March Newsletter 2022
Partner Spotlight: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa
The Secure Families Collaborative is proud to announce our partnership with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa Immigration Program. With over 40 years of experience, the Immigration Legal Services Department offers immigration legal services in Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Napa counties and currently offer FREE legal services for the following:
  • Family Based Petitions
  • Naturalization and Citizenship Classes (for preparation to pass the citizenship interview and available in both English and Spanish, for those who qualify).
  • DACA - CCDSR is the only non-profit organization that currently provides this service for free thanks to the Peter Haas Jr. Family Fund.
  • U-Visa/VAWA - CCDSR is one of the partners of the Family Justice Center of Sonoma County One-Stop.
  • T-Visa – CCDSR is one of the partners of the Verity’s work with survivors of Human Trafficking program.
CCDSR also provides low-cost services for green card renewals, Advance Parole, etc.
For more information regarding these services, please call (707) 578-6000 or visit their website below.
Learn More
We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We advocate for peace and hope for an immediate end to this senseless war
Board Member Spotlight

Gymmel Trembly, Board Member
Gymmel Monserrat Trembly is an associate at Hanson Bridgett LLP where she helps private and public employers find solutions to employment-related matters. Apart from Gymmel's legal practice, she is committed to social justice and community work. As a formerly undocumented person, Gymmel intimately understands some of the challenges faced by immigrant families in Sonoma County.
Gymmel received her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. Gymmel and her family currently live in Cotati.

Ukraine and Afghanistan Designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 
On March 3rd, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent Ukrainian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine, from returning to Ukraine safely. These conditions result from the full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, which marks the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II, and has caused a humanitarian crisis with significant numbers of individuals fleeing and damage to civilian infrastructure that has left nearly a million individuals without electricity or water or access to food, basic supplies, shelter, and emergency medical services.

Individuals seeking to apply for TPS must have resided continuously in the United States as of March 1st. 

Later on March 16th, Afghanistan was also designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months on the basis of ongoing conflict by the Taliban seeking to control the country and attacks carried out against civilians by the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K).Individuals residing continuously in the United States as of March 15, 2022, will be eligible for TPS.

Through Operation Allies Welcome, most Afghan nationals who arrived as part of the evacuation effort were paroled into the United States on a case-by-case basis, for humanitarian reasons, for a period of two years and received work authorization. These individuals may also be eligible for TPS. 
For more details about these designations, visit the USCIS website.


Deferred Action to be Offered for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ)
UCIS announced on March 7th that its Policy Manual has been updated to consider deferred action and related employment authorization for noncitizens who have an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification but who cannot apply for lawful permanent residency to become a lawful permanent because a visa number is not available. This update will go into effect on May 6, 2022 and any SIJ applicants who have since moved are encouraged to update their address as soon as possible. 

USCIS will consider deferred action on a case-by-case basis and will grant it if the SIJ warrants a favorable exercise of discretion. Deferred action will be automatically granted for eligible SIJ individuals who cannot apply solely due to visa unavailability--A separate request will not be required nor accepted. Once an individual has been granted deferred action, it will be for a period of four years and will allow for them to apply for employment authorization. 

Deferred action is an act of prosecutorial discretion that defers proceedings to remove a noncitizen from the United States for a certain period, but is not considered lawful status. 

The SIJ classification is available to noncitizen children subject to state juvenile court proceedings related to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law. SIJ classification does not confer lawful status and does not result in eligibility to apply for employment authorization. Deferred action and related employment authorization will help to protect noncitizens with SIJ classification who cannot apply for adjustment of status solely because they are waiting for a visa number to become available. This process furthers congressional intent to provide humanitarian protection for abused, neglected, or abandoned noncitizen children for whom a juvenile court has determined that it is in their best interest to remain in the United States.

Individuals seeking legal assistance are encouraged to seek a reputable immigration attorney for a consultation.
Not sure where to go?
Call our SFC line (707) 856-4988 for a referral to a legal service provider.
Take a Break with our Recipe of the Month:

Mangu is a mash of boiled green plantains and onions and is considered the national breakfast dish of the Dominican Republic. This dish can also be considered the precursor to Fu-fu, a dish brought over by African slaves into the Caribbean and parts of Latin America. Before cassava was introduced plantains, green bananas, and yams where boiled and mashed with milk, butter and the water it was boiled in.

When served with Dominican-style salami, fried cheese and eggs, it is called the slang name "Tres Golpes" or "Three Hits".

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

  • 4 plantain (green, unripe)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup water at room temperature
  • To make onion garnish
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red onion large
  • 1 tablespoon fruit vinegar
  • salt
Let’s Get Cooking!
  • Peel the plantains  and cut lengthwise, then divide each half into two. Remove the center where the seeds are located for a smoother texture.
  • Add salt to a pot of near-boiling water (enough to completely submerge the plantains), then add and boil the plantains until they are very tender.
  • Remove the plantains from the water and mash them right away with a fork until they are very smooth and there are few to no lumps. Mix in olive oil, and water at room temperature and keep mashing and mixing until it turns into a smooth puree.
  • For the onion garnish, heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook and stir until they become translucent. Pour in vinegar and season with salt to taste.
  • Garnish with the onion mixture

This dish is best served with sunny-side-up eggs or Dominican scrambled eggs, fried cheese, and fried slices of salami.
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Updates from Our Partners

The Clinic remains open for “remote” client consultation. Attorney Jacqueline Brown Scott maintains frequent communication with all clients and continues to update them on COVID-19 as it pertains to their case and its ramifications such as court date postponement. USF remains available for over-the-phone consultations.

For more information, please call (415) 422-3330.


Visit Their Website

Corazon Healdsburg focuses on building a compassionate and just community by empowering and dignifying individuals and families, advocating against injustices, and uniting people to celebrate diversity.

Through the Collaborative's partnership, they will provide removal defense representation to Sonoma County residents. 

For more information, please call 707-395-0938.
Visit Their Website

The Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) helps immigrants, refugees, and their families join and contribute to the community. IIBA provides high-quality immigration legal services, education, and civic engagement opportunities.

They will be able to provide affirmative legal services (such as family petitions and DACA) to residents in Sonoma County.

For more information, please call 707-266-1568.
Visit Their Website


Catholic Charities provides over 3,000 legal services to immigrants across Northern California each year. With 10 Department of Justice-accredited counselors on staff, clients know the services they receive will help them accomplish their goals safely and legally. Services include: Family-Based Petitions, DACA, Citizenship/Naturalization, Green Card renewals, VAWA (including U Visa and T Visa), and more.

For more information, please call (707) 528-8712. 

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422 Larkfield Center #227
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Phone: 707-856-4988
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Secure Families Collaborative · 1260 N Dutton Ave · Suite 230 · Santa Rosa, CA - California 95401 · USA

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