August 2021 Newsletter
We are at a loss as we witness the events unfolding in Afghanistan. 

Whatever your politics, we feel this should be a moment of unity as we all step up to the responsibility and moral obligation to offer refuge to those who seek it now - not only for those who supported the US-led mission and are at extreme risk now, but especially for the women, girls, and other minorities who suffered under the first Taliban regime and likely face a similar fate now.

The US is on track to accept fewer than 10,000 refugees this fiscal year (ending in October), with only 500 Afghans among them. To put this in an even greater context, over 2 million Afghans have registered as refugees since the US invasion 20 years ago.

As the partners of the Secure Families Collaborative get in position to support the potential processing, acceptance, and resettlement of some of these refugees in Sonoma County and other parts of the country, we’re calling on you to take action in several ways:
1. Sign this petition calling on the administration to have an open door refugee policy, increase capacity for making referrals for vulnerable Afghans to the Priority-2 (P2) Visa Program, and expedite processing of SIV and P2 applications.

2. Contact your representatives! We must use our voices to call on our government officials to take a stand.
Not sure who your representative? Click on this link to find out!

3. Donate! Organizations such as the Women for Afghan Women and CAIR-SF Bay Area have compiled resources on how to support the refugees.

Thank you for taking action. We will strive to keep you up to date on how we and Sonoma County are showing up to meet this challenge in the days and weeks ahead. 
Biden Administration Required to Revive
Trump-Era Border Policy
Last Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied President Joe Biden's to rescind the Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as "remain in Mexico" policy) implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump. This policy came into existence after Trump's administration cited a "security and humanitarian crisis" along the U.S.-Mexican border in refusing to allow migrants seeking asylum.

The court's decision comes from its 2020 ruling that prevented Trump from ending the DACA program, which was introduced by former President Barack Obama. The 5th Circuit's decision said the Biden administration must implement the MPP program in "good faith," which leaves the government some discretion in how to move forward.

Biden's administration turned to the Supreme Court after Kacsmaryk ruled that the Trump policy would have to be reinstated and the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 denied the government's request for a delay.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's order, Omar Jadwat, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the Trump policy during the previous administration, said the Biden administration must "take all steps available to fully end this illegal program, including by re-terminating it with a fuller explanation."

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement it regretted the Supreme Court's decision and would continue to "vigorously challenge" the district court ruling. As the appeals process continues, it said, the agency will comply with the order "in good faith" and has begun discussions with Mexico.

Biden's administration has left in place a separate Trump-era order that lets U.S. border authorities, because of the COVID-19 public health crisis, rapidly expel migrants caught at the border without giving them a chance to seek asylum in the United States.
Take a Break with our Recipe of the Month:
Bionicos is a popular Mexican dessert that is typically prepared for events such as holidays, birthdays, etc. Originating from the city of Guadalajara in Jalisco, it's a fruit salad made of chopped fruit smothered in crema and topped with granola, shredded coconut and honey. 

The crema (Spanish for cream) is made with condensed milk and either sour cream or yogurt, although some have preferred to use cottage cheese instead. While this recipe will use specific fruits, you can choose your favorites!
Serves 2-3 people
Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup papaya
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Plain Granola
  • (Optional) Honey
Let's Get to Mixing!
  1. Dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, condensed milk and vanilla. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the fruit bowl until you have equal parts fruit and cream. Mix well.
  4. Sprinkle the granola, pecans, coconut and honey per your own preference. 
For our readers with a sweet tooth who may not want to indulge in heavy desserts such as cakes and pies, this recipe with certainly satisfy that craving while keeping you cool during the summer heat!
Settlement Reached on USCIS Blank Space Policy
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached a settlement agreement in the case of Vangala et al. v. USCIS et al., No. 4:20-cv-08143(N.D. Cal.). The agreement allows certain individuals to receive updated receipt dates for resubmitted immigration benefit applications or petitions originally rejected under the former “No Blank Space” rejection policy. Under this former policy, USCIS rejected filings with any blank fields or spaces.

On July 20, 2021, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division, granted final approval of the settlement agreement. This agreement is specific to the “No Blank Space” rejection policy that was applied to three forms:
  • Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal;
  • Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; and
  • Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient 
Individuals whose forms were rejected under the former policy may resubmit their request on or before July 20, 2022, to obtain an updated receipt reflecting the date their rejected request was originally filed.

Individuals who had resubmitted these forms before the effective date of this settlement agreement (July 20, 2021) may also submit documentation on or before July 20, 2022, to obtain an updated receipt date.

USCIS encourages affected individuals to review the settlement agreement for specific information about resubmitting their application or petition or requesting an original receipt date.
Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) is currently offering virtual Naturalization workshops, which are now available to Sonoma County residents. Refer to the flyer below for more information.
Want to receive weekly updates of our work?
Click on the icons below to follow us on social media!

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' Resource Navigator Brayan Araiza remains available to clients for all services including trauma-informed care and other mental health and social services. Catholic Charities is currently conducting phone and video consultations for client services.

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

Visit Their Website

Humanidad Therapy and Education Services continues to provide supervision and therapy training to associates. HTES is also continuing to offer "convivencias" or group therapy sessions, as well as individual therapy sessions via phone and video conference as per client requests.

For more information, please call (707) 525-1515.
Visit Their Website
view this email in your browser

Contact the Collaborative
1260 N Dutton Avenue, Suite 230
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Phone: 707-856-4988
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2020 - 2021 The Secure Families Collaborative of Sonoma County

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Secure Families Collaborative · 1260 N Dutton Ave · Suite 230 · Santa Rosa, CA - California 95401 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp