December Newsletter 2021
As 2021 comes to a close, we have been reflecting on a year that was filled with the immense challenges brought by COVID-19 as well as our victories in building capacity by working collectively with local service providers. Again, we wish to express our deepest gratitude for the support from our former and current fiscal sponsors, funders, county and community leaders, and most importantly, our committed SFC team and our incredible SFC partners. 

However, in light of the societal changes of this pandemic and the uncertainty of immigration reform from our government, we acknowledge that our work has only truly begun. We are hopeful for this coming year and we hope you will continue to support our work any way that you can.  If you would like to commit to support our work  as we work with our partners to advocate, and provide the direct services to our immigrant neighbors, please consider donating here.
Board Member Spotlight

Stephanie Ahmad, Board Member
Stephanie Ahmad was elected to the Windsor School Board in November 2018 and is currently the President of the board. Her philosophy is open and straightforward communication, anticipating problems and addressing them at early stages, and being accessible and building relationships. 
A licensed attorney, Stephanie works in private practice for Greenberg Traurig LLP, and regularly advises Fortune 100 companies on employee benefits matters.  
Stephanie grew up in Windsor and attended Windsor Schools from K-12th grade, back when she was Stephanie Diaz. She graduated from Windsor High School as co-valedictorian in 2002 and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and in 2006 and her law degree from Stanford Law School in 2011.  Her husband is a high school teacher and she has two middle school aged children.

Karen Fies, Board Member
Karen Fies retired in October 2020 as the director of the Sonoma County Human Services Department, overseeing a budget of $350 million and over 900 employees.  Karen worked for 35 years in the department, starting as an eligibility worker and social worker, followed by managing contracts, grants, employment and training programs, youth programs, and human resources, to name a few. 
She has a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and received her Masters of Public Administration from Sonoma State University. Karen has been active with Girl Scouts of Northern California for over 25 years and currently sits on the boards of the United Way of the Wine Country, the Mark West Citizens’ Advisory Council, and the Sonoma County Family Justice Center.
She lives in the Larkfield area with her husband Brian, a writer and cartoonist.  They are the proud parents of grown twin daughters.   
Take a Break with our Recipe of the Month:
Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread)
While children in the United States receive their presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, those living in Central México and the Southern states are still waiting for January 6th. Why? Because it is the day when the 3 wise men from the Orient will arrive and bring their presents to baby Jesus, or at least that’s how the story goes.

Not just any kind of bread, Rosca de Reyes are used as a holiday game where a little figure meant to represent the baby Jesus is baked inside. Each family member is supposed to slice off a piece, but whoever is lucky (or unlucky) to get the figurine will typically be made responsible for coordinate the holiday meal. 
Serves 16 people
Prep and Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: about 2 hrs and 15 minutes

For the Bread:
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry active yeast
  • 4 cups (565 grams or 20 oz) all-purpose flour plus 2 or 3 tbsp. more for dusting
  • ¾ cup of sugar 150 grams, if you want sweeter add ¼ cup extra.
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks mixed with 4 tablespoons of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon orange extract
  • 1 ½ stick unsalted butter softened (169 grams, or ¾ cup) Plus more for the mixing bowl and plastic wrap.
  • Freshly grated orange zest from one orange
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons margarine or shortening
  • ½ cup of confectioner sugar
  • Dry fruit like figs candied citron, quince paste stripes, orange peels or cherries.
  • 1 egg beaten for glazing the bread
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk or water
  • White sugar to sprinkle on top of the bread
  • 2 or 3 plastic baby dolls
Let's Get to Baking!
  1. Pour lukewarm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the flour, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 25 minutes.
  2. Moving on, mix flour, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, orange extract, orange zest, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix until crumbly (you can use a stand mixer or knead with your hands).
  3. Add yeast mixture to the bowl and mix. It will be very sticky but manageable, add flour if needed. Place on a lightly floured surface and start kneading until you have a smooth dough. Do not add too much flour to your working area, the texture should be very soft and somewhat wet but manageable. 
  4. Once your dough is smooth and soft, place in a buttered bowl, and cover with buttered plastic wrap. The texture and feel of the dough should be wet and elastic. Let dough stand in a warm place until doubled in volume or about 1 and ½ hours. Make sure your kitchen is warm to help your dough to rise. If the dough doesn’t double in volume after this time let it rest longer. The fermentation process develops flavor, so slower and longer is always best.
  5. While the dough is resting, mix the margarine with the confectioner sugar until it creamy. Then add in the flour and egg yolk until it becomes a smooth paste.
  6. After the first resting period, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times, then shape into a round cushion and making a hole in the middle shape into a large ring. Transfer to a greased rimmed baking sheet, and loosely cover with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or more until almost double in volume. 
  7. Don't forget your egg wash! Whisk the remaining egg with milk or water.
  8. Preheat oven at least 20 minutes before baking at 375 degrees, with rack in lower third.
  9. Brush the dough with the egg wash two times for a golden crust. Form strips with the confectioner sugar paste and decorate the dough. Place some of the dried fruit pressing them gently into the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes until bread is a nice golden brown color. Depending on your oven it will require more time.
  10. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. After the bread has cooled insert the plastic baby dolls from the bottom of the bread. 
Most Latin bakeries sell Rosca de Reyes during the month of December should you not have the time to bake. Either way, it's a great way to enjoy the holiday winter with a cup of hot chocolate with a dessert and a fun game.  
Senate Rejects Immigration Reform on Democrat Spending Bill
As reported by NPR KQED, the Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled aghas ruled against Democrats' pitch to include immigration reform provisions in their almost $2 trillion social spending bill. This decision was the third attempt, as MacDonough had also rejected the immigration reform in the Democrat's "Build Back Better" plan. 

The reform provision would have allowed work permits for immigrants who have been in the U.S. since before 2011 and make available unused family-based or employment-based visas, as well as reduce immigration backlogs, among other efforts.

Democrats argued that the work permits and other provisions would have a budgetary impact, a requirement under Senate rules for inclusion in the reconciliation process. While expressing disappointment in the ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and several other Democrats vowed to "pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship" in the bill by seeking alternative proposals. 
USCIS to Extend Flexibility in Response Time

Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will be extending the flexibilities to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to certain:
  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
This flexibility applies to the documents listed above if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020, and March 26, 2022. Read more here or visit for USCIS updates. 
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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 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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Contact the Collaborative
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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