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Immigration Community Update

March 19, 2020

Update – September 8, 2020 at 11:02am

Public Charge Update 

UPDATE: USCIS has just released new guidance making clear immigrants can safely seek testing or treatment for #COVID19, as well as other benefits that keep their families healthy during this time, without any negative consequences for their immigration cases:  

“To address the possibility that some aliens impacted by COVID-19 may be hesitant to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services, USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination… even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits, as defined in the rule (e.g. federally funded Medicaid).” 

You can find more information on public charge and COVID-19 in our community flyer.

Closures of Department of Homeland Security Offices 

Please note: The situation is very fluid at the moment and could change at any time. We will strive to inform the community as soon as we have updates from the government regarding immigration cases. This is general information, however if you have an immigration attorney that is not at Canal Alliance, it is important to check in with your attorney. 

Due to public safety concerns and the Shelter-in-Place order as related with COVID-19, most immigration offices will be postponing appointments: 

USCIS has extended its closure of in-person services. USCIS field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) are closed for in-person services until at least June 4, 2020. If you have a USCIS appointment anytime March 18th until June 4th it is cancelled. If you have a biometrics appointment it is currently cancelled. If you have an interview with the Asylum Office, it is currently cancelled. For naturalization interviews and naturalization ceremonies USCIS will be opening their offices as of June 15th, 2020 with 25% of their staff. You will receive information by mail regarding your new appointment. If you are a current Canal Alliance client, and have not received this notice by June 15th, please call us at 415.306.0437.

If you have changed your address or telephone number since your last contact with USCIS, please fill out form AR-11, which is available online here. This form can be completed online or printed out and mailed. If you need assistance with this change of address, please call our main line at 415.306.0437. 

If you have immigration court, whether a masters hearing or an individual merits hearing, scheduled anytime between March 18th through September 25th, it will be rescheduled. You should receive a new appointment notice by mail and should also regularly be checking EOIR automated phone hotline or online system for your rescheduled date. Please note these automated systems may not be updated for a while due to the pandemic situation, but once your date is rescheduled, the system should be updated. 

If you have changed your address or telephone number since your last immigration hearing, fill out form EOIR-33 and send it to the court at 100 Montgomery St. Suite 800. A copy of the EOIR-33 must also be mailed to DHS at 100 Montgomery St. Suite 200. We also recommend individuals keep a copy for their records. The form is available here. If you need assistance with this change of address, please call our mainline at 415.306.0437. 

As of March 18, 2020, all ICE or ISAP check-ins or appointment, will be rescheduled. ISAP home visits are also suspended until further notice and check-ins will be conducted by case-specialists by phone.  

ICE put out a memo that they will not carry out enforcement actions at or near health care facilities, like hospitals, accredited health clinics, emergency or urgent care facilities, except for extreme exceptions. Community partners: Family & Children’s Law Center requests new clients fill out this online form, after which they will be in touch by phone, or directly call their mainline at 415.492.9230. Catholic Charities of the East Bay and Social Justice Collaborative are both offering free consultations by phone.

Community partners: Family & Children’s Law Center requests new clients fill out this online form, after which they will be in touch by phone, or directly call their mainline at 415.492.9230. Catholic Charities of the East Bay and Social Justice Collaborative are both offering free consultations by phone.

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