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.

DHS Extends TPS Documentation for 6 Countries
11/1/19 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a Federal Register notice extending the validity of TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan through Jan. 4, 2021. The notice automatically extends the validity of Employment Authorization Documents; Forms I-797, Notice of Action; and Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (collectively, TPS-related documentation). Key Words: Immigration,
DISASTER - USCIS Coronavirus Response - Citizen and Immigration Services
6/4/20 Certain USCIS field offices and asylum offices resumed non-emergency face-to-face services to the public on June 4. We have enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities Current Office Closures .Key Words: COVID-19, Immigrants
2/20 You can still get health care without insurance. This includes emergency room care, community health centers, migrant health centers, free clinics, and public hospitals. You have options.Doctors and nurses care about your health, not your immigration status. Patients can seek care with confidence that their personal information is private. Immigration agencies also have a policy of avoiding enforcement actions in health care facilities like hospitals, health clinics, urgent care and doctors’ offices. Key Words: #Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF), KYR, Know Your Rights, Public Charge
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, Know Your Rights
IMMIGRANTS - Public Charge and COVID-19 Clarification from USCIS
3/19/20 The USCIS encourages all those, including aliens, with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis. The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule is critical to defending and protecting Americans’ health and its health care resources. The Public Charge rule does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases. Multi-language: Spanish
IMMIGRANTS - SCC DACA Collaborative and funds Scholarships to Help Cover Renewal Fees
COVID-19 Update: Scholarship money is still available for qualifying DACA Renewal applicants. Facilities are closed due to the Shelter In Place order, but assistance is offered through telephone or Skype. At any time the Supreme Court may issue a decision that will end this opportunity. Inquire now! ------------------------------------------------------------------- The Santa Clara County DACA Collaborative is providing DACA Renewal scholarships to those who qualify. To receive an eligibility screening, visit organizations listed below or attend one of the free DACA Renewal Application Workshops. *Services Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN) *Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County (CCSCC) *Center for Employment Training (CET) *Katherine & George Alexander Community Law Center (KGACLC) *Asian Law Alliance (ALA) (a non-funded partner)
IMMIGRANTS - The Invisible Wall - Policies that Threaten Immigrant Families
12/6/19 In addition to pushing for a physical border wall, the Trump Administration has rolled out a wide range of regulatory and policy changes to create an “Invisible Wall,” affecting the lives of millions in the U.S. Policies include changes that make it harder for immigrants with low- and moderate incomes to navigate the immigration system as well as restrictions in basic needs programs that make it harder for families to thrive and live with dignity. These efforts are part of a government-wide assault designed to send immigrant families one message: you are not welcome in the United States. Key Words:
IMMIGRANTS - USCIS Wants To Increase the Amount of Biometric Data It Collects by Over 60%
9/9/20 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to dramatically expand the personal information that it collects in support of immigration petitions and applications. This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%. The proposed rule increases the pool of people who must provide biometrics to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by requiring biometrics from individuals of any age. This will further scrutinize children, and discourage victims of crime from being able to navigate the complex U.S. immigration system.
IMMIGRANTS - Who’s blocked from coming to the US under Trump’s latest visa ban
6/23/20 President Trump’s latest proclamation outlines a number of new restrictions on visas for temporary foreign workers. Unless you’re an attorney or an immigrant with experience navigating the US system, the alphabet soup of visas listed in Monday’s proclamation might be tough to decipher. The bottom line: a wide range of workers, from au pairs to software engineers, will be blocked from coming to the US at least until January. And those restrictions could be extended. Key Words: H-1B,
IMMIGRATION - Know Your Rights About Public Charge
2/20 Multi-language resource links with detailed information around all aspects of Public Charge including a new App in English and SPanish to easily test who might be affected. Key Words: PIF, KYR, Health,
Immigration Fee Waiver Requirements Updated
10/25/19 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has revised Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, by removing the means-tested benefit criteria that was previously used as a factor in determining whether an applicant was exempt from paying for filing fees or biometric services. Individuals may still request a fee waiver if their documented annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or they demonstrate financial hardship. Key Words: ALLIES3, USCIS
LEGAL - Frequently Asked Questions about DACA Changes
9/1/20 While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 18, 2020 should have restored the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its entirety, a recent announcement by the Trump administration has once again thrown the program and DACA recipients into limbo. On July 28, 2020, over a month after the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new memorandum (“July 2020 memorandum”) limiting the DACA program. This announcement was followed by USCIS guidance on August 21, 2020 which explains in more detail how the July 2020 memorandum will be implemented. To help orient the community, below are responses to some frequently asked questions that have emerged since the announcement. From ILRC and NILC
LEGAL - Sewa Bay Area
Sewa International has launched community helplines to provide non-medical advice for people with immigration related issues due to the travel bans, COVID-19 rule changes, and anxiety over new restrictions and expiring visas. Providing information & resources across the country. • USA Helplines: West Coast 408-909-8072 South West 281-909-7392 East Coast 302-330-7392 Mid West 708 972 7392 Multi-language: English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada and other Indian languages Key Words: Indian, Asian, CADRE, COVID-19
Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)
1/1/20 The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), signed on Dec. 20, 2019, permits eligible Liberians to apply for permanent status until Dec 20, 2020 with form I-485. According to the last census date, there are 75 Liberians residing in Santa Clara County and they have only a one year window to apply. Contact for more information. .Key Words: SCC, Immigration, TPS
MS Worksite Raids Leave Hundreds of Children Stranded Without Parents -Concerns About ICE Policy
8/8/19 Yesterday’s news of a series of worksite raids in Mississippi, resulting in the arrest of nearly 700 individuals is one of the largest operations of its kind in nearly a decade. Reports said with the arrests of parents and family members many children were left stranded when they arrived home from school. Educators and other volunteers in the area were left to devise emergency plans to shelter children with nowhere to go. This crisis was worsened by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seemingly not adhering to their own guidelines to lessen impacts on children by notifying social service agencies in advance of worksite actions.
NEWS - Trump’s executive order to stop issuing green cards temporarily, explained
4/21/20 President Trump announced that he will sign an executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of green cards, saying it’s needed to protect American jobs amid an unemployment crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the executive order, American citizens will still be able to apply for green cards on behalf of their children and spouses, according to the Times. But the families of existing green card holders and those applying for green cards through their employer will not be able to do so for a period of 60 days.
RESOURCE - ALA DACA Renewal Video - Scholarships Available
5/5/20 Contact Asian Law Alliance ' right away for a free consultation to see if you should renew your DACA. (408) 287-9710. Scholarships for the $495 fee are still available for eligible applicants. The Supreme Court is currently considering termination of the DACA program. A decision could come any day and if they decide to terminate the program, it will be too late. The good news is, that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still accepting DACA renewals. If your DACA will expire within the next year or even if your DACA has expired, you may be able to renew. Key Words: Undocumented., immigration,
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
SCC OIR Newsletter10 - Employment Based Immigration
6/29/20 Highly Skilled Immigrants Barred from Entering the U. S. Until 2021 On June 22nd, the Trump Administration extended and expanded its April proclamation that barred certain immigrants from the U.S. for an initial period of 60 days. In April, Trump already banned people with certain "non-immigrant visas" from entering the U.S., including immigrants on work-related visas and family members of U.S. citizens and diversity visa applicants. The ban is now extended through the end of the year. The administration is also restricting immigrants who are here on employment-based visas: H-1B, H-2B, L from entering the U.S. if they traveled abroad.
1/27/20 "Public Charge" Rule: Trump Administration Action Targeting Immigrant Families On January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court allowed Trump's Public Charge rule to take effect in every state but Illinois. This is not a final decision and Santa Clara County will continue its lawsuit challenging the rule. The County urges residents to consult with legal service providers when making decisions for themselves and their families. Many immigrants are not subject to any DHS public charge assessment at all, including lawful permanent residents (green-card holders) unless they leave the country for more than 180 days; individuals applying for asylum or refugee status; and many other immigrants. And many benefits also are not implicated by the rule (neither use of WIC nor CHIP is considered under the new rule). The County funds the following organizations that provide free or low-cost legal advice on immigration and public benefits. Legal Resources: Bay Area Legal Aid: (408) 850-7066 English, Spanish Asian Law Alliance: (408) 287-9710 English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Spanish Law Foundation: (408) 293-4790 English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, and more Key Words: Citizenship
Trump Administration Planned to Separate 26,000 Kids with No Ability to Track or Reunify Them
12/2/19 The internal watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security found that the Trump administration anticipated it would separate 26,000 children if the “zero tolerance” policy of 2018 had been allowed to continue, and that the agency knew it lacked the technology to track and reunite children with their parents. Officials at Customs and Border Protection, the DHS agency responsible for separating families under the May-June 2018 policy, estimated in May of that year that it would separate more than 26,000 children by September…
U.S. to expand rapid deportation nationwide with sweeping new rule
7/22/19 July 22 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Monday it will order more speedy deportations of immigrants who crossed illegally and are caught anywhere in the United States, expanding a program typically applied only along the southern border with Mexico. The rule set to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday would apply “expedited removal” to any illegal crossers who cannot prove to immigration agents that they have been living in the country for two years. Legal experts said it was a dramatic expansion of a program that cuts out review by an immigration judge. Previously, only those immigrants caught within 100 miles of the border who had been in the country two weeks or less could be quickly ordered deported.
USCIS Final Rule on Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility
2/6/20 The final rule applies to applicants for admission, aliens seeking to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent residents from within the US, and aliens within the US who hold a non-immigrant visa and seek to extend their stay or to change their status to a different non-immigrant classification. The final rule will take affect everywhere but Illinois on February 24th, 2020, and is not retroactive. No benefits applied for or received before that date will be considered. New forms will be required after that date. Everyone is encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified immigrant service provider before making decisions regarding needed benefits.
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.
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
‘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.
California leads the nation in naturalized citizens
7/19/19 In 2017 in California, nearly twice as many people became naturalized citizens than in the state with the second most, New York. Of the more than 700,000 people that were naturalized that year, the median time spent as a lawful permanent resident was eight years.
Questions Posed and County responses at the TRUTH Act Community Forum held on 12/10/19. The Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR), Division of Equity and Social Justice (DESJ), facilitated and coordinated the TRUTH Act forum, for the purpose of providing information to the community and consider public comment regarding SCC law enforcement agencies' provision of access or information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during 2018. OIR held the forum in collaboration with the Forum for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (FIRE) Coalition of SCC, which is composed of the following: Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN), Silicon Valley De-Bug, Asian Law Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Pangea Legal Services, People Acting in Community Together (PACT), Sacred Heart Community Service Agency, Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic, and YMCA Silicon Valley. Key Words: Deport, RRN
IMMIGRANTS - Citizenship is a tough mountain to climb, especially under Trump
4/2/20 Gaining citizenship is a long, expensive and complicated process — one that has gotten more so under the Trump administration. As the system currently stands, it can take 10 years or more for a person who entered the US on a visa to become a citizen. Just getting a green card can take at least 5 years. Another five years becoming eligible to apply for citizenship . You then fill out the N-400 form, submit it with a $640 filing fee and then ready yourself for the civics test, biometric appointment and potential further vetting. After clearing those last hurdles, you are home free — a bona fide U.S. citizen. Except, for an increasing number of people, that process never really takes off. Around 700,000 applications for citizenship remained pending at the end of 2019 — and wait times have doubled over the past two years to almost three years, “The substantial delay to naturalization created by the backlog negatively impacts voting rights, civil rights, and the administration of justice,” the report’s authors write.
IMMIGRANTS - Data and Analysis Related to Trump Administration Actions on Immigrant and Refugee Policy
8/1/20 Since entering office, the Trump administration has proposed or implemented policies on a wide range of immigration issues, touching on everything from asylum to deportation policy, refugee resettlement, and admissions from certain majority-Muslim countries. These MPI research and data resources offer context to policy changes achieved and proposed, as well as the populations they affect. For a record of immigration developments since the Trump administration began, check out this resource: Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency.
IMMIGRANTS - Privacy Protections in Selected Federal Benefits Programs
2/21/18 The federal laws protecting information about benefit recipients remain intact, and cannot be altered by an executive order.[3] Absent any change in federal statute, state agencies should decline any request for disclosure of information regarding a benefit recipient unless the request is consistent with these laws, the state plan approved for the program, and other federal regulations or guidance that flows from these federal statutes. Key Words: Public Charge, KYR, Know Your Rights
Immigrant Women in Abusive Relationships Face Long Delays for Green Cards—and Possible Deportation
11/19/18 Starting today USCIS can begin deportation proceedings on victims of trafficking, crime, and domestic violence if their visa petitions have been denied. *** VAWA petitions are different from U visas in that they are available only to the abused spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and they do not require law enforcement’s participation. But soon these immigration provisions may expire along with the rest of VAWA. The bill was up for reauthorization in September of this year, and was temporarily passed along with other measures in a short-term spending bill designed to keep the government from shutdown. VAWA must be re-authorized by December 7 in order not to lapse. Key Words: Violence Against Women Act
Immigrants and Their Children Use Less Welfare than Third-and-Higher Generation Americans
6/4/18 Research by the Cato Institute shows that immigrants, in the first and second generations consume an average of 33 percent fewer welfare benefits, per capita, than native-born Americans who are in the third-and-higher generations for these TANF (Welfare), SNAP (Food Stamps), SSI and Social Security.
In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence
6/19/18 Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. ...the creation of the task force itself is undoing the naturalization of the more than twenty million naturalized citizens in the American population by taking away their assumption of permanence. All of them (all of us) are second-class citizens now.
LEGAL - Helping Immigrant Clients with Post-Conviction Legal Options: A Guide for Legal Services Providers
6/2019 For non-citizens, even a low level offense like a shoplifting conviction can lead to mandatory deportation. However, this can be avoided when people secure post-conviction relief to erase or modify their old convictions. If the convictions are vacated, or the sentences reduced, the grounds for removal often evaporate. This guide, created by the ILRC and Californians for Safety and Justice, is an effort to turn these “rare cases” into the rule, rather than the exception, by helping to build the capacity of legal service providers and pro bono attorneys to provide post-conviction relief to immigrants who would face certain deportation without it. Key Words:
RESOURCE - is dedicated to increasing access to resources and knowledge for the undocumented immigrant community across the U.S. We understand that these times are especially hard on immigrant communities dealing with the unique challenges of coronavirus and immigration status. Regularly updated national and state by state resource guides plus where to get legal help and DACA renewal. Multi-lingual: Spanish Key Words: COVID-19, health, financial, mental health, education
RESOURCE - Mission Asset Fund Immigration Programs
For those eligible to apply for Citizenship, Adjustment of status, green card or Temporary Protected Status renewal, MAF offering 0% loans that cover the cost of the USCIS filing fees. Also, 0% interest social loans thru Lending Circles for any purpose, and Business expansion loans with financial education and support, Key Words: Credit
RESOURCE - SF CAIRS (San Francisco Coalition of Asylee, Immigrant, and Refugee Services)
SF-CAIRS is a multidisciplinary coalition of 20 organizations serving the San Francisco Bay Area asylee, immigrant and refugee community and its service providers. Providing employment, immigration, health care, benefits application, domestic violence, legal asst, educational and vocational training, employment, housing, ESL, Interpretation and other support services. Expanding resource knowledge among service providers about health, employment, social, education and legal services for recent refugees, political asylees and immigrants in the SF Bay Area. The national HQ is located in Washington DC. Key Words: Muslim, SCC, KYR, Know Your Rights, LGBT, Offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Multi-language: Arabic , Farsi , Somali , Urdu
Rapidly Expanding 287(g) Program Suffers from Lack of Transparency
10/9/18 During his first week in office, President Donald Trump ...called for a rapid expansion of harmful 287(g) agreements, through which state and local law enforcement personnel are deputized to enforce federal immigration laws. For years, jurisdictions participating in the 287(g) program have faced legal challenges resulting from allegations of racial profiling and civil rights abuses. In addition, they have come under serious criticism regarding financial mismanagement and for their role in facilitating the deportation of thousands of immigrant residents over traffic violations and other minor offenses in their communities. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report that was deeply critical of ICE’s management and oversight of 287(g) programs and that raised concerns relating to poor compliance with the terms of the agreements, inadequate officer training, and a general lack of transparency and accountability.
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.
To Free Detained Children, Immigrant Families Are Forced to Risk Everything
10/16/18 Under a new Trump Administration policy, family members who come forward to claim unaccompanied minors can now be arrested and deported if they are here illegally. Vetting sponsors has always been predicated on protecting children, not policing sponsors; in the past, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services made a point of stressing their independence from the Department of Homeland Security. “O.R.R. is not a law-enforcement entity,” Robert Carey, the former head of the office, told me. “It’s a social-service provider.” Now, according to advocates, the Trump Administration is manipulating the mission of the O.R.R. “They’ve flipped their mandate from the children’s welfare to immigration enforcement,” Jennifer Podkul, the policy director of Kids in Need of Defense, told me. Key Words: ICE, DHS
Treaty Termination Ends Certain Visa Eligibility for Iranian Nationals
1/22/2020 USCIS today announced that, due to the Oct. 3, 2018, termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran, Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor changes or extensions of status based on the treaty. Key Words: Immigration
Anyone Speak K’iche’ or Mam? Immigration Courts Overwhelmed by Indigenous Languages
3/19/19 United States immigration officials provide interpreters in as many as 350 languages over all, including Mandarin, Creole, Punjabi, Arabic and Russian. But Mam, K’iche’ and Q’anjob’al — all indigenous to Guatemala — have each become one of the 25 most common languages spoken in immigration court in the past few years. Key Words: Translation, Interpreter
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.
Denaturalization, explained: how Trump can strip immigrants of their citizenship
7/18/18 A new "denaturalization task force" raises questions about who really counts as American. The administration's denaturalization push is working on two levels. As a policy matter, it's relatively aggressive but not unprecedented - and constrained by law from getting too arbitrary. But for many immigrants, those legal constraints provide little comfort. The sense of vulnerability and fear the administration has been able to inspire among immigrants tends to ripple far beyond those who are directly in its sights, and this is no exception.
FAMILY CASE MANAGEMENT - a Cost Effective and Humane Alternative for Asylum Seeking Families
9/18 The Trump administration continues to present a false choice between separating asylum-seeking families at the border or detaining them. That premise ignores the many alternatives to detention the government can turn to while an individual or family goes through their asylum or immigration case, and in particular, a program Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operated that was specifically designed for families seeking protection in the United States. For families where the government seeks to mitigate a demonstrated flight risk or who may need additional support, the administration should turn to — and Congress should fund —the Family Case Management Program.
IMMIGRANT - USCIS Citizenship Resource Center
USCIS Multilingual One Stop site with information for Immigrants, Teachers and Advocates.Information in English, | Arabic | Chinese | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog |Vietnamese | Part of a USCIS Public Awareness Education drive. Key Words: Multi-language, Instructor Resource, Student Resource,
IMMIGRANTS - Good Moral Character - Expanded USCIS Guidance
12/20/19 In addition to the permanent bars to good moral character (GMC), the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and corresponding regulations include bars to GMC that are not permanent in nature. USCIS refers to these bars as “conditional bars.” These bars are triggered by specific acts, offenses, activities, circumstances, or convictions within the statutory period for naturalization, including the period prior to filing and up to the time of the Oath of Allegiance.[An offense that does not fall within a permanent or conditional bar to GMC may nonetheless affect an applicant’s ability to establish GMC Key Words: Citizenship
IMMIGRANTS - USCIS - San Jose Office
Beginning June 4, 2020, certain USCIS field offices and asylum offices will resume non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. Application support centers will resume services later. USCIS has enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities. 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
LEGAL - Asian Law Alliance (ALA)
COVID-19 Update: Facilities are closed. Appointments by phone and ZOOM. Call (408) 287-9710 or e-mail IMPORTANT NOTICE RE DACA RENEWAL. Anyone who wants to renew their DACA status. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing DACA and the ability to renew could be terminated at any time. Scholarship funds available for qualifying applicants. Call (408) 823-0799 for more information. Also assistance with Housing ** Public Benefits ** Immigration and Citizenship ** Protection For Domestic Violence Victims ** Civil Rights
Providing 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: Refugee, Housing, Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, Public Benefits, DACA, SCC OIR List, RIF, API
LEGAL - Center for Employment Training (CET) Immigration Service
COVID-19 Update: All Immigration and Citizenship services continue virtual platform per SCC Coronavirus Guidelines.
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: Spanish, Vietnamese Key Words: , Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration, SCC OIR List,
LEGAL - 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, RIF,
LEGAL - LEY (Laywers Educating You) 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
LEGAL - Oasis Legal Services for LGBTQIA+ immigrants
We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3)organization providing comprehensive legal services to assist LGBTQIA+ immigrants. Our services include: • Screening for immigration relief • Affirmative asylum • Residency • Citizenship • Family petitions Serving territory of San Francisco Asylum Court Washington State to Canadian Border to Bakersfield in Central CA. Spanish | Key Words: Gay Lesbian, Homosexual,
LEGAL - 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,
USAHello is a free online center for information and education for refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and welcoming communities.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
USCIS Updates on Countries Currently Designated for TPS
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."
USCIS Use of Digital Tablets in Naturalization Interview - Demo Video
On October 1, 2018, USCIS began using digital tablets to administer the English reading and writing tests during naturalization interviews. The expansion of tablet use is part of the agency’s ongoing business modernization efforts. This demonstration video on YouTube shows how the tablet is used during naturalization interviews. Key Words: Citizenship, Immigration
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.
CA detainees face long periods of confinement and barriers to medical treatment, state audit reveals
2/28/19 Reporting from Sacramento — Lengthy stays in cells. A lack of access to doctors, counselors and legal aid. Few bilingual staffers who can explain rules or services. Limited opportunities to call or see friends and family. On Tuesday, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra released findings from the first state inspection of California’s immigrant detention centers, designed to provide a deeper look into the conditions inside the system as the Trump administration takes a more aggressive approach to confining people who are in the country illegally. California is one of the first states to examine everyday operations at the facilities.
Dark History of the Citizenship Question - Snopes
4/13/19 In March 2018, the Trump administration announced that there will be questions about citizenship on the 2020 decennial census form, making it the first time in 70 years that every U.S. household will be asked to divulge the citizenship status of its members. Critics (mainly Democrats and civil rights groups) warned that the change will likely discourage non-citizens from participating in the census for fear they’ll be targeted for heightened government scrutiny and/or deportation. Some drew a comparison to the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II, when, despite peacetime laws prohibiting it, data collected by the Census Bureau on race and national origin was used by the Secret Service to target people of Japanese ancestry for internment. Key Words: Snopes
Effect of Separation from parents is catastrophic to children
6/18/18 This is what happens inside children when they are forcibly separated from their parents. Their heart rate goes up. Their body releases a flood of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Those stress hormones can start killing off dendrites — the little branches in brain cells that transmit mes­sages. In time, the stress can start killing off neurons and — especially in young children — wreaking dramatic and long-term damage, both psychologically and to the physical structure of the brain. “The effect is catastrophic,” said Charles Nelson, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School. “There’s so much research on this that if people paid attention at all to the science, they would never do this.”
HUD says 55,000 children could be displaced under Trump plan to evict undocumented immigrants
5/10/19 The Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged that a Trump administration plan to purge undocumented immigrants from public housing could displace more than 55,000 children who are all legal U.S. residents or citizens. Current rules bar undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing subsidies but allow families of mixed-immigration status as long as one person — a child born in the United States or a citizen spouse — is eligible. The subsidies are prorated to cover only eligible residents. The new rule, pushed by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, would require every household member be of “eligible immigration status.”
IMMIGRANT - CA Comparison of Benefits & Rights Based on Immigration Status
10/19 Includes education benefits, public benefits, travel and transportation, civil rights, workplace and employment benefits. This chart, from Immigrants Rising, Shows benefits available to citizens, LPR's (permanent residents, undocumented) Based on CALIFORNIA law,. benefits, and rights may be different in other states. Key Words: integration.
IMMIGRANT - Deportation Fears Putting Mental Strain on Hispanic Families
3/1/18 Recent U.S. immigration policy changes are causing significant mental distress for many Hispanic parents in the country, a new study finds. A "substantial proportion" of Hispanic parents surveyed reported that "they are avoiding authorities, warning their children to change their routines and worrying about the future due to recent U.S. immigration policies and news," said study lead author Kathleen Roche. Nearly 40 percent said they often avoided getting medical care, help from police, or support from social services because of immigration actions and news. Key Words: Undocumented, DACA, mental health, anxiety, depression, family, Latino, Disaster
IMMIGRANTS - Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services: Case Status
In 2017 the BCIS (Formerly INS) opened Case Status online letting customers with applications at a BCIS Service Center conveniently check the status of their case over the internet. As a next step in improving service customers can also call 1-800-375-5283 toll-free for automated case status assistance on Service Center filed cases. Spanish
IMMIGRANTS - National Map of Local Entanglement with ICE
11/13/19 The interactive map from ILRC represents the degree to which local policies limit assistance in immigration enforcement, based on FOIA data we received from ICE, as well as our own expertise in local and state laws and policies relating to immigration enforcement. We update the map regularly as the laws shift and grow. State and local governments across the country have created their own check on federal demands to coopt local law enforcement: sanctuary policies. Sanctuary policies take many forms, but broadly act to limit the participation of local agencies in helping with federal immigration enforcement. This map looks at what those policies do, where they are, and just as importantly, where they aren’t. Jurisdictions that have not enacted sanctuary policies are providing unnecessary, sometimes illegal, assistance to ICE. Key Words: Know Your Rights, KYR
Immigration Court Backlog Tracking Tool
Findings are based upon a detailed analysis of the millions of records covering each proceeding filed in the Immigration Courts. These individual case records were obtained through Freedom of Information Act. Tool can track backlog of number of cases or average number of days, by state, and by nationality.
Informed Immigrant
Directory of over 1,200 trusted non-profits, clinics, and immigrant-serving organizations that are able to connect with you directly in your community. Enter your zip code.and find free or low cost help in the following areas: Legal Help, Healthcare Access, Mental Health Support, Financial Assistance or employment support, Community Action & Organizing: local, regional, and national organizations coordinating many efforts of the immigrant community to advocate for their rights | Spanish |
LEGAL - 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,
LEGAL - Immigration Hardship Center (IHC)
The IHC provides lawyers with forensic mental health evaluations, including summary psycho-social reports for consideration in immigration court proceedings. By also offering long term counseling, and case management to our legally vulnerable immigrant clients and their families, as needed, our forensic mental health services are unique in the community. IHC is currently serving/processing a number of cases including the following: U-Visa applicants - T-Visa applicants - Hardship Waiver applicants - Asylum Applicants - Support for Immigrants in the Criminal Justice System Key Words: Factr,
LEGAL - National Immigration Legal Services Directory
Search for immigration legal services providers by state, county, or detention facility. Only nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost immigration legal services are included in this directory.
LEGAL- Centro de Ayuda Legal para Inmigrantes (CALI)
Services: Adjustment of Status, Asylum applications, Consular Processing, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), DAPA, Employment authorization, Naturalization/Citizenship, Removal hearings, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, T visas, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), U visas, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions. Languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog Key Words:
ORAM - Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration
Founded in 2008, ORAM specializes in the protection of exceptionally vulnerable refugees, including LGBTIQ 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 |
RESOURCE - CA Immigrant Guide
Provides information on resources available to immigrant families, such as testing under Medi-Cal, small business support, including some that are available regardless of immigration status. Additional Information for immigrant communities on Coronavirus and updated Public Charge policies. Ongoing information on available services throughout the state for Immigrants seeking help with English language learning, workforce skill development, naturalization preparation or legal assistance, The guide will serve as a bridge that can help immigrants fully participate in life in California. Key Words: Directory, citizenship, ESL Multi-language: Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Russian, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin),, Korean, Arabic , Armenian, Farsi, Khmer (Cambodian)
RESOURCE - One Nation Coalition of AAPI Service Providers
National coalition of Asian American Pacific Islander service providers and advocacy groups. Public Charge FAQ Updates in: English, Chinese, Khmer, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Tagalog 2/24/20, One Nation Commission Report, One Nation Built on the Strength of Immigrants
RESOURCE - Santa Clara County Free & Low Cost Immigration Legal Assistance
SCC invests in immigration legal services with local accredited agencies to provide free and low cost assistance with immigration legal issues. Key Words family visa petition, employment authorizations, removal of conditional status; assisting immigrants to obtain permanent residency under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); helping victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking to obtain work authorization, permanent residency leading to path to citizenship, DACA, deportation defense, unaccompanied minors, etc. OIR Asian Law Alliance | Catholic Charities | CET | PARS Equality Center
RESOURCE - Santa Clara County Libraries (SCCL)
3/12/20 COVID-19 UPDATE: The libraries are currently closed and all events cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. ONLINE LIBRARY 24/7 Available eBooks, Digital Magazines and Newspapers, Streaming Video and Music, Online Classes,Tutors, and more.
8 Santa Clara County branch locations, 24/7 E-resources, plus a bookmobile. (Serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and Woodland) Free Library Cards for Santa Clara County Residents (any immigration status). Access to numerous resources including multi-language books, periodicals, videos, ESL Conversation Clubs, Citizenship Resources, Tutoring, Immigration Legal Asst Key Words: See Immigrantinfo ESL Class Listing
Stop Notario Fraud
2015. Resources and information from AILA for victims of dishonest immigration consultants often known as "notarios." Immigration consultants, notaries public, and notarios cannot represent you in the immigration process.
12-18 In May 2018, ORR, ICE, and CBP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) [1] mandating continuous information-sharing on unaccompanied immigrant children beginning when CBP or ICE takes them into custody through their release from ORR custody. This includes information on the children’s potential sponsors (usually family members), as well as anyone else living with the sponsor. The MOA represents a dramatic change from past practice and is already resulting in severe consequences, including prolonged lengths of stay of children in federal custody, increased costs, family separation, and increased risk of abuse or trafficking of vulnerable children. The following summarizes the MOA’s changes and their impact on children, families, and the U.S. taxpayer: Key Words: Privacy, data sharing
Thousands of Vietnamese, Including offspring of U.S. Troops, Could be Deported Under Trump Policy
9/4/18 The Trump administration, in a policy shaped by senior adviser Stephen Miller, has reinterpreted a 2008 agreement reached with Vietnam by the George W. Bush administration — that Vietnamese citizens who arrived before the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1995 would not be “subject to return.” Now, the White House says, there is no such immunity to deportation for any non-citizen found guilty of a crime. Key Words: Asian, API
US Immigration Documents Deacription
5/19 A list of the documents that can be used to show your immigration status and eligibility for various programms. Links to illustrations and detailed explanation of the fields. Key Words: USCIS, benefits, healthcare, ALLIES3, healthcare.
USCIS Multi-language Citizenship and Immigration Information
This page offers information in several languages on a variety of topics such as citizenship, Green Cards, employee verification, biometrics, how to report fraud and avoid immigration scams, and humanitarian programs. Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chamorro, Chinese, French, German, Haiti Creole, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Palauan, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese
USCIS You-Tube Channel
Hundreds of short videos with instructions, explanations or examples for the CIVICS test, the Citizenship Interview, and various forms and procedures. Key Words: Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees, Naturalization,
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser's knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing. The VAWA provisions, which apply equally to women and men, are permanent and do not require congressional reauthorization. Help is also available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). Key Words: Battered, Humanitarian, USCIS
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 |
RESOURCE - Citizenship Works
Citizenshipworks provides free on-line assistance that helps you become a U.S. citizen, step-by-step. Citizenshipworks is a collaboration between the Immigration Advocates Network, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Pro Bono Net. We aim to make the immigration system accessible everyone through user-friendly technology, plain language legal information, and a national network of nonprofit immigration service providers. Multi-language: Spanish | Chinese |
Asylum Officers Union Says Trump Migration Policy ‘Abandons’ American Tradition
6/26/19 A union representing federal asylum officers said in a court filing Wednesday that the Trump administration’s policy forcing migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases are decided risks violating international treaty obligations and “abandons our tradition of providing a safe haven to the persecuted.” The union, which represents 2,500 Department of Homeland Security employees, including the asylum officers, said in its filing that the policy, the Migration Protection Protocols, puts migrants in danger because they could face persecution
CHILDREN - Immigration Options for Undocumented Immigrant Children
8/18 A collection of one-page fact sheets fro ILRC on: *Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) * Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) * U Visa * Trafficking Visa (T Visa) * Asylum * Temporary Protected Status (TPS) * Family Visas * Conditional Permanent Residence * Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) * Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal Advocates should only use these fact sheets for quick reference. Please consult with an immigration expert before filing any applications for relief with USCIS. Key Words: Legal,
IMMIGRANT - The Impact of COVID-19 on Noncitizens and Across the U.S. Immigration System
5/20 This report from the American Immigration Council, seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of COVID-19-related disruptions throughout the immigration system and identifies recommendations for adjustments and improvements to the federal response. Given that the landscape of immigration policy is changing rapidly in the face of the pandemic, this report will be updated as needed. Key Words: Coronavirus, detention, deportation,
IMMIGRANTS - Administration puts ‘hold’ on green card requests from US
6/12/20 After suspending approval of green card requests to immigrants abroad seeking U.S. residency, the Trump administration has also halted processing requests from green card applicants already living in the country. Exemptions to the hold include applications of medical providers. The USCIS also allows immigration officers to submit applications that concern an “emergent or sensitive matter” outside these exemptions to their supervisors for consideration.
NEWS - Border Patrol Memo Tells Agents to Send Migrants Back Immediately — Ignoring Asylum Law
4/2/20 Citing little-known power given to the CDC to ban entry of people who might spread disease and ignoring the Refugee Act of 1980, an internal memo has ordered Border Patrol agents to push the overwhelming majority of migrants back into Mexico. Key Words: Asylum, ICE, Immigration, COVID-19
VOTING - National Voter Registration
Official U.S. Government Online Voter Registration site. Key Words:
Welcome to the United States - Updated 2017
5/23/17. USCIS has updated the publication, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants. The guide contains practical information to help new immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, including how to find a place to live, how to get a Social Security number and how the U.S. system of government works. Available in 14 languages: | English | Spanish | Arabic | Chinese Traditional | Chinese Simplified | French | Haitian Creole | Korean | Portuguese | Russian | Somali | Tagalog | Urdu | Vietnamese |