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Immigrant Info’s mission is to support a healthy and resilient community for everyone through successful integration of immigrants, refugees and asylees into our society. Our intention is to create a collaborative space that facilitates connection, cooperation and focus on our common goals. We invite the submission of information about news, classes, resources, and community events of interest to Santa Clara County immigrants.

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In the News

Amid travel ban controversy, Bay Area refugees share their journeys to America
5/12/18 State Department data shows the U.S. resettled an estimated 15,500 Syrian refugees in 2016 toward the end of Obama's presidency. As of April this year, the Trump administration had admitted only 11 Syrians, according to NPR. But Arabian and other refugees who settled in the Bay Area are sharing their experiences in a series of intimate storytelling events known as the "Made Into America" project. On Thursday night at Palo Alto's Mitchell Park Community Center, she described her family's decision to flee Aleppo.

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Commentary: How Trump is really changing immigration: Making it harder for people to come here legal
5/13/18 Here's an overview of key ways Trump has made it more difficult and expensive to come here legally for foreign students, skilled temporary workers, green cards holders, refugees and others. Yes, Trump still wants his big, beautiful wall to stop illegal border crossings. But he's been railing against all forms of immigration since his campaign. And he's having a much easier time chipping away at legal immigration than funding his wall. In some cases, the methods are strict quotas or new rules. But paperwork and red tape work, too. For instance, this administration tripled the number of pages in green card applications. Forms for sponsoring a foreign-born spouse are nine times longer than they used to be.

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Fraud Alert - Federal Trade Commission warns of new scam from 'Chinese Consulate'
4/28/18 A new scam is making the rounds and this time the scammers claim to be from the Chinese Consulate office. The callers are targeting people with Chinese last names however, anyone can become a victim, according to the Federal Trade Commission. People across the country are getting calls and messages saying they have to pick up a package at the Chinese Consulate office or they need to avoid being in trouble with the Chinese Consulate. The caller then asks for your bank account or credit card information, or they tell you to make a bank transfer to them.

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ICE USES FACEBOOK DATA TO FIND AND TRACK SUSPECTS, INTERNAL EMAILS SHOW
3/26/18 ICE, the federal agency tasked with Trumps program of mass deportation, uses backend Facebook data to locate and track suspects, according to a string of emails and documents obtained by The Intercept through a public records request. The hunt for one particular suspect provides a rare window into how ICE agents use social media and powerful data analytics tools to find targets.

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ICE gained access to Santa Clara County inmates, breaching sanctuary policie
3/27/18 The Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office allowed federal deportation officers to enter the jail it operates and interview four inmates this month in violation of the agencys pro-immigrant sanctuary policies, officials said. The interviews occurred March 7 and 8, around the time that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers visited San Francisco County Jail and interviewed an inmate there in a breach of the city's sanctuary rules, which restrict local cooperation in deportation efforts. Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, in a statement to The Chronicle, said members of her staff 'mistakenly' let ICE officers into the jail. After learning of the incident, she said, the office "reevaluated and strengthened the clearance procedures in which all law enforcement agencies are permitted to enter our facilities."

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ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US
1/26/18 The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. Those powers are particularly troubling given ICE's recent move to expand deportations beyond criminal offenders, fueling concerns of politically motivated enforcement. In New York, community leaders say they've been specifically targeted for deportation as a result of their activism. With automated license plate recognition, that targeting would only grow more powerful.

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Justice Department Will Not Halt Legal Orientation Program for Detained Immigrants, Reversing Course
4/26/18 Just two weeks after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a suspension of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified today that DOJ will reverse course and continue the programat least for now. Started in 2003 under President George W. Bush with bipartisan support from Congress, the LOP currently operates in 38 detention facilities throughout the country. Although participation in the program is no replacement for representation by an immigration attorney, it provides important information to roughly half of the detained population.

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Seattle federal judge orders nationwide halt to immigration ban
2/4/18 In one of the strongest blows yet to President Trump's controversial immigration ban, a federal judge in Seattle on Friday ordered an immediate nationwide halt to enforcement of the order that has caused havoc at airports and sown confusion among thousands of visa holders and refugees. The temporary restraining order from U.S. District Judge James Robart blocks the federal government from enforcing measures that suspended refugee admissions and most other immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries until a new system of "extreme vetting" is put in place.

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Trump Administration May Target Immigrants Who Use Food Aid, Other Benefits
2/9/18 The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they have received certain public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration. The DHS has drafted proposed new rules seen by Reuters that would allow immigration officers to scrutinize a potential immigrants use of certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to determine if they could become a public burden. The draft rules are a sharp departure from current guidelines, which have been in place for nearly two decades.

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Trump administration ends protections for 50,000 Hondurans living in U.S. since 1999
5/4/18 More than 50,000 Hondurans who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since 1999 will have 20 months to leave the country or face deportation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Friday, the latest in a series of DHS measures aimed at tightening U.S. immigration controls. In the past six months, DHS has ended TPS for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians and 9,000 Nepalis, giving those groups 12 to 18 months to prepare a departure or secure some other form of legal status.

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Raising Teens in a New Country Handbook
Published by the Office of Refugee Resettlement for parents and teens who are new to the United States and for service providers working with them. The handbook covers topics such as cultural identity, discipline, online and cyber safety, dating and relationships, and self-esteem and body image.

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Civil rights groups send a message to police about immigrants' Fourth Amendment rights
3/8/18 The federal government's attempt to enlist local law enforcement officials to detain immigrants could put local police departments at risk of legal liabilities, a civil rights group argued in a report released this week. The attention paid to 'sanctuary cities' in the report comes as the Trump administration has imposed financial and legal penalties against police departments refusing to hold immigrants after criminal custody release for potential deportation proceedings. Key Words: ICE, Undocumented, DOJ,

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Fear compromises health, well-being of immigrant families, survey finds
12/15/17 Immigrant families....are living with heightened fear and uncertainty because of stricter immigration policies and increased enforcement under the Trump administration, according to a report released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The fear, and the stress it creates, is compromising children's health, possibly for the long term, the report said. It is also causing some parents to forgo health care or withdraw from public health programs such as Medicaid, which covers people with low incomes, and Women, Infants and Children, which provides nutritional assistance.

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Anti-Immigration Policies Will be Detrimental to U.S. Economy and Workforce
1/31/18 Economists say deporting undocumented immigrants and restricting immigration will remove billions of dollars from economy and cripple labor market. According to multiple independent studies, the United States stands to lose hundreds of billions of dollars, stagnate its workforce and deplete a wealth of intellectual capital if it pursues proposed deportation goals.

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