September 2021 Newsletter
Honoring Hispanic/ Latinx Heritage Month
While this holiday is nationally known as "Hispanic Heritage Month", we recognize that many individuals do not identify themselves as such. Therefore, we will be referring it as "Hispanic/ Latinx Heritage Month". This holiday begins on September 15 as it marks a day of independence for many Latin American countries--Mexico and Chile celebrates its independence on September 16 and 18 respectively. According to the U.S. Census Burearu, it's meant to honor and celebrate anyone who "trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean." 

There are countless Hispanic/ Latinx cultures to learn and explore so below are some ways you can celebrate with us: 
  • Participate in the arts. Take a dance class, which is not only a major part of Hispanic and Latin culture, but also comes in many different forms. Visit a historical museum that highlights Hispanic/ Latinx culture (virtually or in-person). This is also the perfect time to support Hispanic/ Latinx artists and authors!
  • Learn to cook a Hispanic/ Latinx dish. Not sure what to decide on? Give our Recipe of the Month a try (scroll down for more information). 
  • Support Hispanic/ Latinx businesses and nonprofits. Learn more about Hispanic/ Latinx-oriented businesses in your area and how they impact the community. Sonoma County houses numberous agencies and nonprofits dedicated to serving our immigrant families. 
Below is a statement from our Executive Director Margaret Flores McCabe:
"Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Month from September 15 to October 15. National Hispanic month is a celebration and an acknowledgment of the many ways Hispanics have enriched Sonoma County and this country. Hispanics exemplify a commitment to faith, family, community and determination. They have served communities across the nation in every capacity-front line workers during Covid, farmworkers, teachers, attorneys, small business owners and community leaders, to name a few. Even though they have contributed so much, they have had to endure the unjust impact of the pandemic and an unresolved broken immigration system. This is the month to honor and celebrate Hispanic/ Latinx culture, but this should also serve as a time for us to reflect on the changes that need to be made in order to create a more just and equitable society."
USCIS Memorandum Regarding Unlawful Status
On September 30th, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas released a memorandum to guide how law enforcement will exercise prosecutorial discrection when apprehending or deporting immigrants with unlawful status. The seven-page document details how majority of immigrants subject to deportation are contributing members of society and have been acknowledged for their critial role within our communities (with some leaders attempting to pass legislation to create a pathway to citizenship).

Their immigration status should not be the basis for their removal--Instead, law enforcement can maintain their commitment to enforcing immigration law by prioritizing individuals who poses a danger to public and national security. 
Read The Memorandum Here
Take a Break with our Recipe of the Month:
Ropa Vieja
In celebration of Hispanic/ Latinx Heritage Month, today's recipe will honor Cuban culture by bringing you Ropa Vieja. While this dish is known as one of Cuba's national dish, it appears to have originated from the Sephardic Jews of the Iberian peninsula as a slow-cooked stew. Eventually this dish spread to North Africa, the Canary Islands of Spain, and then to the Americas by immigrants.

The name of this dish translates to "old clothes" as it looks like a pile of old clothes--This originated from a story of a man who couldn't afford to feed his family and had to shred and cook his own clothes. But don't let the name mislead you! Ropa vieja is a flavorful dish that will leave you with a smile and a sneak peak into the beautiful Cuban culture. 
Serves 6-8 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours

Seasoning for Meat:
  • 2 lbs. beef flank or skirt flank steak, trimmed
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
For the Ropa Vieja:
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (or 8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 can (or 3 oz.) tomato paste 
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt (to taste)
Let's Get to Cooking!
  1. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Sear the meat on all sides, for approximately 4 minutes on each side. 
  2. In a large skillet or pot place the meat, tomato sauce, beef broth, vegetable oil, cloves, garlic, cumin, fresh cilantro, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook in a simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
  3. Remove meat from heat, but save that broth! Once the meat has cooled down, shred with a fork (or your hands) and set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, red and green bell pepper and salt and sautée until the onion is translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and salt, and continue to cook for about 2 additional minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste, olive oil and vinegar, 1 cup reserved broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Stir in the shredded beef, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve!
Pratice Advisory: Flight Travel to the United States
It was announced by the Biden Administration that by November 2021, travel restrictions to certain countries will be lifted in place of a new requirement where all foregin travelers must present a valid COVID-19 vaccination card. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a voluntary bar association of  attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law, released this easy-to-read practice advisory on what this new guideline entails and how it may affect your ability to travel by plane:

Practice Advisory: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Form I-693
AILA has also released the following practive advisory regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements for applicants filing Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccine Record. As this form is included in most family-based petitions such as Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing, please contact your immigration attorney for more information on how this may affect your case. 
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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.
(Currently accepting new clients)

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


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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.
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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.
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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. 

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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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