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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

CA Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
California Families, singles and self-employed may qualify for CalEITC. Most recipients are people who do not need to file a tax return. For 2019 filing it is possible to earn up to $8000. A new credit this year adds up to $1000 for those with children under 6 years old. Find out if you are eligible and how much you might get. Spanish

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CA extends new protections to immigrants under laws signed by Newsom
10/24/19 The legislation signed by Newsom also expands California’s college student loan program for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, to include students seeking graduate degrees at the University of CA and CA State University schools. Undergraduate Dreamers already are eligible for those loans and in-state tuition. The new laws take effect Jan. 1. Amid an escalating feud with the Trump administration and its aggressive plans to deport immigrants, California also adopted a new law forbidding immigration agents from making civil arrests inside state courthouses. Newsom also extended Medi-Cal coverage to adults in the U.S. illegally through the age of 25. Key Words: DACA, Deferred Action, ICE, RNN, ALLIES3, ALLIES5

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Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - Federal
The EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a federal tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund. 29 states and DC also have additional state EITC awards. All states have free tax filing assistance provided by trained volunteers between January 15th and April 14th. Call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887 to find locations nearest to you. Multi-language: | Spanish | Chinese Traditional | Korean | Russian | Vietnamese |

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Facebook Says It Will Fight Disinformation About the 2020 Census
12/19 The 2020 Census will be the first census to take place in the height of the social media age, and this is why everyone is so worried. The Bureau has launched this site answering frequently asked questions like "do non-citizens get counted?", and there's an email hotline set up for reporting falsehoods and rumors about the census: rumors@census.gov. The government-led population count is a driver for myriad allocations in government programs, for allocation of congressional representation, as well as for private companies' marketing strategies and a million other aspects of American political and economic life. And since its beginnings, it has inspired distrust in certain corners of the country — something that the conspiracy-theory-prone are guaranteed to latch onto as census forms and census takers begin fanning out around the country in the first quarter of next year. Key Words: ALLIES8

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Faith Leaders Join Together for Accurate 2020 Census Count
2/18/20 Faith Communities “Census Weekend of Action” to Be Held March 27-29 The U.S. Census Bureau today convened faith-based leaders from around the country for the 2020 Census Interfaith Summit to discuss the importance of encouraging members of their communities to respond to the 2020 Census. Representing a diverse range of religions, leaders and attendees participated in a robust discussion with Census Bureau officials at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

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Federal judge temporarily stops Trump executive order giving states power to block refugees
1/15/20 U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte on Wednesday temporarily stopped impeached president Donald Trump’s executive order allowing states to block refugees from being resettled in their communities, saying in the ruling that “Giving states and local governments the power to consent to the resettlement of refugees—which is to say veto power to determine whether refugees will be received in their midst—flies in the face of clear Congressional intent,” The Washington Post reports.

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Help for Deported Veterans at the Bunker
12/30/19 TIJUANA, Baja California, Mexico – In a neighborhood just south of San Diego stands a narrow, two-story home connected to a tire shop. It’s where U.S. military veterans go after the country they served deports them and there’s nowhere else to turn. The Bunker offers food, clothing, connection to legal aid, help with Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and even temporary shelter. The center relies on donations to stay afloat, but sometimes Barajas-Varela and Varona have to dip into their own pockets. Officially known as the Deported Veterans Support House, the Bunker is adorned with U.S. flags. Portraits of deported men and women in uniform line the wall above the staircase. Medals, uniforms, photos and discharge papers form a collage of lives spent in the service of a nation that was never legally theirs.

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ILRC Public Charge Update:
2/6/20 “Public charge” is a ground of inadmissibility. (reasons that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the US). It does not apply to everyone. This law mainly impacts those seeking permanent resident status through family member petitions. Many immigrant categories are exempt, even if they might be applying for status or a green card. U visa holders, T visa holders, asylees, refugees, and many more categories are exempt. Public charge laws do not apply in the naturalization process (Citizenship application). On 1/27/20 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the DHS can now implement their new rule relating to the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility. The rule will go into effect on February 24, 2020. **Applications postmarked before 2/24/20 will be adjudicated under policies in place before the new rule** Key Words: ALLIES3, ALLIES4, Citizenship

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Judge Bars DHS From Implementing Unlawful Changes to Fees for Citizenship
12/9/19 Today, Judge Maxine Chesney of the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring USCIS from implementing changes that would limit access to citizenship for lawful permanent residents (green card holders). The ruling, issued from the bench, halts changes to the naturalization application process that would present significant barriers to citizenship for tens of thousands of non-wealthy applicants each year. The rule went into effect on December 2. Judge Chesney ruled that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their claim that USCIS failed to properly engage in the notice-and-comment rulemaking required by the Administrative Procedure Act and that the agency’s new rules making it much harder for low-income residents to apply for fee waivers for naturalization and other immigration benefits are invalid as a result. Key Words: Citizenship, ALLIES3

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New Data Privacy Rights for California Consumers
1/1/2020 The CA Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into in effect on January 1, 2020. CCPA grants new rights to CA consumers: Right to know what personal information is collected, used, shared or sold by the business, Right to delete the consumer’s personal information held by both the business and by extension, the business’s service providers; Right to opt-out of the sale of the consumer’s personal information. As required by the law, businesses must provide a “Do Not Sell” information link on their websites or mobile apps; Children under the age of 16 must provide opt-in consent, with a parent or guardian consenting for children under 13; and Businesses may not discriminate against consumers in terms of price or service when a consumer exercises a privacy right under CCPA.

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Republican and Democratic Officials Continue to Accept Refugees, Rejecting Trump’s Executive Order
1/8/20 As of January 2, a total of 39 governors, 86 mayors, (and other local officials) had expressed their commitment to continue accepting refugees. There has been strong bipartisan support, including from prominent Republican officials. The pledges of support are a response to an executive order President Trump signed in September 2019. The order requires state and local authorities to provide written consent to resettle refugees within their boundaries. 1/15/20 Update: Federal Judge Peter Messitte issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump administration from enforcing its executive order giving state and local governments the power to opt out of refugee resettlement. Judge Messitte ruled the executive order was likely unlawful. In his decision, he called for the program to “go forward as it developed for the almost 40 years” before the executive order was announced. Key Words: Asylum, Immigrant

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States aren’t buying Trump’s no-refugee recipe. Good.
12/22/19 Just four years ago, following a wave of terrorist attacks in Europe, 31 governors, all but one of them Republicans, said they opposed resettling Syrian refugees in their states. Now, the political ground may be shifting. No governor has yet publicly accepted Mr. Trump’s invitation to bar the door to refugees. Whether some do in coming months may be a barometer of the president’s success in turning the United States into a fearful, trembling nation, wary of newcomers — in effect, the opposite of the principles on which America was founded.

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Supreme Court Gives Go-Ahead To Trump ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Curb
1/27/20 The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead on Monday for one of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, allowing his administration to implement a rule denying legal permanent residency to certain immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance in the future. Key Words: Public Charge, ALLIES3

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Three Bay Area cities considered most diverse in the U.S.
10/14/19 Cultural identity has long been at the heart of the melting pot that is America. Yet immigration continues to be a hot-button issue even as the country gets more ethnically diverse. The nature of race, culture and community seems more controversial now than ever. San Jose, which ranked at number eight, got a total score of 68.5. San Jose has a population of 1,030,119, according to the census. “It stands out particularly in terms of linguistic diversity,” says Gonzalez. “As the second most language-diverse city, San Jose has about a quarter of its residents who speak Asian and Pacific Islander languages, and another 23 percent who speak Spanish.”

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WE HAVE RIGHTS - What to Do When Interacting with ICE
2/20 In direct response to expressed community need, ACLU has joined forces with Brooklyn Defender Services to create and distribute a series of powerful and informative videos based on true stories to provide real life action points for what to do when ICE is outside our doors, is in our homes, stops us in our communities, and/or arrests us. Multi-language: Spanish, | Urdu | Arabic | Haitian Creole | Russian | Mandarin

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What Are the Proposed New Bars to Asylum?
1/8/20 In yet another move to gut asylum protections in the United States, the Trump administration proposed a rule last month that would add severe new restrictions on asylum access. The restrictions would apply to people convicted of—and in some cases, merely accused of—a wide range of criminal offenses. If enacted, the rule would create seven new categories of criminal convictions or alleged conduct that would make someone ineligible for asylum. It would also limit the impact of state court orders vacating criminal convictions or altering sentences and eliminate automatic review of certain asylum denials.

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White House considering dramatic expansion of travel ban
1/10/20 The White House is considering dramatically expanding its much-litigated travel ban to additional countries amid a renewed election-year focus on immigration by President Donald Trump, according to six people familiar with the deliberations. A document outlining the plans — timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Trump’s January 2017 executive order — has been circulating the White House. But the countries that would be affected if it moves forward are blacked out, according to two of the people, who spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the measure has yet to be finalized. Key Words: Muslim Ban, refugee, immigration

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‘Fundamentally Inequitable’: Democratic Lawmakers Decry Trump’s Proposal to Hike Immigration Fees
1/3/20 A group of Democratic lawmakers on Monday outlined their opposition to a Trump administration proposal which would increase application and petition fees for immigrants and asylum seekers, calling the plan “fundamentally inequitable and contrary to our nation’s values.” “We are particularly troubled by DHS’s proposal to transfer roughly $112 million per year in immigration benefits fees to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” they added.

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CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit Guide
10/19 Under the 2019-20 state budget, Governor Newsom and the Legislature expanded the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and created the Young Child Tax Credit. The CA Budget & Policy Center’s guide, The CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit: Smart Investments to Broaden Economic Security for Californians, provides an overview of how refundable state income tax credits help people who earn little from their jobs to pay for basic necessities and support families, children, and communities. Key Words: ALLIES7

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Federal judge blocks Trump administration from detaining migrant children for indefinite periods
9/27/19 A federal judge in Los Angeles has blocked the Trump administration from activating new regulations that would have dramatically expanded its ability to detain migrant children with their parents for indefinite periods of time, dealing a blow to the president’s efforts to tamp down unauthorized border crossings.

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How law enforcement agencies undermine the U visa
11/7/19 For this story, Reveal sought to examine how U visa certification requests were handled in the 10 states with the largest immigrant populations. 4 of those states – California, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington – have mandates that require law enforcement agencies to sign requests for victims of violent crimes who have been helpful to authorities. We contacted more than 100 law enforcement agencies in the other 6 states: New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Texas. The departments serve the largest immigrant communities within their respective states. We found that nearly 1 of every 4 of these agencies create barriers never envisioned under the U visa program. Key Words: KYR, ALLIES3, Know Your Rights

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In the Long Run, Diversity Wins
11/20/19 Is religious diversity too politically difficult and socially disruptive, as many argue? Perhaps, the argument goes, the stability and social peace of these countries is maintained by their relative ethnic and religious homogeneity—and that this fragile balance can’t withstand the diversity that the newest wave of migrants is introducing. But new research published over the summer provides some reason to think that humans may not be as averse to diversity as we think, at least not over time.

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DACA and the Supreme Court and What the Future May Hold for DACA Beneficiaries
11/19 This report from the Center for Migration Studies gives an overview of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, provides a statistical profile of DACA recipients, and identifies the impact that the program has had. Finally, the author gives recommendations for allies and advocates, policymakers, immigrant-serving populations and others. Key Words: ALLIES3, immigration

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Preparing for Immigration Raids: What Child and Youth Advocates and Service Providers Can Do
7/22/19 Massive enforcement actions also take a major toll on the organizations that serve children, youth, and families, including child care providers, schools, churches, food banks, and others. These organizations are forced into crisis mode to meet families’ immediate needs and to ensure that families are reunited. Over time, direct service providers bear the added responsibility of mitigating long-term harm to children whose families were needlessly torn apart. CLASP can support children’s and youth organizations in preparing for and responding to immigration enforcement actions in their communities.

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As Supreme Court decision looms, undocumented Asians say they must speak up or risk losing DACA
11/30/19 Experts say Asian and Pacific Islander recipients of DACA are often overlooked despite there being over 1.7 million undocumented members of this group in the country, according to May Sudhinaraset, assistant professor in community health sciences in the School of Public Health at UCLA. So-called APIs are the fastest-growing immigrant population in the nation, and in California, represent one out of five immigrants without legal papers. ...... She said research shows that among Asian and Pacific Islanders, there’s little benefit from being open about one’s undocumented status — but a high chance of being exploited or looked down on.

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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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ICE is reportedly using fake Facebook accounts to track undocumented immigrants
10/3/19 ICE agents have used fake Facebook accounts to monitor suspected undocumented immigrants and lure them into raids in 2019, according to multiple reports. Most recently, a New York Times report detailed how ICE agents used Facebook and other social media to carry out a series of arrests in Oregon this summer. The practice violates Facebook's rules, which prohibit "inauthentic behavior" including running accounts with fake names or accounts that mislead people. Key Words: Deportation, Detention

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Why Don’t Immigrants Apply for Citizenship? There Is No Line for Many Unauthorized Immigrants
11/25/19 Many people wonder why all immigrants do not just come to the United States legally or simply apply for citizenship while living here without authorization. These suggestions miss the point: There is no line available for current unauthorized immigrants and the “regular channels” are largely not available to prospective immigrants who end up entering the country through unauthorized channels. Even though most unauthorized immigrants have lived in the United States for nearly 15 years, many could live out the rest of their lives without any opportunity to become legal residents of this country.

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A Century of U.S. Intervention Created the Immigration Crisis
6/20/18 Those seeking asylum today inherited a series of crises that drove them to the border. At the margins of the mainstream discursive stalemate over immigration lies over a century of historical U.S. intervention that politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle seem determined to silence. Since Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 declared the U.S.’s right to exercise an “international police power” in Latin America, the U.S. has cut deep wounds throughout the region, leaving scars that will last for generations to come. This history of intervention is inextricable from the contemporary Central American crisis of internal and international displacement and migration. Key Words: Asylum, Immigration Law, Deportation, TPS,

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Minorities in the Bay Area grapple with racism, anxiety in Trump’s America
8/17/19 After President Donald Trump’s tweets telling four minority congresswomen they should go back where they came from, the mass shootings at an El Paso Walmart by a gunman who said he was targeting Mexicans, the workplace raids in Mississippi and the Trump administration’s recent announcement that it wants to impose a wealth test on legal immigrants, many nonwhite residents of the diverse Bay Area are experiencing something unfamiliar: feeling unwelcome in their own country. Some residents are carrying proof of citizenship. Some are having tough conversations with their kids about race and discrimination. Some are afraid to speak Spanish in public. And mental health professionals report seeing increased anxiety or despair among their clients, especially people of color. Key Words: Mental Health, Stress

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Mothers and Children Sue Trump for Harm Inflicted by Zero Tolerance Policy
9/20/19 Five mothers and their children sued the U.S. government on Thursday for forcibly separating them in 2018. The five families are among the thousands of parents and young children who were split apart for months under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The lawsuit demands accountability and compensation for the families’ significant and long-lasting trauma. Each mother and child fled horrific violence and abuse in their countries of origin to seek protection in the United States. Instead of offering refuge, immigration officers traumatized them.

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