationality Act published by The Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co. and Bancroft-Whitney Co. (now Thomson Reuters). He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon.  They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, and current events. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m.  Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645.  E-Mail:  Website:

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