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.

A Question of Honor: The Ongoing Importance of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program
3/17 Urban Justice Center's Report - The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was established in the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 in response to the extreme danger that Afghan employees of the U.S. government in Afghanistan face as a result of their work. As of this reports writing in March 2017, visa interviews were suspended for lack of visas. All Afghan applicants must undergo extensive processing, which lasts for months or even years. Key Words: Refugee, Asylee
Child Migrant Return and Reintegration Project (CMRRP)
2/2/17 KIND's Child Migrant Return and Reintegration Project helps unaccompanied children returning to Guatemala and Honduras from the United States. KIND and its partners have helped children by ensuring they are returned to their communities safely and receive reintegration support such as family reunification, skills training, counseling, and help with school enrollment and scholarships. English | Spanish
DACA: Current Status and Options (March 1, 2017) (UPDATED)
3/1/17 The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is still available and the government is still accepting and approving DACA initial and renewal applications. However, the program could be terminated at any time. As a result, the information in this document could change so always stay up to date. | Spanish
Everyone has certain basic rights, no matter who is president
11/10/16 NILC Factsheet - No matter who is president, everyone living in the U.S. has certain rights, including undocumented immigrants. If you have to deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or anywhere else, remember that you have the rights described in this factsheet. The factsheet also provides suggestions for what you should do to assert your rights. Multi-language: Hyperlink | Spanish |Traditional Chinese |Simplified Chinese | Key Words: Post-Election
Fear of deportation comes to middle school
3/16/17 Middle school is confusing enough to navigate when your family life is stable, but for the kids at one Oakland school, its been even more difficult since the election. Theyve been asking their teachers and counselors a lot of heavy questions, like, Will my parents be home when I get home from school? We know how confusing its been for lawyers and policymakers to untangle President Trumps executive order Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. . It touches families in every neighborhood, yet many of them are too fearful to speak up against it. Key Words: Children
Helping immigrant children heal
2015 Report from the American Psychological Assoc. - Psychologists are working to help undocumented immigrant children recover from trauma and deal with the uncertainties of their lives.
Higher wages linked to immigrant diversity
4-10-17 Diverse immigrant populations do more than enrich a city's cultural fabric. According to geographers from the University at Buffalo and Southampton University, they also boost wages. In cities that are unwelcoming to immigrants, as diversity rises, people's wages either don't change, or they go up by only a small amount. In cities that are welcoming to immigrants, as diversity goes up, people's wages go up, and by a lot," said Abigail Cooke, an assistant professor of geography in UB's College of Arts and Sciences, who wrote the paper with Thomas Kemeny, a UB research assistant professor and a lecturer at the University of Southampton in England.
ILRC Multi-language "Know Your Rights" Red Cards
All people in the US, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. The Red Cards were created to help people assert their rights and defend themselves against constitutional violations. Red cards provide critical information on how to assert these rights, along with an explanation to ICE agents that the individual is indeed asserting their rights. These cards can be ordered free by non-profit service providers in English/Spanish. Also available on line in: | Spanish | Chinese | Tagalog | Arabic |
ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) Changes
August 2016 Revisions to the ITIN program require some taxpayers to renew their ITINs beginning in October. ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last 3 years will no longer be valid unless renewed. In addition, ITINs issued prior to 2013 that have been used on a federal tax return in the last three years will need to be renewed, and the IRS is putting in place a rolling renewal schedule to assist taxpayers. Key Words: Internal Revenue Service, IRS Multi-language: | Spanish | Vietnamese | Kreyol | Russian, Chinese, Korean
Immigration 2017 - A New President and Congress - AILA Resource Page
AILA (American Immigration Lawyers' Association) has created this resource page which will have breaking news about developments in federal immigration policies and actions, summaries and analysis of Executive Orders, as well as resources and tools to help immigrants, lawyers and advocates to respond. Collaboration with American Immigration Council.
Know Your Rights: AB 60 in an Era of Resistance
2/17 Whether to apply for an AB 60 license or not is a personal decision. More than ever, new AB 60 applicants will need to weigh the benefits and risks of not driving, driving without a license, and applying for an AB 60 license. This is because applying for and obtaining a license will place your name and address in the DMV records, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is able to access when it is looking for a particular person. Spanish | Asian language FAQ's provided by CIPC: Vietnamese | Chinese | Tagalog | Korean | Pakistani | Cambodian | Tongan | Fijano | Thai |
Mobile apps for undocumented immigrants mark new era in technology
4/10/17 Developing digital safety nets and resources for this growing market has taken on new urgency in the wake of the Trump administration's immigration policies. Arrived is a free app available for download now. It was created by a team largely composed of Google employees, to empower immigrants with knowledge on a variety of topics, from housing and education to jobs and deportation. Other apps are in development. With the press of a digital panic button, immigrants detained by ICE may soon be able to send customized, encrypted messages to friends and family from their mobile phones in a last-minute attempt to share final parting words or critical information.
Multi-language Deportation & Detention Brochures
The San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network (SFILEN) has downloadable Deportation and Detention brochures in a variety of languages. | Chinese | Spanish | Arabic | Tagalog | Key Words: Post-Election Resources
Multi-language Know Your Rights "Red Cards"
All people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. The Red Cards were created to help people assert their rights and defend themselves against constitutional violations. Knowing and asserting rights can make a huge difference in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home. Red cards provide critical information on how to assert these rights, along with an explanation to ICE agents that the individual is indeed asserting their rights.
Quickguide to Child Welfare & Immigration Laws - CA
This 2016 Quickquide from the American Bar Association, offers a brief overview of law and resources for child welfare attorneys and others. In addition to highlighting how common stages to a dependency case may affect immigrant children or parents, This tool describes forms of federal immigration relief that may be unfamiliar to child welfare practitioners but are potentially critical resources for their clients. There is also a listing of California State specific laws and resources.
Quickguide to Child Welfare & Immigration Laws - Federal
This 2016 Quickquide from the American Bar Association, offers a brief overview of law and resources for child welfare attorneys and others. In addition to highlighting how common stages to a dependency case may affect immigrant children or parents, This tool describes forms of federal immigration relief that may be unfamiliar to child welfare practitioners but are potentially critical resources for their clients.
Refugee Council USA
The RCUSA is a coalition of 22 U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, is dedicated to refugee protection, welcome, and excellence in the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Post-Election Refugee Took Kit, Key Words:
The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States
7/13/15 Report from American Immigration Council - For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed that immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorized, regardless of their country of origin or level of education. In other words, the overwhelming majority of immigrants are not criminals by any commonly accepted definition of the term. For this reason, harsh immigration policies are not effective in fighting crime.
Trusted Providers of Citizenship & Immigration Legal Assistance
A listing of non-profit attorney and BIA accredited service organizations providing citizenship, immigration, and other legal assistance in Santa Clara County and Bay Area. Low cost or free assistance and Multi-language capabilities. Languages: Spanish, Vietnamese, other
Trusted Service Providers for SCC Immigrants
Trusted non-profit and government organizations with resources, advocacy, information & referrals and services for immigrants in Santa Clara County and the Bay Area. Languages: Spanish, Vietnamese, other
USCIS Multi-language Citizenship and Immigration Information
Selected USCIS pages in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chamorro, Chinese, French, German, Haiti Creole, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Palauan, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese
USCIS to Redesign the Green Card and Employment Authorization Cards
4/19/17 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.
Undocumented Spouses of US Citizens Are Desperately Applying for Green Cards Because of Trump
3/14/17 While all spouses of US citizens are eligible for green cards, those who have lived illegally in the country must also obtain an unlawful presence waiver. Before this year, undocumented spouses often avoided the complex waiver process since they figured they weren't at risk of deportation. But under Trump's sweeping immigration crackdown, many undocumented spouses are suddenly viewing the waiver as the only way to remain with their families.
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,
Asian Law Alliance (ALA)
A community law office established in 1977 to provide individual legal assistance, community legal education, and community advocacy for the Asian Pacific American population of Santa Clara County. Legal Immigration and Citizenship services. Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration Multi-language: Vetnamese, Spanish, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), Tagalog, and Korean.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Citizenship services provided in English and Spanish, including assessment of eligibility, application assistance, interview preparation, and referrals to English and citizenship classes at offices in San Jose and Gilroy. Catholic Charities also provides resettlement and retraining services for refugees and asylees including computer classes and ESL. Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration Many other free and sliding scale social programs for children, adults and seniors. | Directory of Social Services | Multi-language
Center for Employment Training (CET) Immigration Service
With the support of volunteers and collaborative partners, the Immigration and Citizenship Program is able to provide services in over 20 languages. Full-time staff speak English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. ICP offers immigration legal, citizenship, and English as a Second Language (ESL) assistance. Multi-language: Spanish, Vietnamese Key Words: Vocational Education Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration
Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C)
FGM/C refers to cutting and other procedures that injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It may be called female circumcision in some parts of the world. The practice has no health benefits and can lead to a range of serious physical and mental health problems. The U.S. government opposes FGM/C, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse.| English | Amharic | Arabic | French | Swahili | Tigrinya | Somali |
IRC (International Rescue Committee)
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. Multi-language: French, Laotian, Persian, Thai, Vietnamese, Oromo, Somali, Amharic, Assyrian, Arabic.
Know Your Rights Booklet - ACLU
The ACLU's Know Your Rights booklet provides effective and useful guidance in a user-friendly question and answer format. The booklet addresses what rights you have when you are stopped, questioned, arrested, or searched by law enforcement officers. This booklet is for citizens and non-citizens with extra information for non-citizens in a separate section. This free booklet is available for download in English, Spanish|, French , Arabic , Farsi , Urdu and American Sign Language video |. An older (2003) version of the booklet is available in Hindi , Punjabi , Somali . Key Words: Deaf, Hard of Hearing
SCC Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) Newsletter - July 2016
Santa Clara County's Office of Immigration newsletter includes articles about the Supreme Court Deadlock on DAPA & DACA+, Immigrant Heritage Month in June, Improvements to CA Health Care Access, 24th Annual World Refugee Day celebration in SCC, and the SCC Reaction to New Wave of Immigration Raids
San Jose Immigration Resource Page
2015 - The recent changes to immigration policy have prompted the City of San Jose to work collaboratively with the County of Santa Clara and community based organizations to ensure that our immigrant community receives accurate and timely information about President Obama's executive order. Here you will find information about organizations equipped to serve you and a list of informational events in San Jose. Key Words: SJ OIR
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: Spanish: (408) 453-3017, English & Vietnamese: (408) 453-3013 Bay Area BIA Accredited Non-Profit Member of the SCC Citizenship Collaboration
Thousands of Children Now Covered in Access to Counsel Lawsuit
June 2016 - Last week, a federal court certified a class in a lawsuit challenging the federal government's failure to provide legal representation to children in deportation proceedings. Several thousand children are estimated to be members of the class. The class covers all children in the 9th under 18 who are in immigration proceedings in the Ninth Circuit on or after June 24, 2016; lack counsel; are unable to afford legal representation; and are potentially eligible for asylum, related relief or U.S. citizenship. The 9th Circuit covers (HA, AK, AZ, MO, CA, WA, OR, ID)
USCIS - San Jose Office
Information about the location, hours and services available at the San Jose Office of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (Replaced INS). Serves the following counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey. Multi-Lingual: | Spanish |
SCC Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) Newsletter - December 2016
Information and articles: Post Presidential Elections Update on DACA, IRS Changes to ITINs, Immigrant Demographics, Highlighting Immigrant Stories: Mehran Kamkar's Story, Impacts of Payday Loans to Immigrant Communities
"Not our role": Santa Clara County cops reaffirm they won't be deportation force
3/14/17 Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing, president of the county police chiefs' association, was joined by San Jose Chief Eddie Garcia, 10 other South Bay chiefs and District Attorney Jeff Rosen at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in East San Jose to convey a message of solidarity. The agencies of this county will not enforce federal immigration laws, Swing said. "It is not our mission nor our role & we will treat all of our residents with dignity regardless of status."
Beyond Deferred Action: Long-term Immigration Remedies Every Dreamer Should Know About
April 2015. E4FC Guide to the 6 most common legal remedies for Dreamers. DACA is a temporary, discretionary program that could be changed as quickly as it was created. DREAMers should take this opportunity to consider other longer-term options, and pursue them as appropriate. And for some, especially those with minor criminal records, a solid remedy from this list may be safer than trying to get DACA. This guide is not intended as legal advice do not make decisions about which category to apply for based just on this information.
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services: Case Status
The BCIS (Formerly INS) recently 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.
Citizenship Works
Contains information and tools to help immigrants determine their eligibility for citizenship and understand the naturalization process.
Citizenship-A Wise Investment for Cities.pdf
This 2014 report represents the first stage in what will be an ongoing research effort by C4C (Cities for Citizenship) to analyze the social and economic benefits of increased naturalization to immigrant families and local economies. The initial assessment examines the economic benefits of naturalization for Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, with the understanding that similar benefits are achievable in other metropolitan areas. Key Words: Immigrant integration,
Coalition Against Payday Lenders
The Coalition Against Payday Predators (CAPP) is a collaboration of community-based organizations working to limit the reckless financial practices of payday lenders in Santa Clara County. CAPP supports local payday lending controls ordinances that will stop further proliferation of payday lenders in cities in SCC and pave the way for better consumer lending alternatives. Information and Resources in English and Spanish. Key Words: Loan, credit
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Key Words: Muslim, SCC, Post-Election Resources Offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara
Detained, Deceived, and Deported: Experiences of Recently Deported Central American Families
May 18, 2016 Between February and May, 2016, the American Immigration Council interviewed eight individuals who were deported (or whose partners were deported) from the US after being detained in family detention facilities, during which time they came into contact with the CARA Pro Bono Project. These women (or in two of the cases, their partners) shared their experiences both describing what has happened to them and their children since returning to their country and recounting the detention and deportation process from the United States.
Dreamers lose legal status and jobs in renewal delay
Oct 28, 2016 The temporary legal status of thousands of DACA recipients nationwide has expired due to backlogs at the federal agency that processes requests for renewal. In what appear to be the longest delays in the four-year history of the program, young professionals are losing their jobs, their incomes and their benefits.
A website designed in 2016 to help domestic violence victims and refugees find temporary shelter. Like Airbnb with a noble purpose. Users can use their phone or computer, enter a zip code and find a host who's willing to house them in their apartment or home free of charge. It's meant for those who are in the midst of, say, an asylum hearing or want to get away from an abusive relationship. In order to prove you're a refugee or a domestic violence victim, you have to show some kind of documentation to the host: a refugee passport, a police report or a recent restraining order. Over 700 homes are registered nation wide.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Payday Loans but Were Afraid to Ask
10/5/16 Article by Talk Poverty/ - Payday loans are advertised as quick and easy loans that borrowers can repay when their next paycheck comes around. The interest rates are so high, often 400% and above, compared to about 16% on the average credit card that borrowers cannot afford to pay back the loan and the vast majority of loans (80%) are rolled over or followed by an additional loan within just two weeks. The result is that borrowers wind up in debt.
FACTR (Family Alliance for Counseling Tools and Resolution)
Multi-cultural service, research and training center for the benefit of intergenerational immigrant families experiencing stress in their new environment. Provides counseling, psycho- educational services and cultural awareness programs for newcomer families and their children, regarding state Laws pertaining to Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Educational, Immigration and other areas. Nominal fees for services may be charged based on income. Multi-language: Key Words: Immigrant Integration, Advocacy, Mental Health
How the United States Immigration System Works
Annually, Congress and the President determine a separate number for refugee admissions. Immigration to the US is based upon the following principles: the reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the U.S. economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity. This fact sheet provides basic information about how the U.S. legal immigration system is designed.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
ILRC is a national, non-profit resource center that provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. Iinformation for immigrants, advocates and attorneys. Areas of expertise. | Know Your Rights Red Cards available in English and Spanish. Key Words: Asylum, Citizenship, Naturalization, Crimes, DACA/DAPA, Enforcement, Family-Based, Immigrant Youth, LGBT, Removal Defense, U Visa/T Visa/VAWA, Post-Election Resources, Deferred Action for Immigrant Youth, Know Your Rights, Dream Act, , Immigration Fraud Awareness. Serving Counties of: Marin, SF, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and Contra Costa
Informed Immigrant
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, millions of documented and undocumented immigrants face increased uncertainty around their status in the United States. Immigrant rights organizations and leaders across the country have banded together and pooled resources to help immigrants and their allies obtain the current best-known information and guidance. | Spanish |
Long odds: Defending yourself in U.S. Immigration Court
Aug 2016 The first national study on attorney representation in U.S. immigration courts was completed in 2015. The UPenn Law Review Study found that only 37% of all immigrants and 14% of detained immigrants have representation in immigration court. The odds were 15 times greater that immigrants fought their deportation cases, and 5.5 times greater that they won their cases and avoided being deported, if they had legal representation.
Mexican Consulate Immigration Reform Hotline
Jun 2013. To prevent immigration fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico has developed a project called "Centro de Informacion sobre Actualidad Migratoria or CIAM", who will basically give information about the status of the immigration reform and refer the callers to the services provided locally, with information provided by every Consulate of Mexico. Information is available 24/7 (only in Spanish).
New CA law adds transparency to process of deporting inmates
9/29/16 AB 2792 stipulates that immigrants are informed of their right to refuse interviews with ICE officers while incarcerated. Enforcement agencies are required to have inmates sign written consent form before ICE interview. Communication between ICE and local law enforcement agencies now subject to public records laws.
Portrait of DACA Recipients 3 Years Later
Oct. 2015. Numerous studies have illustrated the impact DACA has had on the lives of undocumented youth. The United We Dream Network (UWD) conducted a national survey of DACA recipients to better understand the lives of undocumented youth after three-years of the program.
Report Finds Ending DACA Would Cost the Economy Billions in Tax and Turnover Costs
12-13-16 ILRCs report employed recent data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, state-of-the-art economic models from the Center from American Progress, a comprehensive survey of over 1,000 DACA recipients, and tax law to estimate the loss of jobs and tax revenue if the DACA program were ended. The report builds upon recent estimates by the Center for American Progress, which measure the loss to GDP of ending DACA at $433.4 billion over a decade.
Talking to Children About the Election: A Message from the AAP
In the aftermath of the national election, many parents and caregivers are wondering how to speak to their children about the results, how to help their children cope with disturbing rhetoric, and how to explain news reports of protests. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is doing everything we can as a national organization to represent the needs of children to our newly elected leaders and recognize the importance of making sure children feel safe and protected in their day-to-day lives. Here are some ways you can serve as a source of reassuring comfort and safety for your children. Key Words: Mental Health, Counseling Multi-language: Spanish
U.S. Record Shows Refugees Are Not a Threat
10/2015 The United States has resettled 784,000 refugees since September 11, 2001. In those 14 years, exactly three resettled refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist activities and it is worth noting two were not planning an attack in the US and the plans of the third were barely credible.
USCIS - Citizen and Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. |Spanish| Multi-Lingual
USCIS Citizen-Immigration Service Ombudsman
2015. The Office of the USCIS Ombudsman is dedicated to improving the quality of citizenship and immigration services delivered to the public by providing individual case assistance, as well as making recommendations to improve the administration of immigration benefits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Welcome to the United States - New Updated Version
Nov. 2015. USCIS has published an updated 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: | Spanish | Arabic | Chinese Traditional | Chinese Simplified | French | Haitian Creole | Korean | Portuguese | Russian | Somali | Tagalog | Urdu | Vietnamese |
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 |
New American Workforce
New American Workforce works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process so they become full participants in the workplace, community and economy. Statistics show a direct correlation between immigrant integration and happier, more effective workers, which directly impacts business profitability. New American Workforce facilitates accessible citizenship assistance through a two-step process that targets legal permanent residents at their workplace. operational in: Los Angeles, CA, New York City area, NY San Jose area, CA, Miami, FL, Washington, D.C. area Houston, TX, San Diego, CA, Detroit, MI