Immigrant Info / Immigration & Citizenship

The Immigration & Citizenship Section contains links to trusted immigration resources and assistance for SCC Immigrants and refugees. All of these links and much more can also be found in the Resources Search page.

"Public Charge" Would Create a Public Health Crisis for Immigrant Families
2/9/18 Vox has published a leaked version of a new regulation that seeks to limit legal immigrants' access to public benefits. In sum, the rule would empower immigration officials to deny immigrants' applications for certain visas or green cards if they are considered likely to utilize available social services. The regulation essentially gives immigration officials a structural racism roadmap, labeling immigrants as a "public charge" if they or their dependents (often their U.S.-born children) utilize needed benefits. The most likely effect of the revised rule is that it will scare immigrants away from using benefits they are legally eligible for, and undermine the ability of immigrant families to protect the health and well-being of themselves and their children.

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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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County of Santa Clara Files Request for Information on Possible Census Citizenship Question and Priv
2/16/18 Today, the County of Santa Claras Office of the County Counsel filed a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for information regarding the U.S. Census Bureau's possible inclusion of a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 Census. The request also seeks information on how the Bureau plans to protect the privacy of individuals who respond to the census. Key Words: Undocumented

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Court Ensures That Asylum Seekers Will Receive a Fair Opportunity to Apply for Asylum
4/2/18 A federal court judge in Seattle ordered the government to notify asylum seekers that they are required by law to file their asylum applications within one year of their entry, and to adopt and implement a procedure that will ensure that applicants are able to file their asylum applications by the deadline. This decision, issued last week, will impact thousands of noncitizens who have fled persecution in their home countries. Without adequate notice, far too many asylum seekers do not learn about the one-year filing deadline until it is too late and face deportation back to the country that they fled, without ever being able to present their asylum claim. For many asylum seekers who are aware of the requirement and seek to file a timely application, the government imposes additional hurdles that make meeting the deadline an impossibility.

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Court Ruling On Texas Anti-Sanctuary City Law Sets The Stage For More Legal Battles
3/14/18 As Texas prepares to implement a law banning "sanctuary city" policies in that state, immigrant advocates say they will be documenting how the law is enforced as they continue their legal fight against it.

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DACA Frequently Asked Questions - Update Mar 2018
3/2/18 Recent government announcements and court cases on DACA have created confusion around who can apply, when they can apply, and how they can apply for DACA. To mitigate this confusion, ILRC (Immigrant Legal Resource Center) has created an informational FAQ. Please note that DACA cases are still pending in the courts, and information is changing. As of March 2018, the DACA program is still partially available and will continue according to the USCIS guidelines issued in January 2018 while litigation continues.

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Deportation fears have legal immigrants avoiding health care
1/21/18 The number of legal immigrants from Latin American nations who access public health services and enroll in federally subsidized insurance plans has dipped substantially since President Donald Trump took office, many of them fearing their information could be used to identify and deport relatives living in the U.S. illegally, according to health advocates across the country.

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Immigrant Children Do Not Have the Right to an Attorney Unless They Can Pay, Rules Appeals Court
2/6/18 9th Circuit Court Last week, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit issued a truly brutal decision, concluding that the Constitution did not require the government to provide a lawyer to a 15-year-old Honduran boy facing deportation. It appears to be the first case ever to hold that children can represent themselves in court when important legal rights are at stake. That the ruling came in a deportation case involving asylum - where the stakes are incredibly high, the law notoriously complex, and the government pays a trained prosecutor to advocate the child's deportation - makes the court's decision even more extreme. The ruling is the latest, and most disappointing, chapter in our long-running effort to obtain fairness for children in immigration court. Key Words: Unaccompanied Minor

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Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention
4/11/18 The U.S. immigration courts will temporarily halt a program that offers legal assistance to detained foreign nationals facing deportation while it audits the program's cost-effectiveness, a federal official said Tuesday. Officials informed the Vera Institute of Justice that starting this month it will pause the nonprofit's Legal Orientation Program, which last year held information sessions for 53,000 immigrants in more than a dozen states, including California and Texas. The federal government will also evaluate Vera's "help desk," which offers tips to non-detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings in the Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio courts.

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LEY Video Toolkit
Feb/2018 LEY (Lawyers Educating You) is a program of the SF Social Justice Collaborative. The LEY Video Toolkit is to educate immigrant communities and guide them through their immigration process. These FREE resources can be shared by allowing community members to watch these videos before conducting a consultation, workshop. English | Spanish | Chinese (Cantonese) | Mam | Key Words: LPR, U-Visa, DUI, Legal, RRN, Asylum

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Long-Residing Liberians Are at Risk of Losing Protection from Deportation by the End of March
3/15/18 Liberia's Deferred Enforced Departure is due to expire on March 31, 2018. If no action is taken by the Trump administration, many Liberians who have lawfully lived in the United States for decades will find themselves suddenly without protection from deportation. This rarely-applied protection is known as Deferred Enforced Departure, a designation made by the president to provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for nationals of another country when it's in our foreign policy interests to do so.

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New Ruling from Federal Judge on DACA - Renewal Scholarships from Mission Asset Funds
1/14/18 On January 9, 2018 a federal judge issued an order that the Trump administration must maintain the DACA program for the foreseeable future. This impacts any DACA recipient whose permit expired September 5, 2016 or later (whose renewal has not yet been processed OR who has received guidance to re-submit) We recommend those who might qualify to 1. Get your DACA renewal paperwork ready 2. Stay informed on breaking news about DACA 3..Get -approved for a $495 fee assistance grant Apply to Mission Asset Fund on-line. For more information call 415-373-6014 (ENGLISH, SPANISH) OR 415-315-9462 (ENGLISH, SPANISH, CANTONESE) or e-mail programs@missionassetfund.org

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Ravi Ragbir Speaks Out After Being Freed from 'Unnecessarily Cruel' ICE Detention
1/30/18 On Monday, a federal judge in New York City ordered the immediate release of immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir from immigration jail, calling his detention 'unnecessarily cruel.' In a decision read aloud from the bench, District Judge Katherine Forrest said Ragbir had 'the freedom to say goodbye,' and compared his treatment to that of 'regimes we revile as unjust, regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice from streets, home, and work. And sent away. We are not that country; and woe be the day that we become that country under a fiction that laws allow it.' Ragbir is the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition. He's one of a handful of high-profile immigrant rights activists who have been targeted by the Trump administration.

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SANCTUARY IN THE AGE OF TRUMP
1/18 In January 2017, just days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Sanctuary movement leaders announced the rapid growth of congregations willing to offer Sanctuary to immigrants facing the threat of deportation after the election. .. The Sanctuary movement now represents Sanctuary coalitions across twenty-five states and the level of sharing, coordination, collaboration, and prophetic action has also increased. A glimpse into this growth and organization of the Sanctuary movement is portrayed in the pages to follow of this report, one year into the Trump administration.

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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 Moves To Reshape Who Qualifies For Asylum
3/12/18 The Trump administration is taking steps to limit who gets asylum in the United States, and immigration lawyers are warning that thousands of people who fled violence and persecution in their home countries could be turned away. This comes as the number of applications for asylum has risen sharply in recent years. Sessions has been trying to eliminate what he has called "rampant fraud and abuse" in those applications, and to cut into a massive backlog of immigration cases. Immigration courts do face a huge backlog  upwards of 600,000 cases, more than triple the number in 2009. But immigrant rights advocates fear that legitimate asylum-seekers, including victims of domestic violence, could be denied sanctuary here.

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Trump official promises 'a lot more' ICE agents in California
1/7/18 The ongoing battle between California and the Trump Administration over sanctuary cities got even more personal this week after the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement suggested politicians who allow such immigration refuges be charged with crimes. Directing his fire on Gov. Jerry Brown, Thomas Homan told Fox News that Sacramento was a marked city. "California better hold on tight," said Homan, promising to 'significantly increase' his agency's enforcement presence in the Golden State. "They are about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers."

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U.S. appears ready to cut work permits for immigrants' spouses
3/15/18 A program that has given spouses of certain visa holders documentation to work in the United States is expected to end this year, creating fresh worries for a group of people referred to as "Americans in waiting." The Obama-era program, called the H-4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD), began in 2015 and has allowed about 100,000 immigrants, mostly women, to bring their skills to the workforce. But an announcement this June is expected to reveal details about Trump administration plans to eliminate it.

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Extension of the Designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status
3/5/18 Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Syrias designation who want to maintain their status through Sept. 30, 2019, must re-register between March 5, and May 4, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register .

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Family Preparedness Plan for Immigrants (English-Spanish-Chinese) ILRC
Every family should have a Preparedness Plan in case of disruption of their routines for any reason. The dramatic expansion of ICE activities makes it even more important that immigrants consider the potential impact that detainment or deportation would have on their families. ILRC (Immigrant Legal Resource Center) has prepared this packet with information, forms, and additional information for families that include immigrants. Spanish | Chinese |

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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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Informed Immigrant
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, millions of documented and undocumented immigrants face increased uncertainty around their status in the United States. Immigrant rights organizations and leaders across the country have banded together and pooled resources to help immigrants and their allies obtain the current best-known information and guidance. | Spanish |

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Refugees Contribute: Strategies for Skilled Refugee Integration in the U.S.
11/2017 Report from Upwardly Global - Immigrants and refugees with professional backgrounds face complex challenges to reestablishing their careers - such as a lack of professional networks,language barriers, and unfamiliarity with U.S. job search norms. Refugees, who often have experienced emotional trauma and long employment gaps, must overcome even greater challenges. This report details common barriers that refugees face, and how they can be overcome with targeted interventions.

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WEIGHS WHETHER TO EXTEND PROTECTIONS FOR THOUSANDS OF SYRIANS
1/25/18 The TPS designation for Syria, which dates back to 2012, will expire on March 31. The Trump administration must announce whether it will offer an extension or re-designation at least 60 days before then - January 31. TPS offers temporary legal status for migrants fleeing unsafe conditions. The looming Syria deadline comes amid DHS cancellations of TPS protections for citizens of Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Sudan that had been in place for years - and, in the case of Nicaragua, almost two decades. "No decision has been made regarding TPS for Syria," said DHS spokesperson. More than 430,000 people are currently living in the U.S. with TPS protections, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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Thousands of immigrants could benefit from Supreme Court ruling, lawyers say
4/19/18 A Supreme Court ruling on immigration this week is igniting a new political battle over federal officials' power to deport foreigners who have been convicted of certain crimes. They say the ruling offers important protections to immigrants whom the Department of Homeland Security has portrayed as "aggravated felons" based on a broad and vaguely defined category called "crimes of violence," which may not have resulted in physical harm. Boston lawyer Matt Cameron said he is aware of "dozens" of immigrants who might be spared from deportation or be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship because of the ruling.

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https://www.uscis.gov/news/re-registration-period-now-open-haitians-temporary-protected-status
1/18/18 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Haiti's designation who want to maintain that status through the program's termination date of July 22, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

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Asian Law Alliance (ALA)
A community law office established in 1977 to provide individual legal assistance, community legal education, and community advocacy for the Asian Pacific American population of Santa Clara County. Legal Immigration and Citizenship services. Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration Multi-language: Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), Tagalog, Korean. and other languages as needed. Key Words: Housing, Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, Public Benefits, DACA, SCC OIR List

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Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Citizenship services provided in English and Spanish, including assessment of eligibility, application assistance, interview preparation, ESL and citizenship classes at offices in San Jose and Gilroy. CC provides resettlement and retraining services for refugees and asylees. Deferred Action (DACA), Foster Youth, Unaccompanied Minors, Disaster Casework. Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration and CADRE Many other free and sliding scale social programs for children, adults and seniors. | Directory of Social Services | Multi-language https://www.facebook.com/WorkingToEndPoverty/?ref=ts

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Center for Employment Training (CET) Immigration Service
With the support of volunteers and collaborative partners, the Immigration and Citizenship Program is able to provide services in over 20 languages. Full-time staff speak English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. ICP offers immigration legal, citizenship, and English as a Second Language (ESL) assistance. Staff is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Multi-language Key Words: DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA), Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration, https://www.facebook.com/CetImmigrationCitizenshipProgram/

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IRC (International Rescue Committee) - San Jose
Providing Immigration legal services, legal consultations, relative visa petitions, adjustment of status, consular processing, employment authorization, affidavit of support, removal of conditional residence, refugee travel documents, naturalization, alien registration card replacement, freedom of information act request, document authenticity, information and referral. Member SCC Citizenship Collaboration. Multi-language: French, Laotian, Persian, Thai, Vietnamese, Oromo, Somali, Amharic, Assyrian, Arabic. Key Words: Refugee

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San Jose Immigration Resource Page
2015 - The recent changes to immigration policy have prompted the City of San Jose to work collaboratively with the County of Santa Clara and community based organizations to ensure that our immigrant community receives accurate and timely information about President Obama's executive order. Here you will find information about organizations equipped to serve you and a list of informational events in San Jose. Key Words: SJ OIR

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Services, Immigration Rights & Education Network (SIREN)
SIREN provides free and sliding scale citizenship, legalization and advocacy services to the immigrant community in Santa Clara County, CA. General Phone (408) 453-3003. Immigrant Q&A Line: English & Spanish: (408) 453-3017, English & Vietnamese: (408) 453-3013 Bay Area BIA Accredited Non-Profit Multi-language, Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration Key Words: Know Your Rights (KYR), DACA, VAWA,

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USCIS - San Jose Office
"Information about the location, hours and services available at the San Jose Office of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (Replaced INS). Serves the following counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey. Multi-Lingual: | Spanish | Multi-language

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Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located in Washington DC. Key Words: Muslim, SCC, KYR, Know Your Rights, Offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: USCIS Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction
1/13/18 Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Additional information will be forthcoming.

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FACTR (Family Alliance for Counseling Tools and Resolution)
Multi-cultural service, research and training center for the benefit of intergenerational immigrant families experiencing stress in their new environment. Provides counseling, psycho- educational services and cultural awareness programs for newcomer families and their children, regarding state Laws pertaining to Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Educational, Immigration and other areas. Nominal fees for services may be charged based on income. Multi-language: Key Words: Immigrant Integration, Advocacy, Mental Health, Legal, Allies6, Allies7

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Federal judge stops Trump administration from deporting scores of Cambodian immigrants
12/15/17 A federal judge in Santa Ana issued a temporary restraining order Thursday preventing the Trump administration from deporting hundreds of Cambodian immigrants who have been convicted of crimes,

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Human Agenda CLARO Project
Since 2015, CLARO is a legal collective that provides free accessible immigration consultations and legal services for low-income immigrants. immigration legal services, deportation defense, political asylum, post-conviction relief, expungement applications. asylum, cancellation of removal, and more. Multi-language: Spanish, Farsi

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Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
ILRC is a national, non-profit resource center that provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. Information for service providers, advocates and attorneys. Areas of expertise. | Know Your Rights Red Cards available in English and Spanish. Key Words: Asylum, Refugee, Citizenship, Naturalization, Crimes, DACA/DAPA, Enforcement, Family-Based, Youth, LGBT, Removal Defense, U Visa/T Visa/VAWA, Post-Election Resources, Deferred Action, Know Your Rights (KYR), Dream Act, Immigration Fraud Awareness. Serving Counties of: Marin, SF, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and Contra Costa

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Major Benefit Programs Available to CA Immigrants - May 2017 Update
This table lists the programs for which certain immigrants residing in California are eligible. Eligibility criteria are provided for the following categories of immigrants: (1) "qualified" immigrants who entered the U.S. before Aug. 22, 1996; (2) "qualified" immigrants who entered the U.S. on or after Aug. 22, 1996; and (3) "not qualified" immigrants. An important feature of the table is that it provides notes about how "deeming" rules apply to immigrants who are eligible for different programs. "Deeming" refers to the fact that an immigrant's sponsor's s income/resources may be added to the immigrant's when determining the immigrant's eligibility for certain programs.

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Mexican Consulate Immigration Reform Hotline (CIAM)
Jun 2013. To prevent immigration fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico has developed a project called "Centro de Informacion sobre Actualidad Migratoria or CIAM", who will basically give information about the status of the immigration reform and refer the callers to the services provided locally, with information provided by every Consulate of Mexico. Information is available 24/7 (only in Spanish). CIAM at 1 (855) 463 6395 , which operates 24 hours every day of the year.

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Multi-language Deportation & Detention Brochures
The San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network (SFILEN) has downloadable Deportation and Detention brochures in a variety of languages. | Chinese | Spanish | Arabic | Tagalog | Key Words: Post-Election Resources

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ORAM - Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration
Founded in 2008, ORAM specializes in the protection of exceptionally vulnerable refugees, including LGBTI refugees. ORAM's free professional training, toolkit, materials and direct refugee assistance, enable the international community to protect exceptionally vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers and safeguards the integrity of the international refugee protection system. Key Words: Gay, Transgender, Lesbian. Multi-language information and materials can be ordered or downloaded. Arabic | Farsi | French | Russian | Spanish | Turkish |

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US lifts ban on refugees from 'high-risk' nations but pledges tougher scrutiny
1-29-18 The Trump administration said Monday that it will resume accepting refugees from 11 nations whose applicants it designated 'high-risk,' and will implement tougher screening procedures to weed out potential extremists and criminals. Would-be refugees fleeing some of the world's most searing conflicts will face more extensive background checks from U.S. screeners, according to senior administration officials, and the government will move to implement what it characterized as a more rigorous model for identifying possible threats. The Trump administration has refused to identify the 11 nations it considers high-risk, citing 'law enforcement sensitivities.' But officials with knowledge of the list say it includes Egypt, Iran, Libya, South Sudan, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Mali, North Korea, Somalia and Syria. Key Words: Muslim Ban

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USCIS Multi-language Citizenship and Immigration Information
Selected USCIS pages in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chamorro, Chinese, French, German, Haiti Creole, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Palauan, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese

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Governor signs bills that seek to protect undocumented immigrants
10/6/17 Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Oct. 5 a series of immigration bills that seek to protect the more than 2.3 million undocumented residents in California, including many who live in Fontana. With the stroke of a pen, Brown officially made the state a sanctuary for immigrants~ put a moratorium on detention expansion~ protected immigrant tenants from intimidation and retaliation in their homes~ and protected immigrant workers from disruptive workplace raids.

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New Americans Campaign (NAC)
The New Americans Campaign is a nonpartisan, national network of legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations and community leaders. We are streamlining access to naturalization services, so that greater numbers of qualified permanent residents take the critical step to becoming American citizens. The campaign is focused on assisting the 8 million lawful permanent residents who already qualify for citizenship. | June 2016 Impact Report |

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DACA ruling gives hope, but no resolution to Dreamers
1/10/18 A momentous court ruling blocking the Trump Administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program buoyed the spirits of hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants across the country late Tuesday

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Extension of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary Protected Status to July 5, 2018
12/15/17 The 6-month extension of Honduras's TPS designation is effective January 6, 2018, and will remain in effect through July 5, 2018. The 60-day re-registration period runs from December 15, 2017 through February 13, 2018.

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