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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

Another judge just blocked Trump. His ruling contains a warning.
11/20/18 The decision, by Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, temporarily blocks Trump’s recent executive action barring people from seeking asylum if they did not cross at an official port of entry. The new court decision declares that this order runs afoul of federal law that “has clearly commanded that immigrants be eligible for asylum regardless of where they enter,” noting that the law explicitly says aliens can apply for asylum “whether or not” they entered “at a designated port of arrival.” For a full explainer on what the law says, see this Lawfare piece.

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Changes to USCIS Policy Will Directly Impact Vulnerable Immigrants
11/15/18 The Trump administration’s move to deport more people from the US has come into sharp focus again as it targets some of the most vulnerable immigrants with its Notice to Appear (NTA) policy. The new policy, announced in June 2018, had already dramatically altered the role of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by broadening the circumstances in which USCIS may issue an NTA – a charging document that triggers the start of deportation proceedings – for certain applicants who have been denied immigration benefits. Starting November 19, individuals who have applied for humanitarian benefits will be directly impacted. USCIS has announced that, as of that date, it may issue NTAs impacting individuals who seek U visas (victims of crime), T visas (victims of severe forms of trafficking), and self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

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Food banks see impact of Trump’s immigration policies
11/21/18 Families of immigrants have been reluctant to go to food banks and sign up for food stamps this year, anti-hunger advocates said, because many are afraid the federal government will use those requests for assistance against them in immigration proceedings. The result is that many families, including children and pregnant women, could be at risk for malnutrition, according to food bank officials and anti-hunger groups. Officials are pointing to a new "public charge" rule under President Donald Trump, that would change what factors immigration officials consider when deciding if applicants qualify for a visa or permanent resident status.

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Lawsuit Charges USCIS Move Against Foreign Students Is Illegal
11/9/18 A US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy memo could bar many international students from the United States. A new lawsuit argues that is actually the goal of the government memo. USCIS has attempted to justify the new action against international students by citing a questionable Department of Homeland Security (DHS) overstay report. The new policy memo drastically reshapes the unlawful-presence policy for F, J, and M visa-holders. Now, instead of the unlawful-presence clock running on the date on which the individual is adjudicated as out-of-status, USCIS will backdate unlawful presence to the underlying facts that give rise to the individual being out-of-status. Key Words: ALLIES5

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New deportation fears among Vietnamese immigrants
12/15/18 Rules would target some immigrants who came before 1995. Thousands of Vietnamese immigrants could be at risk of deportation under a Trump Administration re-interpretation of a long-standing agreement with Vietnam that largely has protected Vietnamese citizens who entered the United States before 1995. Earlier this year, the administration unilaterally changed its interpretation of that 2008 agreement to allow deportation of Vietnamese citizens who arrived before 1995 and have been convicted of crimes. But the administration quietly backed off amid a class action lawsuit by a coalition of immigrants rights groups and a backlash that included the resignation of the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Now, some activists are worried that was just a temporary reprieve.

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New life for DACA: Supreme Court likely next stop for Dreamers
11/8/18 A federal appeals court ruled that President Trump can’t immediately end the program that granted the nation’s so-called Dreamers protection from deportation, dealing his administration a significant blow and setting the stage for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court. Key Words: Deferred Action, immigration

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Ninth Circuit Declines Second Look at Kids’ Immigration Fight
11/13/18 Toddlers will continue representing themselves in immigration court in the wake of a Ninth Circuit panel’s refusal Tuesday to revisit dismissal of a class action that claimed kids should have court-appointed attorneys in immigration proceedings – a refusal that drew a blistering dissent from five circuit judges. During oral arguments in the appeal, government attorneys told the panel that appointing representation for kids facing deportation would “destroy the framework of the immigration system.”

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SF judge suspends Trump's decision to end protected status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants
10/3/18 A U.S. district judge in San Francisco has dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants. The ruling late Wednesday afternoon will relieve immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan from the threat of deportation. It came in response to a class-action lawsuit alleging that government officials approached their decisions about TPS with a political agenda, ignored facts and were motivated by racism. Administration officials deny those allegations, saying the program was never intended to provide a long-term reprieve.

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Senators push to shield Venezuelans from deportation from US
12/13/18 Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee; Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate minority whip; Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Judiciary Committee ranking member and Rubio of Florida, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; introduced a bill that would grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans. The UN has said that more than 3 million Venezuelan refugees have fled the country’s economic and political turmoil. Colombia has taken in most of the refugees, followed by Peru. Venezuelans also have fled to Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Key Words: TPS

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The Government Outlines Its Plan to Extend TPS Benefits Under Court Order
10/26/18 In early October, a federal court ruled that the Trump administration had violated the law when it terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. In the short term, USCIS will automatically extend all work permits currently issued to TPS recipients from Sudan and Nicaragua for a six-month period ending on April 2, 2019. Both Sudan and Nicaragua’s TPS designations were set to end before that date; Sudan on November 2, 2018, and Nicaragua on January 5, 2019. Because the ACLU’s lawsuit was filed before the Trump administration ended TPS for Honduras and Nepal, individuals from those countries are still at risk of losing legal status. As the recent caravan has shown, Honduras is still a country suffering from substantial instability, despite the administration’s decision to end TPS for that country.

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Trump promised to end it, but the visa lottery will still raffle off 50,000 green cards
9/27/18 In September, the State Dept announced that it will be issuing 50,000 visas in 2020. Applicants must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify, according to the State Department, which distributes the green cards among six geographical regions. They must be born in qualifying countries. The countries NOT eligible this period are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam. They also must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, or 2 years’ work experience over the past five years in an eligible field that requires at least 2 years of training. Online Registration for the 2020 program begins on Oct. 3 and concludes on Nov. 6. Key Words: Immigration,

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What Is Asylum? Who Is Eligible? Why Do Recent Changes Matter?
12/3/18 Thousands of migrants traveling together to flee dire circumstances in their native Central American nations are camped in towns and cities edging the U.S.-Mexico border. Many hold out hopes that despite intense political pushback, they'll be given a chance to apply in the U.S. for the humanitarian immigration status known as asylum. Key Words: Caravan

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CA Pretrial Diversion for Minor Drug Charges
1/1/2018 As of January 1, 2018, California will offer a pretrial diversion program to qualifying defendants charged with minor drug offenses. See AB 2082 (2017) (Eggman), amending California Penal Code § 1000 et seq. In this process, defendants will be permitted to plead "not guilty" before they are diverted to a drug education program. If they successfully complete this and other requirements within 12 - 18 months (or more, if they request and are granted more time), then the drug charge/s will be dropped and they will have no conviction from the incident for immigration purposes or any other purpose.

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Immigration Policies, Deportation Threats Keep Kids Out of School, Report States
11/20/18 Authors of UNESCO’s new Global Education Monitoring report, Building Bridges, Not Walls studied how the way different countries implement education and immigration policies can either promote or learning environments for immigrant children, migrants or refugees. Experts found that in the U.S., deportation fears are having an impact on school attendance, whether students are afraid of their own deportation or of a loved one's. The fear is exacerbated if schools allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to search the facilities or collect immigration information from students. Seven percent of U.S. children are born to parents who don't have legal immigration status.

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Much damage to undo in family separations
8/15/18 We are hearing reunification stories from the front lines. Accounts from families, journalists, activists, political leaders and clinicians tell of the enormous distress that refugee children and parents have endured. Not only young children will show the ill effects of separation and detention. Children of all ages have suffered in different ways depending on age, health and the conditions of separation and detention. But younger children will not grasp why this happened to them as well as older children. Their young minds cannot comprehend immigration policy and enforcement. They'll ask, "What did I do?" or "Why did my mommy or daddy leave me?" Key Words: Mental Health

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Not on our watch': Lawyers fight to keep Trump from dismantling migrant child protections
9/20/18 Now as the federal government works to rewrite the rules spelled out under the so-called Flores Settlement —a lawsuit agreement that settled a 1997 lawsuit over child detentions — she worries what might become of children separated from parents or who have arrived unaccompanied if the Flores protections are diminished. “The obligations are very clear and the government is obligated to issue regulations that are consistent with Flores, all the things it is doing now are seriously inconsistent with Flores; they violate the contract they signed,” Frye told NBC News in a telephone interview.

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Trump immigration crackdown deterring undocumented immigrants from testifying in cases
9/22/18 The Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration is deterring some women from testifying in incidents of domestic abuse and discouraging immigrants in the country illegally from appearing in court, experts told NBC News. The experts told the network that fears of being arrested by immigration officials is deterring undocumented immigrants from appearing at courthouses, where they could be apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

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Bill Would Block ICE from Arresting Immigrant Child Sponsors
10/1/18 A bipartisan group of lawmakers are seeking to prevent the Trump administration from arresting undocumented immigrants who come forward to take care of undocumented immigrant children who are in the country alone, after CNN reported such arrests were happening. The bill would bar the government from using a sponsor’s undocumented status as a reason to deny releasing a child to them, and it would prevent the Department of Homeland Security from using information provided by a potential child sponsor to arrest or deport an undocumented immigrant.

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Doctors decry plans to detain immigrant kids with parents
6/27/18 Doctors are speaking out against the Trump administration's plans to stop separating immigrant families by instead detaining children with their parents. That approach, top pediatricians warned Wednesday, replaces one inhumane policy with another. "It puts these kids at risk for abnormal development," said Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.Key Words: Mental Health

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Hidden Tribes: A Study of America's Polarized Landscape
10/18 This report is about polarization in America today: what is driving us apart, and what can bring us back together.The report was conducted by More in Common, a new international initiative to build societies and communities that are stronger, more united, and more resilient to the increasing threats of polarization and social division. Key Words: Research, Demographics

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Stop Hate Project
The Lawyers’ Committee serves as a resource for organizations and individuals combating hate in their respective communities The Stop Hate Project works to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with established legal and social services resources. The Lawyers’ Committee has run an Election Protection Hotline for over a decade, providing resources and assistance to callers ahead of and on Election Day. Building on this expertise, the Lawyers’ Committee launched a resource and reporting hotline for hate incidents: 1-844-9-NO-HATE (1-844-966-4283).

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U.S. courts abruptly tossed 9,000 deportation cases. Undated Notices to Appear
10/17/18 The Supreme Court case involved Wescley Fonseca Pereira, a Brazilian immigrant who overstayed his visa and was put into deportation proceedings in 2006. The initial paperwork he was sent did not state a date and time of appearance, however, and Pereira said he did not receive a subsequent notice telling him where and when to appear. When he failed to show up in court, he was ordered deported. The Supreme Court ruled that paperwork failing to designate a time and place didn’t constitute a legal notice to appear in court.

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Detaining migrant kids now a multi-billion dollar industry
7/12/18 Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually - a tenfold increase over the past decade, an Associated Press analysis finds. Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million dollars in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody. Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states; Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

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H-1B: As immigration furor roils Silicon Valley, Canada smooths way for techies
10/13/18 Two weeks: That’s how quickly a foreign technology worker in Silicon Valley can get an employment permit from Canada. In the US, that process takes months. As the administration of President Donald Trump has increased scrutiny of H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers and plans to ban their spouses from holding jobs in the U.S., Canada has been moving aggressively to suck top foreign talent out of Silicon Valley and other technology-rich regions of the U.S. Key Words: Immigration, Indian

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Separated migrant families suing Trump administration for mental health treatment: report
6/8/18 Migrant families who were separated at the U.S.–Mexico border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy are suing the Trump administration to cover the costs of their mental health treatment, according to a new federal class-action lawsuit. Key Words: Children

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US deporting crime victims while they wait for special visa
7/19/18 For victims of crime on U.S. soil who are living here illegally, a special visa program encourages them to help solve their cases and catch criminals, and often provides their only clear path to citizenship. But as Republican President Donald Trump's administration has taken a harder line on immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appears to be stepping up the detention and deportation of people who have applied for the so-called "U visa."

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