Mayor Joe Gunter, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo and I very happy to be sharing info on Immigration with the Community
Las acciones ejecutivas cambian drásticamente el paisaje de inmigración. Los decretos dicen comenzar a construir el muro en la frontera de México con EEUU y anuncia recorte de fondos federales a las ciudades Santuario. La poliza anterior que colocaba la prioridad mas alta para deportar a las amenazas a la seguridad nacional, condenados con felonias, pandilleros y los recien detenidos en la frontera, se anuló.
Ahora, todos los inmigrantes indocumentados son considerados una prioridad si han sido condenados por cualquier delito; han sido acusados de un delito, aunque no haga resuelto; han cometido actos que pueden constituir un delito; ha estado involucrado en fraude o representacion falsa ante una agencia del gobierno; han abusado de beneficios públicos; han recibido una orden final de deportacion del país; o es determinado por un oficial de inmigración que representan un riesgo para la seguridad pública y seguridad nacional.
Las nuevas prioridades son tan amplias, que temo que hará nuestras comunidades y nuestro país menos seguro. Las prioridades anteriores eran una herramienta vital, crítica y eficaz y tenía capas de revisión para proteger contra abuso de discreción y de incumplimiento. Pero las nuevas acciones ejecutivas, una vez más sobrecargaran a nuestros tribunales de inmigración que ya estan demasiado sobrecargados y desvian esfuerzos limitados para deportar a los que verdaderamente son peligrosos.
La orden ejecutiva dice capacitor agencias estatales y locales de policias para realizar las funciones de un oficial de inmigración. Tambien nos trae de nuevo el programa “comunidades seguras” que ya se comprobo no funciona, esta lleno de fallas y sujeto a abusos.
Aunque existen reportes de acciones ejecutivas relacionadas con DACA. A partir de este momento, nada ha cambiado oficialmente con DACA. Sin embargo, el Presidente declaró en una entrevista recien que los que tienen DACA no deberían estar muy preocupados, pero no ofreció ningún detalle, excepto que más información saldria en las próximas 4 semanas. También sabemos que podemos esperar otras aciones ejecutivas relacionadas con inmigración tan temprano como hoy.
No cabe duda de que la acciónes ejecutivas ya anunciadas afectan a muchas familias sin estatus legal o con estatus mixtos. No podemos dejar que la discreción total sin restricciones y prioridades de deportacion demasiadas amplias nos regresen a los abusos de poder que hemos visto en el pasado.
Ahora más que nunca debemos mantener la lucha para proteger a la gente indocumentada que es trabajadora y no son criminales para que no sean víctimas de una equivocada política de inmigración.
Todavía hay mucho que no se sabe. Publicare mas informacion al informarme. Por ahora, sigua participando, involucrarse y mantengase informado.
The President's executive actions drastically change our immigration landscape. The executive orders purport to begin building the wall along the Mexico-US border and announces the cut off federal funding from sanctuary cities. The former enforcement priorities that placed top removal priority on national security threats, convicted felons, gang members, and recent undocumented entrants apprehended at the border are rescinded.
Now, all undocumented immigrants are considered a priority if they have been convicted of any crime; have been charged with a crime, even if it has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable offense; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation before a government agency; have abused public benefits; have received a final order to leave the country but haven’t done so; or are judged by an immigration officer to pose a risk to public safety and national security.
The new priorities are so broad, that I fear they will make our local communities and our country less safe. The former priorities were a vital, critical & effective tool and it had layers of review to safeguard against abuse of discretion and non compliance. But the new executive actions, will once again overburden our already overburdened immigration courts and divert enforcement efforts away from the truly dangerous.
The executive order purports to empower local and state law enforcement agencies to perform the functions of an immigration officer. It brings back the flawed, failed and abusive secure communities program.
Although there are reports of leaked executive actions related to DACA that are supposedly being considered as of this moment, right now nothing has officially changed with DACA. Though, the President stated in a news interview that DACA grantees shouldn't be very worried, he offered no details, except that more information would be forthcoming in the next 4 weeks. We also know we can expect more immigration related executive actions as early as today.
There is no doubt that the already announced executive actions will affect a lot of undocumented and mixed status families. We cannot let unfettered discretion and broad enforcement priorities take us back to the abuse of power we have seen in the past. Now more than ever we must keep up the fight so that law abiding, hard working people are not casualties of a draconian enforcement only immigration policy.
There are still a lot of unknowns. As more is known I will keep you posted. For now, stay involved, become involved if not already, and stay informed.
All people in the United States, have certain constitutional protections, regardless of immigration status. Knowing and exercising your rights makes a huge difference during ICE contacts because Immigration has the burden of proof to show a person is inadmissible or removable. Red cards were created to help the immigrant community assert their rights and defend themselves against constitutional violations. Red cards remind community people of their rights, & should be handed to ICE upon contact to inform them that you are asserting your constitutional rights.
November 9, 2016
Open letter to my clients,
After the election results, I understand you are looking for reassurance about your case and your family’s future.
If your case has already been filed, it will continue to be processed normally. I cannot speculate what will change or how quickly we can expect change when the president elect takes office. At this moment, I can assure you that I am here for you and your family and I will provide you with information as it becomes available.
For now, I will continue to work on your immigration case and the day-to-day processing remains the same. Some programs, such as DACA, could be eliminated by the new President very quickly because they were formed by executive action. Other programs, such as the Provisional Waiver can only be changed by going through an official rule-making process, which takes time. U visas and family based petitions were created by Congress, therefore a change to these laws would also take time. The President cannot unilaterally change our laws. You have due process rights and it will take time for Congress to create new, more restrictive laws. The new President will name people to top positions in our government and those people can make policy changes that can affect you, but this too will take time. We must wait to see what changes are made and only then can I explain to you how those changes might affect you.
If your case hasn’t yet been filed, rest assured that I am already working as quickly as possible to get it filed before the end of the year. I cannot promise that your case will not somehow be affected by a change in policy or the law. It is simply unknown at this time. The best thing to do now however is to carry on and try to finish as quickly as possible. You can help me in that regard by providing me with the information I requested as quickly as possible. The sooner we finish your case, the better.
I know you have many questions about what might happen and I am unable to speculate, but my promise to you is that I will continue to do the best possible job on your case. Do not despair. We will keep moving forward. I will keep you posted on the progress of your case as I always have and I will keep you updated on changes that occur as they occur.
If after reading this you still have questions, please call and I will respond as soon as I can. I ask for your patience, although you may want just a few minutes of my time, it takes time to talk to everyone, so it might take longer than usual for me to respond.
Magnolia Zarraga, Your Immigration Attorney
If you became a citizen on or after October 24, 2016. You have the right to register to vote and vote up to and including on Election Day!
This is an exception under CA law for new citizens. Go in person to your county registrar with proof of CA residence and your certificate of citizenship and point to CA Elections code sections 331 & 3500.
Click here for more information
Click here for the voting law compliance handbook
Si usted recibio Ciudadania Americana despues del 24 de octubre de 2016 tiene derecho a registrarse y votar aun hasta el dia de las elecciones!
Existe una excepcion bajo la ley de CA para ciudadanos nuevos. Valla a su oficina local con prueba de residencia en CA y comprobante de Ciudadania America --La ley se encuentra en el Codigo de CA de elecciones secciones 331 & 3500.
My office is now recommending all DACA grantees apply to renew their deferred action at least 6 months in advance instead of what USCIS recommends. Because immigration has delayed significantly in processing renewal applications.
Several people have had their DACA status expire while waiting for USCIS to decide their cases, despite timely filing for renewal. This delay has caused them to accrue unlawful presence and lose work authorization, some have lost their jobs.
USCIS is aware of the problem, they blame technical difficulties and they are now allowing DACA grantees to file sooner than the previously allowed & recommended 150-120 days. However frustrations still abound, the delays persist.
To make sure that your DACA status is renewed timely and that you do not experience any gaps in your DACA status or work authorization you should renew at least 6 months prior to your expiration date.
If your case is delayed there are several steps you can take to try to get it unstuck. For our clients, we have done the following: we've filed several service requests online and with customer service, we have reached out to our local congressman's office, and our Senator's office, we've elevated cases to USCIS headquarters and sent liaison assistance requests through the American Immigration Attorney's Association.
As of today, our office has proudly represented clients from different countries around the world including the following:
In California, the deadline to register to vote is 15 days before Election Day.
To vote in the November Presidential election your registration must be
postmarked or submitted electronically no later than 10/24/2016.
If you haven't yet registered to vote and you are eligible. Get it done.
Click here for more info.
Tomorrow DHS will announce that the expansion of the provisional waivers to parents and spouses of legal permanent residents will take effect on August 29th 2016.
There are some important things to note (from the 119 page pre-announcement-I just finished reading):
1. With the new expansion it means that not only spouses and parents of US citizens but also spouses and parents of LPR's can apply for the provisional waiver.
2. DHS has eliminated the time limitation, therefore those that were previously ineligible because the Dept. of State had acted to schedule the interview prior to Jan 2013 are now eligible to apply, so long as the case has not been terminated. If the case has been terminated you may apply to have it reopened. Once reopened you will be eligible to apply for the provisional waiver.
3. DHS has eliminated the "reason to believe standard". This means that it will be even more important for immigrants to consult with a good immigration attorney because they can presumably obtain a provisional waiver, depart for their immigrant visa interview and then be denied if another ground of inadmissibility applies to them. The provisional waiver only applies to inadmissibility for unlawful presence and if you inadmissible for another reason you will be denied at your interview and have to apply for a waiver from outside the country, if one is available for that particular ground of inadmissibility. This creates more risk for those that don't have good representation from the outset.
4. Having a child who is a US Citizen or LPR is still NOT enough to qualify for a provisional waiver even with this expansion.
This morning I woke up at 4am & left my home at 5am because I had a client's naturalization interview early in the morning out of town. As I drove out of my neighborhood I saw my neighbors leaving for work, others waiting for their rides, all were headed to work in our local fields. So this morning I am reminded that I am lucky that my job allows me to interact, help and represent my community. I am grateful to work hard everyday for good hard working people.
Organizacion CISPES & Brown Berets tendra un evento gratis este Domingo
17 de Abril 2016
2pm - 5pm Springfield Grange 10 Werner Rd. Watsonville, CA 95076
Podran hacer preguntas a Abogados de Inmigracion Gratis
Este Domingo Habra un Foro de inmigracion
y opportunidad de consultar gratis con abogados de inmigracion
Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion 100 Salinas St. Pajaro, CA 95076
Our office has proudly represented clients from different countries around the world including the following:
The memo below was released today. It confirms that ICE is targeting adults and children who recently entered the US. The memo states that the raids will continue nationwide as deemed appropriate and that the following individuals are being targeted:
1. Those to were apprehended after 5/1/2014 along the southern border,
2. They have been issued a final order of removal,
3. And have exhausted all legal remedies.
What you should do to prepare BEFORE an ICE raid:
1. Consult with an immigration attorney to assess your options.
2. Do not carry false documents with you at any time.
3. Make an emergency plan. If you are detained who will take care of your children? Consult with a family law attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork so the person of your choice can take care of your children and take them to the doctor and enroll them in school.
4. Always carry the phone number of a relative who will be your contact person.
5. Inform your friends, family & neighbors to do all of the above.
If ICE is at your door:
1. Do not open the door.
2. Call your attorney or foreign consulate.
3.Call your family, friends and neighbors and warn them that ICE is at your home & put your emergency plan into action.
If you are detained by Immigration you should:
1. Advise the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer and will remain silent
2. Do not sign any documents
3. Call your family & tell them where you are and provide them with your A #.
4. Have your family consult with an immigration attorney to assess your options.
Today over 150 organizations sent the letter below to President Obama expressing opposition to DHS' reported plans to conduct nationwide raids to deport Central American refugees who have been given a final order of deportation. The letter urges the President to stop the planned raids. The vast majority of the final deportation orders were given in absentia. (Where a person fails to show up they automatically get ordered deported)
About 90% of the refugees have valid claims evidenced by the fact that they have been released from detention and allowed to present their case to an immigration judge. The problem stems from DHS failing to give them proper notice of their hearings, the language barriers have gone largely unaddressed, a majority of the refugee population speaks a language other than Spanish. This is not a population who merely decided not to show up to court, these are people who wanted to go to court, this was their chance to win their case and not be returned to the violence and persecution they are fleeing, but they were not notified. Their absence was a direct result of DHS denying them access to lawyers who could have explained their rights and obligations.
USCIS announced today that all 10k u visas for fiscal year 2016 have been issued. This is the 7th year in a row that demand exceeds visas since 2009. Because of a statutory cap USCIS can only issue 10k U visas every year. USCIS will begin issuing U visas again in fiscal year 2017 which begins 10/2016.
Each year 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and cooperate with authorities to investigate or prosecute those crimes.
It is important to note that although USCIS has reached the statutory cap of 10,000 U visas, it continues to review pending petitions for eligibility and accept new petitions.
Those who are eligible but cannot be granted the U visa solely because of the cap will be placed on a waiting list and can apply for employment authorization until more visas become available.
Congress created the U visa program to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminal cases while offering protection to undocumented victims who may otherwise be afraid to report crimes due to their undocumented status.
More than 126,000 individuals and their family members have received U visas since the program began in 2008.
As 2015 comes to an end, it is fitting to post about the good, the bad and the ugly that 2015 brought in Immigration:
There were so many horrible lows during my 8 days in Dilley, but these are the ones that stand out for obvious reasons:
1. Sometimes we were not allowed to see the women with out reason or explanation. We were subjected to ridiculous rules which changed daily. We had to fight every day to be able to bring basic materials to a trailer where coloring books were considered contraband. We argued with guards because they were keeping the women's legal documents & not giving them copies. The release process was a mess. Sometimes, we were provided a list of who would be released and attorneys on the ground take them to a safety house where they are and taught how to travel by bus and plane & travel arrangements are made. While on the ground they stopped telling us when and who was going to be released, so we had to start to prepare everyone for eventual release teaching them about the importance of their court hearings, resources, how to take a bus, take a flight etc. New detainees started to be segregated from the general population supposedly bc of a chicken pox outbreak. But the women said they were told it was because they didn't want the ones who had already been educated to spread their knowledge to the new arrivals. Instead of focusing all of our attention on legal issues, we were forced out of necessity to also be social workers, medical advocates, and civil rights advocates because the system was purposely designed to needlessly frustrate and complicate everything for these women and children. It is no mistake that the biggest detention center was put in Dilley Texas, the government placed these families in the middle of no where to limit their access to attorneys. Thankfully, Attorneys showed up, and will keep showing up week after week to represent everyone who is detained.
2. ALL of the kids we saw were sick...every single one. Medical issues were not being addressed. Many of the women and their children are extremely sick, they wait hours to see a doctor and the doctor's prescription: drink water. The water in Dilley is contaminated and women must purchase bottled water.
3. Despite passing their credible fear interviews, many remain detained sometimes for months
4. Although the official title of the center is South Texas Family Residential Center, there are no complete families there, there are only women and children (babies to teenagers), all boys over 18 yrs old and men are sent to other detention centers and they had no large organized efforts of attorneys for them. We heard many stories of entire families asking for asylum and being separated in detention, part of the family was granted asylum and the rest of the same family with the same claim was denied, the only difference was their gender and that because of that they lacked an attorney.
1.we must have closed about 100 cases which means women and children were actually released from detention.
2. I witnessed a woman who spoke an indigenous language kanjobal speak to an interpreter over the phone, this was the first time in 2 months that she had been able to communicate with anyone.
3. We worked hard to connect women with their relatives via phone.
4. We gave detailed instructions to many families so they could pay bonds, purchase bus tickets & plane tickets.
5. We prepared the women for their credible & reasonable fear interviews.
6. We prepared bond redetermination motions.
7. There is an awesome team of dedicated people working on the ground and remotely who are making a difference everyday for many women & children.
8. We advocated for a woman & child who missed their dinner bc we were preparing her for an upcoming hearing so despite initially refusing them a late dinner guards eventually agreed to our request and brought her and her son a boxed dinner...she & her 12 yr old would have otherwise gone without dinner that night.
9. Though most guards are trying to make our job harder on the ground, there are some good hearted guards who are trying to make our job easier.
10. We are on the front line preparing affidavits to counter each lie DHS told in their response to the lawsuit to end family detention in regards to the conditions in the detention center.
I have confirmed my flight, rental car and hotel. There are only about three weeks left before I leave to Texas. I am excited to go and help make a difference. Please help me reach my goal by contributing or sharing in your social networks. A huge heartfelt thank you to all who have already graciously contributed.
What: Free AB60 & DACA workshop and legal assistance
Where: Hartnell College in Salinas
When: Saturday December 6, 2014
Free Immigration Assistance
Naturalization and DACA
Saturday November 15, 2014
Greenfield Civic Center
599 El Camino Real
Space is limited! Call 1-415-834-0100 ext 318 to make your appointment
Free DACA and Naturalization Assistance
Welcome to Magnolia's Blog
In my blog I talk about personal experiences and issues that are important to me as a single working mother, a Hispanic woman, an immigration attorney and a small business owner.