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Immigrantinfo.org’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.

The continuing challenge of COVID-19 will be influencing our activities for some time. Programs continue to evolve in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health, changing needs and resources. We are trying to keep up with the simultaneous program changes of hundreds of resource links and this is made possible by the assistance of the community.  Please notify us of your events, ESL and Citizenship classes listed, and program changes, so that we can keep the information current.

We will continue to post important news and information on our COVID-19 page focusing attention on identifying and developing needed resources for those who will be most vulnerable in this pandemic. Please also share information about any resources or events that would be of benefit to the community or decision makers. Contact us at: Administrator@Immigrantinfo.org

Announcements

In the News

CWS Commends President Biden for Fulfilling Pledge to Increase Refugee Admissions Goal to 62,500 in FY 2021
5/3/21 Setting the stage to set an admissions goal of 125,000 next year, CWS urges the administration to immediately rebuild the resettlement program to resettle as many refugees as possible this year Church World Service today commended President Biden’s announcement to formally increase the FY 2021 refugee admissions goal to 62,500 for the remainder of the fiscal year. This will allow thousands of screened refugees to finally be resettled in the United States to join family members, escape peril, and build new lives in safety. This follows a months-long delay in finalizing an increased admissions goal, which jeopardized the safety of many and had already caused irreparable damage to thousands of refugees who were already approved for resettlement.
HEALTH - CDC warns of increasing teen hospitalizations due to COVID
6/4/21 It’s been less than a month that those age 12 to 15 have been able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but medical experts say it’s more important than ever. “Early in the pandemic, a year ago we were told the messaging was children don’t get infected or sick or transmit to others all of those are false statements,” Stanford Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Yvonne Maldonado said.
HEALTH - COVID-19 Etiquette: 6 Common Conundrums (And A Printable Pocket Guide)
Tips on how to keep yourself safe and politely interact with people regarding following Pandemic health guidelines. Print out A Pocket Guide to COVID-19 Etiquette With Elaine Swann.
HEALTH - How COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy puts others at risk
5/8/21 As long as some people remain hesitant to get the shot, the virus will continue to circulate – and could cause infection in others, whose immune systems aren’t vigorous enough to fully defend them. They’re insulated only when so many other people are fully vaccinated that the virus can’t find enough people to infect, then stops its spread. The vulnerable include elders, people born with faulty immune systems and people who must take immunosuppressant drugs for illnesses ranging from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis. Also at risk are people who would love to be vaccinated, but can’t because of life-threatening allergies.
HOUSING - California says changes ahead for rental relief program Landlords, tenants say relief has been slow
6/10/21 After widespread criticism from tenants and landlords, state officials said Thursday they plan to streamline applications and step-up outreach efforts to more quickly deliver $2.6 billion in emergency rental assistance. Despite nearly 200,000 applications requesting $543 million to cover unpaid rent, just $40 million has been distributed across California, according to state data. Advocacy groups continued to sound alarms, saying the state needs to accelerate the distribution of relief checks or risk a wave of evictions when a state moratorium expires June 30. Housing is Key COVID-19 Rent Relief App
IMMIGRANTS - Refugees arriving in US unlikely to exceed cap set by Trump
5/16/21 President Joe Biden, under political pressure, agreed to admit four times as many refugees this budget year as his predecessor did, but resettlement agencies concede the number actually allowed into the U.S. will be closer to the record-low cap of 15,000 set by former President Donald Trump. Refugee advocates say they are grateful for the increase because it’s symbolically important to show the world the United States is back as a humanitarian leader at a time when the number of refugees worldwide is the highest since World War II. But they’re frustrated, too, because more refugees could have been admitted if Biden hadn’t dragged his feet.
IMMIGRANTS - Taste of Belonging Cookbook
Welcoming America created this cookbook as a tool for meaningful connection across differences. We paired recipes from diverse cultures with activities that connect people around a shared table and get them working together on a common goal. The three featured models apply the principles of intergroup contact theory, which we review in the next section. Each model has been tested in several regions of the United States, with people of various racial, ethnic, religious, and political identities and affiliations, and in all kinds of localities, from small to large cities and in urban, rural, and suburban settings. At the end of the cookbook, you will find an overview of additional promising community building models.
IMMIGRANTS - US COVID-19-Related Update on Travel to the US from India
4/30/21 Beginning Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the United States may well restrict travel from India due to the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 cases in India. If an individual has a valid U.S. visa, they should plan to return to the United States before May 4, 2021. As a reminder, all air passengers two years of age and over who are entering the US (including U.S.?citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 3 calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. As of today, visa appointments through May 13, 2021, have been cancelled by U.S. consulates in India. If emergency travel to the United States is required and an individual does not have a valid visa, some consulates may be accepting emergency appointments on a limited basis.
LEGAL - Biden is taking steps to improve legal representation for the poor
5/18/21 President Biden on Tuesday released a plan to bolster legal services for the poor, an overlooked and underfunded element of the justice reform agenda that he campaigned on implementing to address inequality and police violence. Ahead of his trip to Michigan, Mr. Biden signed a memorandum directing the Department of Justice to reopen the Access to Justice Office, a 2010 Obama-era initiative intended to create new legal services programs that was shut down under President Donald J. Trump. He will also reconstitute a task force in the White House to discuss expansion of legal aid for low-income people and minority groups.
LEGAL - USCIS Announces Return to Deference Policy
4/28/21 Deference is back! USCIS announced that, effective immediately, it will reinstate its 2004 policy of deferring to prior determinations of eligibility. Rescinded by the Trump administration, this policy directed officers to “generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating petition extensions involving the same parties and facts as the initial petition.” This means that prior determinations made by USCIS will receive deference unless “there was a material error, material change in circumstances or in eligibility, or new material information” that would have an adverse impact on eligibility.
NEWS - As laws tackle anti-Asian attacks, advocates push focus to the hate behind the crime
6/13/21 Rather than wait for new crimes against Asian Americans, community leaders push for more actions and policies to address root causes of racial animus As anti-Asian assaults and harassment continue to surge across the country, community leaders are trying to redirect the unprecedented political and legislative attention on hate crimes against Asian Americans toward policies aimed at addressing the underlying racism fueling these attacks.
NEWS - CDC Advisers Endorse Pfizer Vaccine for Children Ages 12 to 15
5/10/21 The federal government on Wednesday took a final step toward making the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine available to adolescents in the United States, removing an obstacle to school reopenings and cheering millions of families weary of pandemic restrictions. An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend the vaccine for use in children ages 12 to 15. The C.D.C. director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, formally adopted the recommendation on Wednesday evening.
NEWS - California’s reopening plan includes no equity benchmarks for hard-hit communities
4/11/21 California began a 10-week countdown to a full reopening last week, with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bold proposal to lift nearly all coronavirus restrictions by June 15. But the ambitious plan contains no specific protections for vulnerable populations, sparking fears the state is about to repeat mistakes that devastated the Latino community last year. The omission was surprising, considering that Newsom’s announcement was triggered by the delivery of 4 million vaccine doses to disadvantaged neighborhoods, a key goal that the state had set to address inequalities in the state’s inoculation efforts. In recent weeks, Newsom and other state officials have referred to equity as the “north star” of the pandemic response.
NEWS - Congress passes bill to fight hate crimes vs. Asian Americans
5/19/21 Congress approved legislation Tuesday intended to curtail a striking rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, sending President Joe Biden a bipartisan denunciation of the spate of brutal attacks that have proliferated during coronavirus pandemic. The bill, which the House passed on a 364-62 vote, will expedite the review of hate crimes at the Justice Department and make grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification and reporting of incidents driven by bias, which often go underreported. It previously passed the Senate 94-1 in April after lawmakers reached a compromise. Biden has said he will sign it.
NEWS - Demand for Silicon Valley food pantries remains high
5/30/21 Second Harvest served 250,000 people pre-pandemic. But since last year, the food bank has doubled its number of beneficiaries. According to a recent survey of food pantry clients conducted by Second Harvest, 57% of respondents reported having less than $100 in savings. More than 70% of respondents indicated that someone in their household lost a job or had work hours reduced due to the pandemic. A recent report by the California Association of Food Banks says that statewide food insecurity increased 2.5 times in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels, affecting 10 million Californians.
NEWS - For immigrants, IDs prove to be a barrier to a dose of protection
4/11/21 The life-or-death race to get as many people vaccinated as possible before the coronavirus spawns more viral mutations, like the one that emerged in Brazil, started slowly but has accelerated as many of those crossing the finish line possess the wherewithal and inclination to navigate a mazelike system. As the nation nears the point where supply soon outpaces demand, the unvaccinated will increasingly be people who are reluctant or who are rebuffed by barriers blocking their way. Key Words: COVID-19, Pandemic
NEWS - ICE ends Trump-era policy of fining undocumented immigrants, calling penalties 'ineffective'
4/23/21 Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer issue fines to undocumented immigrants who have failed to depart the United States, the agency announced Friday, a reversal from the Trump-era policy that threatened immigrants with thousands of dollars in debt to the federal government. ICE officials said the agency rescinded the two Trump-era orders on the collection of financial penalties after determining the policy to be "ineffective," and that it intends to cancel fines already issued to undocumented immigrants.
NEWS - Months into rollout, barriers hinder vaccine access for Latino and Black Californians
4/15/21 Halfway into April, the vaccination rollout continues to lag for many Latino and Black Californians. Bay Area community leaders, residents and experts say that multiple factors, including the technological savvy required to make appointments, a lack of centralized information about how to get the shots, and inconsistent services from community clinics have combined to make every step of the process a challenge for people who are most at risk for getting sick.
NEWS - Overwhelming majority of California’s Asian Americans fear physical violence, poll says
5/7/21 In the wake of a rash of alarming hate crimes nationwide, more Californians are acknowledging that Asian Americans experience discrimination, and an overwhelming majority of Asian Americans report that they fear becoming victims of hate-based violence, a new survey says. The California Community Poll, which surveys Californians about politics, race and current events in conjunction with the Los Angeles Times, found that 70% of Californians agree that Asians are “frequently or sometimes” discriminated against.
NEWS - SJ Japantown Foot Patrol Aims to Halt Anti-Asian Crimes Trend
5/5/21 The patrols come amid an apparent rise in crimes against Asian American residents across the U.S. At least two elderly Asian men were killed this year in the Bay Area by strangers on the street. In the tunnel beneath Diridon Station in San Jose, a man attacked a woman, yelling “F*ck you, Asians” as she screamed. Japantown residents have stepped up to protect seniors and businesses from violence and petty crimes. Last month, retired San Jose police officer Rich Saito created Japantown Prepared, an informal group of volunteers who don red vests and walk the neighborhood’s busiest boulevards, including Empire, Jackson and Taylor streets.
NEWS - Statement by United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights
4/21/21 Discrimination in the Americas - Challenges and good practices - This past year has changed our lives in ways we still struggle to understand. But in the midst of so many uncertainties, one thing comes clear: rarely have we seen such a powerful demonstration of the value of human rights. COVID-19 and its impacts have been feeding off and exacerbating gaps in human rights protection; fault lines built on profound, intersecting and structural discrimination and inequalities. The pandemic took the whole world by storm, but the tempest hit hardest in the Americas.
NEWS - Supreme Court rebuffs GOP bid to revive Trump's 'public charge' rule
4/26/21 The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a bid by Republican state attorneys general to revive former President Trump's "public charge" rule. The rule, which the Biden administration formally rescinded last month, tightened restrictions on poorer immigrants seeking U.S. residency.
NEWS - Uber, Lyft to Provide Free Rides to Covid-19 Vaccine Sites Until July 4
5/11/21 Ride-sharing companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. will make all rides to and from vaccination sites free until July 4 under a new partnership with the White House. While the companies were already providing free or discounted rides in some circumstances, the rides will now be free to anyone in the U.S. who is going to a vaccination site to get the shot, and Lyft and Uber will promote the rides to and from tens of thousands of vaccination sites through their apps. The feature will launch in the next two weeks and run until July 4, when Mr. Biden has aimed to have enough people vaccinated to allow for safer Independence Day gatherings. Key Words: Pandemic
NEWS - What to do if you lost your Vaccine Card
5/24/21 With California quickly reopening, and businesses increasingly requiring proof of vaccines from employees and customers, it’s time to remember where you stashed your precious COVID-19 vaccination card. It could soon become like a second ticket required for sporting events, international travel and a return to some semblance of normalcy. So what happens if you lost it — or the dog ate it — or maybe you never got a card in the first place? Here’s what you need to know about how to get a new vaccine card, where to store it and more.
RESEARCH - The Rising Tide of Violence and Discrimination Against Asian American and Pacific Islander Women and Girls
6/1/21 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls are prime targets of hate and discrimination against the AAPI community. The recent shootings across several Atlanta spas that claimed the lives of eight people, including six Asian American women, came on the heels of a staggering increase in hate incidents targeting the AAPI community. Key Words: Hate Crimes, Chinese
RESOURCE - FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. The death must have occurred in the US, including the US territories, and the District of Columbia. The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19. The applicant must be a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after 1/20/20. There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. FEMA Funeral Application Video ***COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585 *** FAQ Key Words: Pandemic Multi-language: Spanish | Chinese | Vietnamese | Portuguese | Creole |
RESOURCE - Hollaback! Anti-Harrassment Training and Tool Kits
Hollaback! is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms. We believe that we all deserve to be who we are, wherever we are. We believe we all have a role to play in disrupting harassment and building a culture where it is no longer seen as “just the price you have to pay” for being a woman, LGBTQ+, a person of color, or any other marginalized identity. We teach people to take action, and to reach across their own identities to ally with others and establish a united front against harassment each time we witness it. Key Words: Free Bystander Intervention Intervention Training, Hate Crime
SCC OIR Newsletter - May 2021
The Office of Immigrant Relations is excited to launch "WE BELONG: Our Voice, Our Story, and Our Solution!" a project of the New American Fellowship Cohort V. DACA recipients will participate in a 10-week fellowship where they will receive mentorship from distinguished Santa Clara County leaders, learn from and uplift some of the County's most impactful grassroots leaders and community-based organizations, and shape and execute a community-based research project.
USCIS - Public Charge Update
3/12/21 USCIS is no longer applying the August 2019 Public Charge Final Rule. As a consequence, among other changes, USCIS will apply the public charge inadmissibility statute consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance. In other words, USCIS is not considering an applicant’s receipt of Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination. Multi-language: Spanish
VIDEO - Marshawn Lynch, Dr. Fauci discuss vaccine hesitancy in Black, Hispanic communities
4/16/21 During Marshawn Lynch’s 12 NFL seasons he earned a reputation for his fearless style on the field, while remaining one of the league’s most reclusive figures off the field. Now the retired running back is lending his voice to try to help members of Black and Hispanic communities make more informed decisions about receiving COVID-19 vaccines. And he’s enlisted the assistance of the nation’s top infectious disease specialist to do it. Lynch released a 30-minute interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on his YouTube channel Friday, becoming the latest prominent athlete to sit down with the nation’s leading infectious disease expert to discuss the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines as the U.S. continues to combat the pandemic.
LEGAL - Public Charge Update: What Advocates Need to Know Now
3-9-21 The Government informed the Supreme Court that it will no longer defend the public charge rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Trump Administration. DHS announced that it would restore the public charge policy described in the 1999 field guidance, essentially returning the Public Charge rule to it's pre-Trump form. This live document will be updated by Protecting Immigrant Families.
NEWS - Fake news: Recognizing and stemming misinformation
9/17 Fake news is information that is fabricated (made up) and packaged to appear as fact. Unlike satire or other forms of humor, fake news attempts to deliberately mislead or deceive its audience, often with the goal of financial, political or other type of gain. Fake news often uses attention-grabbing headlines to draw as large an audience as possible. Being able to evaluate the accuracy of what you read or hear, and refraining from spreading false stories, will help you and others avoid the repercussions of fake news. Spanish
NEWS - San Jose’s Japantown to form community patrols amid surge in anti-Asian violence
3/20/21 a highly visible community patrol over the historic district in the wake of escalating anti-Asian violence in the Bay Area and across the country. Retired San Jose police veteran Rich Saito, who is still working as a reserve officer, is spearheading the effort modeled after a similar protective initiative in San Francisco launched near the start of the pandemic a year ago. “We have to do something to protect people, especially the seniors, in Japantown,” Saito said in an interview Saturday.
NEWS - How the Bay Area failed Latino residents during the COVID crisis
3/14/21 Case rates for Latino residents are nearly four times higher than for White residents, analysis shows. Why? Public health leaders’ centerpiece strategy, the nation’s first and strictest stay-at-home orders instituted one year ago, proved ill-suited for a population whose members often live in crowded housing and have no alternative to working outside the home. And local and state governments were slow to muster the focus and resources that might have made a real difference, even as community advocates pleaded for more action. Key Words: Pandemic, Coronavirus
NEWS - Violence and hate against Asian Americans is a health and safety crisis for everyone
3/17/21 Public outings carry extra danger for Asian people, with a spate of recent attacks targeted against Asian elders that have resulted in racial trauma, injury, and death. Asian elders are perceived as vulnerable. Volunteer escorts, private guards and air horns aren't enough. We need government support and commitment. Key Words: Hate Crime, AAPI
HEALTH - New Stanford research: Why Zoom can wipe you out
2/23/21 COVID-19 pandemic has moved our lives into a virtual space. Why is that so exhausting? The tiredness doesn’t feel earned. We’re not flying an airplane, teaching toddlers or rescuing people trapped in burning buildings. Still, by the end of the day, the feeling is so universal that it has its own name: Zoom Fatigue. Stanford researchers find four causes for ‘Zoom fatigue’ and propose simple fixes
RESEARCH - 2021 Cyberhate - Online Hate and Harrassment.pdf
According to the latest results from ADL’s annual survey of hate and harassment on social media, despite the seeming blitz of self-regulation from technology companies, the level of online hate and harassment reported by users barely shifted when compared to reports from a year ago. This is the third consecutive year ADL has conducted its nationally representative survey. Forty-one percent of Americans said they had experienced online harassment over the past year, comparable to the 44% reported in last year’s “Online Hate and Harassment” report. Severe online harassment comprising sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats, swatting, doxing and sustained harassment also remained relatively constant compared to the prior year, experienced by 27% of respondents, not a significant change from the 28% reported in the previous survey.