7/16/21 DACA Ruling update: Current DACA cases remain valid, renewals will continue to be processed, but new applications are on hold. See full policy update below. The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) continues to offer FREE immigration legal services to Merritt students. Schedule an appointment with EBCLC.
In partnership with Merritt College, East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is offering FREE immigration legal services to Merritt students. While campus is closed, EBCLC will be conducting phone/virtual appointments.
EBCLC Legal Service Appointments
Schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney or legal advocate to discuss your immigration status and options. In partnership with Merritt College, East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is offering FREE immigration services to Merritt College students.
Appointments are currently being held virtually or over the phone.
To learn more about EBCLC, visit the EBCLC website.
Additional Immigration Resources
CASH ASSISTANCE for DACA FEES:
1) The CA Immigration Legal Services Project is currently offering FREE grants to CA Community College Students to cover the $495 renewal DACA filing fee. Merritt College students must schedule their appointment through the EBCLC in order to apply for this grant.
2) The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the California Dream Network (CDN) hope to provide cash assistance to undocumented students through Dream Resource Centers at postsecondary institutions in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. The cash assistance can consist of $500 for food, rent, school cost, or $495 for DACA fees. Applicants should be college students from the Alameda or San Francisco counties with undocumented, DACA, or AB540 status.
Complete the CHIRLA cash assistance intake form today!
Due to recent threats of large-scale immigration raids and deportations, it is important to stay informed and know your rights. Everyone in the U.S. has certain rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of their immigration status. If you and your loved ones find yourselves affected by a raid, or are approached by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, can protect yourselves. Click the following links for more information:
Immigration laws are complex and subject to change. Please refer to the following agencies for specific questions and support regarding immigration and legal status:
- Immigration Law Help has a list of local low-cost immigration clinics and lawyers that you can search by zip code. Click here for a list of local clinics.
- Immigrants Rising has a confidential free legal intake service to see if you may be eligible for any immigration benefits.
- Immigrants Rising Guide for Undocumented Individuals Traveling in CA
Immigration Policy Updates
*DACA Update as of 7/16/21
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):
“A federal court in Texas today (7/16/21) ruled that the DACA program is unlawful. What does this decision mean for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals?
- Current DACA cases remain valid. People who currently have DACA keep their DACA protection and work permit, and are eligible to request and receive advance parole.
- DACA renewals continue. People who have DACA now or had DACA in the past are still eligible to renew their case. Pending renewal applications will be processed.
- First-time DACA applications on hold. No new DACA application will be approved at this time. The decision allows USCIS to receive initial applications but blocks the approval of any new DACA case- therefore anyone with pending, first-time DACA applications will not be granted at this time.”
You can find more information from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) on these DACA updates here.
For additional questions about how this ruling may impact you and your status, schedule a free appointment with East Bay Community Law Center above.
*Public Charge Update as of 3/18/21
From East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):
“On March 9, 2021, the Biden administration dropped its defense of the Trump public charge rule in a federal lawsuit, bringing an end to the Trump’s version of public charge. Immigrant families should seek the benefits and services they need, especially during the pandemic, without fear of negative consequences on their immigration case. Health services, rental assistance, food assistance, tax credits, and other critical services do not count for public charge.”
You can find more information from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) on the changes to Public Charge here.
*DACA Update as of 12/08/20
From East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):
On December 4th, 2020, a federal court ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must be fully reinstated. As a result, beginning December 7th, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will:
- Accept first-time DACA applications
- Accept DACA renewal requests
- Accept applications for advanced parole
- Extend one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years, and
- Extend one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years
Merritt students can schedule a free legal immigration consultation with EBCLC to see if you may be eligible for DACA here.
DACA Update as of 8/28/20
From Immigrants Rising:
“On August 24th, USCIS has released its latest guidelines regarding the new restrictions around DACA. The most glaring change is that USCIS will reject all applications submitted more than 150 days before the expiration of the current DACA status. This will make harder for USCIS to approve renewals before the work authorization expires. From the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration:
“On July 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memorandum detailing several significant changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This memorandum reduced renewals to one-year, expressly prohibited the adjudication of initial requests and advance parole requests.
*DACA Update as of 6/18/20
From the East Bay Community Law Center:
The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), in partnership with the A.S.P.I.R.A Center, celebrates the U.S. Supreme Court’s momentous ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program is unlawful. More details to follow.
*Public Charge Update as of 03/05/2020
Update from Immigrant Legal Resource Center
WHAT IS PUBLIC CHARGE?
Public charge is a test to determine if someone applying for permanent residence (a “green card”), or for a visa to enter the United States, seems likely to depend on public benefits in the future. If the U.S. government decides that the applicant is likely to become a public charge, the government can deny their green card or visa application.
WHO DOES PUBLIC CHARGE AFFECT?
Public charge affects people who are applying for permanent residence through a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative petition, or who are applying for a visa to enter the United States. Other immigration cases, like asylum, U visas, naturalization, and cancellation in court are not affected!
WHO IS NOT AFFECTED BY PUBLIC CHARGE?
Many immigrants do not have to worry about public charge because there is no public charge test for the immigration status for which they are applying. For example, these people are not subject to a public charge test:
- Refugees and asylees
- People with a U Visa, T Visa, VAWA, or SIJS
- DACA and TPS applicants
- The majority of permanent residents
- U.S. Citizens
Also remember that if a person is not currently applying for any immigration status, they are not affected by public charge. The public charge test only matters when a person submits an application for an immigration benefit (and even then, only certain applications—most commonly, an application for a green card through a U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member). Most immigrants do not need to worry about public charge. If you are ready to become a permanent resident, consult with an immigration expert.
SHOULD UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WORRY ABOUT PUBLIC CHARGE?
It depends. If a person is not eligible to apply for a green card through a family member, then public charge is not an issue. For many, the need for health care, food support, and housing will far outweigh a public charge concern. If a person has a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and thinks they might be eligible to apply for a green card through that family member, the person should talk to an immigration expert.
WHEN DID THE NEW PUBLIC CHARGE RULES TAKE EFFECT?
The new DHS rule took effect for applications filed in the United States on February 24, 2020. This rule does not apply to applications to get a green card in the United States that were filed before February 24. The new rule does not consider any public benefits used before February 24, 2020.