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IMMIGRATION REFORMS UPDATES AND WARNING AGAINST IMMIGRATION SCAMS 2021

 Deportations, Temporary Protective Status, Public Charge And Path To Citizenship

Magazine, Immigration

After 4years of brutal legislation and executive orders in the Trump administration, most immigrants are heaving a sigh of relief following the victory of President Joe Biden. As a candidate Joe Biden promised a humane approach to immigration and to undo the intolerant and inhumane policies set forth by former President Donald Trump. In his 100day pledge the new  president who committed to alleviating some of these draconian policies has begun with making some of these changes. In a briefing for Ethnic & Community Media hosted by Ethnic Media Services, a panel of experts shared insight on what is in store for immigrants in this new administration distinguishing between what has been done and what to expect.

Maria E. Peñaloza, Program Manager, LA City Office of Immigrant Affairs,  took time to explain the process specifying what executive orders had taken place clarifying that other changes could only be made by Congress. In such cases nothing could be done by the president. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as DACA and Temporary Protected Status  or TPS programs are a pressing issue and President Biden has instructed Homeland Security to strengthen them. So as of now new applications are ongoing as well renewals.

Also noteworthy is the Biden Immigration Reform Bill  or U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 which will essentially provide a path to citizen to over 11million undocumented immigrants which is still in a to be seen stage and no legislation has been passed yet and should not be taken as a law just yet.

Adriana L. Garcia, Associate Director, LA City Office of Immigrant Affairs, cautioned against scams that always come with a new administration. Emphasizing vigilance about “notario fraud” by individuals posing as immigration attorneys, and experts. Do not get legal advice from anyone posing as such and think you are saving money. These are criminals and will do you no good. Do not get exploited into paying for forms which are free on the USCIS website. Only get advice from a licensed immigration attorney she said.

“From the womb to the tomb,” Rigo Reyes, Executive Director, LA County Office of Immigrant Affairs•Daniel Sharp, Chief, LA County Office of Immigrant Affairs spoke about services provided by the county regardless of the parents immigration status. Do not hesitate to take advantage of these free services  such as health care, school enrollment and support, cash and non-cash assistance including CalFresh, or even legal representation in fear of any form of retribution. You can get more information here (800) 593-8222, or  https://oia.lacounty.gov/.

Daniel Sharp, Chief, LA County Office of Immigrant Affairs shared some welcome news about the “public charge rule” which the Trump administration used to dissuade immigrants from government assistance. This he said was in the works but would take time to completely undo. A rule he emphasized would only affect immigrants upon re-entry into the US or in the process of adjusting their status. Most immigrants would not be affected by this, he said.

Immigrants should also not be weary of taking advantage of the COVID pandemic resources being offered  such as vaccines, testing, Medi-cal etc as these are not affected by the “public charge rule”

Daniel Hernandez, Chicano Resource Center Librarian for the L.A. County Library brought welcome news about  the transition to digital support provided by the library of immigrant communities such as “Citizenship-in-a-Bag ” kits containing study materials and application forms and many other necessities required for going through the immigration process. Find out more about the services and resources offered at LACountyLibrary.org.

Michelle Soong, of the New Americans Initiative program, also talked about the services offered by the library and all that information can be found at https://www.lapl.org/newamericans.

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