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Recent changes in immigration policy have important implications for families and employers in our community. Below are critical updates on changes and timelines, as well as available local resources. Regardless of one’s immigration status, all individuals have rights.

“With so many recent policy changes, the Napa Citizenship Legal Services (CLS) Collaborative wants to ensure that all Napa County residents and businesses are updated on the latest information and know how to access reputable local resources,” said Ellen Dumesnil, Executive Director of International Institute of the Bay Area and the lead agency for CLS.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The DACA program is an executive order that was put into place by the Obama Administration to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States as children. It provides eligible youth with a work permit and ensures that they are not at risk of deportation.

The Trump Administration has begun to phase out DACA. No new applications can be submitted. Renewal applications are still being accepted while a lawsuit decides whether the termination of DACA is lawful. No initial (first-time) applications will be accepted.

While there is no defined timeline surrounding DACA renewals, recipients are encouraged to act quickly. International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) and UpValley Family Centers are providing free consultations and free application assistance for those who qualify to renew their DACA work permit. It is highly recommended that you have an immigration attorney or Department of Justice accredited representative assist with your DACA renewal.

Temporary Protection Status (TPS)

The Trump Administration has announced that it will end TPS for five countries: Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Sudan and Haiti. TPS provides a temporary form of protection to individuals who are residing in the U.S. and who are citizens of certain designated countries that have suffered severe natural disasters or ongoing armed-conflicts. TPS provides successful applicants work authorization and the protection against deportation. The Department of Homeland Security determines which countries are designated for TPS.

TPS Re-Registration Deadlines:

● TPS Honduras: extended through July 5, 2018.

● TPS Nicaragua: will end Jan. 5, 2019.

● TPS El Salvador: will end Sept. 9, 2019. Re-register before March 19, 2018.

● TPS Sudan: will end Nov. 2, 2019.

● TPS Haiti: will end on July 22, 2019. Re-register before March 19, 2018.

It is crucial that those who have TPS re-register before these deadlines. It is highly encouraged that TPS holders seek comprehensive legal consultations at IIBA to see if they qualify for a more permanent immigration remedy. Any person who has TPS can get a free consult at IIBA.

CA Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450)

California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides California workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job. This law applies to all California employers and was effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) provides information about the law as well as resources and recommendations, which employers and employees should review. Visit legalaidatwork.org or call their hotline at (800) 864-1664.

Immigration Law & Enforcement

It is important that individuals and businesses know their rights under the U.S. Constitution and how to protect themselves. If you or someone you know is detained by ICE, you have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge and review, in most cases, by a federal court; representation by a lawyer; reasonable notice of charges and of a hearing's time and place; a reasonable opportunity to examine the evidence and the government's witnesses; competent interpretation for non-English-speaking immigrants, and clear and convincing proof that the government's grounds for deportation are valid.

North Bay Rapid Response Network deploys legal observers during ICE Raids to document all relevant details as a form of protection for those being targeted and will connect individuals to legal counsel. NBRR is also seeking volunteers to become legal observers in our community. Their hotline is (707) 800-4544.

Community Resources

The Napa Citizenship Legal Services Collaborative (CLS), founded by the Napa Valley Community Foundation, provides outreach, education and legal services for immigrants in Napa County seeking a pathway to citizenship. The organizational partners are: International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), On The Move: McPherson Family Resource Center, Puertas Abiertas, and UpValley Family Centers.

In addition to helping immigrants apply to become U.S. citizens, CLS hosts Know Your Rights presentations in all areas of Napa County, and provides comprehensive low or no cost legal services and access to resources for application filing fees to reduce barriers.

For More Information:

International Institute of the Bay Area, 1785 Third St., Napa, CA, (707) 266-1568

On The Move: McPherson Family Resource Center, 2670 Yajome St., Napa, CA, (707) 738-3345

Puertas Abiertas, 952 Napa St., Napa, CA, (707) 224-1786

UpValley Family Centers, 1440 Spring St., St. Helena and 1500 Cedar St., Calistoga, (707) 965-5010

North Bay Rapid Response Network - Sonoma and Napa Counties, North Bay Rapid Response Hotline: (707) 800-4544. To volunteer, visit napavalleydreamteam.org/nvrr for Napa County or northbayop.org/rapidresponse for Sonoma County.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor