Fall Newsletter 2022
Giving Tuesday is here!
The Secure Families Collaborative is the backbone organization to a network of 8 partners who provide pro-bono legal services, wraparound social services, and mental health support. Our mission has been to work together with reputable service providers to support immigrant families in the community. Since inception in 2018, we have been able to assist over 1,700 individuals. 
Please consider a donation to the Secure Families Collaborative, so that we can continue to provide access to critical services for Sonoma County immigrants, as well as foster collaboration between service providers to build a stronger network.

Want to help support our mission? Click on the button below to donate!
Support Our Cause

The Collaborative Welcomes New Mental Health Partner
The Secure Families Collaborative is proud to announce a new partnership with Keystone Therapy and Training Services for mental health services. Keystone specializes in providing therapeutic support to people of all ages, identities, and dynamics. They also offer professional development to people who work in the human service and mental health fields. 

A word from our partner:
“Keystone Therapy & Training Services is excited and honored to be a valuable member of the Sonoma County Secure Families Collaborative. We look forward to providing customizable, compassionate, community-based wrap-around mental health and wellness services to our Spanish & English-speaking collaborative member clients.”

We are incredibly excited to establish this partnership and look forward to keeping you up to date on our collective efforts to build capacity for our immigrant families!
National News

Accessing Prenatal Care as a Pregnant Immigrant

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly one in four births is to an immigrant. However, there have been several studies that revealed recurring disparities between immigrants and non-immigrants regarding accessing prenatal care. Prenatal care is vital to the health of both parent and child, otherwise it can contribute to long-term health disadvantages.

A study conducted by the American Medical Association analyzed prenatal care among more than 6 million pregnant people in the U.S., including 400,000 immigrants. According to the study, immigrant parents were less likely to obtain timely prenatal care compared with U.S. citizens. In a specific data set of the study that focused on the Hispanic community, only 76% of pregnant Hispanic immigrants received timely prenatal care, compared to 81% among U.S.-born Hispanic parents.

Another recent study investigated the relationship between prenatal participation in a federal food-assistance program such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the birth weight of infants born to low-income immigrants. The results of the study revealed that the birth mother's region of birth could negatively affect the infant's weight, and that the term of the mother's residence in the U.S. could increase the risk of having an infant with low birth weight. 

Unfortunately, the immigrant population has largely been exluded from government assistance and public benefits (i.e. Medicaid), and the U.S. healthcare system is complex and can be difficult to navigate. Despite being one of the most important needs for an immigrant family, many are left unable to access healthcare and are at a higher risk for medical assistance. 

Furthermore, the Trump administration’s controversial overhaul of the public charge policy has had a lasting negative effect on immigrant communities across the U.S. Many people have chosen to avoid government programs that they otherwise would have benefited from out of fear that it could impact their immigration status.

Citizenship Medical Waivers Revised for Disabled Residents
On October 19, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out several changes to make the naturalization process more accessible for applicants with disabilities. After months of public feedback, the federal agency has shortened and simplified its disability waiver, which is used to exempt immigrants with physical, mental or learning disabilities from the English and civics test requirements. The revisions largely undo efforts by the former Trump administration to expand requirements for disabled applicants seeking to naturalize.

Among the steps to become voting citizens, immigrants are tested on how well they read, write and understand English and how much they grasp U.S. history and government. Since 1994, the federal government has allowed immigrants with disabilities to receive waivers for such requirements.

In 2020, the Trump administration nearly doubled the length of the disability waiver and added unnecessary complexity, Burdick said. USCIS itself has described some parts of the application as "redundant" and has said they "no longer have practical utility."

Questions such as how the applicant's disability affects their daily life, a description of the severity of the disability and how frequently they are treated by medical professionals have since been eliminated. Another policy change gives applicants who did not properly complete their waiver the option to simply resubmit their form with updated information, rather than fill out entirely new paperwork.

In the three quarters from October 2021 through June 2022, about 45,000 immigrants had applied for a disability waiver.
Ethiopia Designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
WASHINGTON – On October 21st, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Only individuals who are already residing in the United States as of October 20, 2022 will be eligible for TPS.

A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. This designation is based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ethiopia that prevent Ethiopian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ethiopia, from returning to Ethiopia safely. Due to the armed conflict, civilians are at risk of conflict-related violence, including attacks, killings, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence; ethnicity-based detentions; and human rights violations and abuses. Extraordinary and temporary conditions that further prevent nationals from returning in safety include a humanitarian crisis involving severe food insecurity, flooding, drought, large-scale displacement, and the impact of disease outbreaks. 

This will be Ethiopia’s first designation for TPS. Individuals eligible for TPS under this designation must have continuously resided in the United States since October 20, 2022. Individuals who attempt to travel to the United States after October 20, 2022 will not be eligible for TPS under this designation. Ethiopia’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice. The Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks.

DACA Preserved (Yet Limited) under Final Rule
WASHINGTON— On Monday, October 31, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s final rule (PDF) to preserve and fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) went into effect. The final rule’s implementation means that DACA is now based on a formal regulation, thereby preserving and fortifying the program while the program remains the subject of litigation in court. Previously, DACA was based on a policy memorandum that then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano issued on August 15, 2012. Since its inception in 2012, DACA has allowed over 800,000 young people to remain with their families in the only country many of them have ever known and continue to contribute to their communities in the United States.

Under the final rule, USCIS will continue to accept and process applications for deferred action, work authorization, and advance parole for current DACA recipients. Due to ongoing litigation, USCIS will continue to accept but cannot process initial DACA requests.

Under the final rule:
  • DACA is not a form of lawful status but DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present” for certain purposes.
  • Current DACA recipients will continue to be recognized as valid and are able to renew their status; however, initial applications will not be processed.
  • On Oct. 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a July 2021 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas declaring the 2012 DACA policy unlawful. The Fifth Circuit, however, preserved the partial stay issued by the district court in July 2021 and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings regarding the new DACA rule. On Oct. 14, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an order extending its injunction and partial stay of the DACA final rule.
Current grants of DACA and related Employment Authorization Documents are valid, and USCIS will accept and process renewal DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization under the final rule.

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:
Flan Borracho (Drunken Flan)

The holidays are marked with endless recipes to satisfy that sweet tooth, and this newsletter focuses on a very popular dessert: flan. This dessert can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. Originally, this dish was called "tiropatinam" and it was made with eggs, milk and pepper and it was seasoned in its savory version with fish, eel, spinach... although there was also a sweet version with honey. It was in the early Middle Ages, in Spain, when they started using only the ingredients from which the original recipe is made today; however, this dish is also very popular in Mexico and France. Flan may not be an easy recipe for beginners, but its sweet taste will have you come back for more!

Prep and Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Serves 6 people
  • 3/4 granulated sugar 
  • 1 can (12 oz) condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon dark rum
Let’s Get Baking!
  1. Place the oven rack in the groove below the center. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. To prepare the caramel, melt over medium-low heat while stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is golden brown. (Be extra careful to avoid burning the sugar, so keep stirring!)
  3. Pour the caramel (melted sugar), carefully, into a baking dish (either a 9" oval flan tray or square pan). Before it hardens, quickly cover the entire bottom of the mold with the caramel.
  4. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients until smooth. Pour the mixture on top of the caramel that covers the mold.
  5. Cook in a bain-marie by putting the flan in a larger mold of warm water. The water should reach halfway up the sides of the tray or pan
  6. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. After the first hour has passed, insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the flan. If the knife comes out clean and the flan looks firm when shaken, it's done. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.
  7. When it has come to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  8. Cover the flanera with a larger or flat plate. Run a knife around the edges of the mold to separate the flan and turn it over. Slowly shake it down and serve it.
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

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. 

Visit Their Website



The North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP) is a grassroots, multi-racial, and multi-issue organization comprised of over twenty-two faith, environmental, labor, student and community-based organizations in Sonoma County. NBOP seeks to build a regional power organization rooted in working class and minority communities in the North Bay: Uniting people to build leadership and grassroots power for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

For more information, please call (707) 843-7858.
Visit Their Website

The Queer Asylum Accompaniment (QAA) team has made a long-term commitment to fulfill the essential needs of LGBT asylum seekers and their sponsors. They assist the asylum seeker in acquiring housing, food, legal support and connecting them to local social services while they go through the legal asylum process.  The QAA team will honor asylum seekers and their quest for comfort and safety with warmth, acceptance and respect. 
Visit Their Website

Legal Aid of Sonoma County (LASC) assists over 3,000 adults and 2,000 children every year with crisis legal needs. These include domestic violence, child and elder abuse, low income housing issues, disaster recovery and legal obstacles to health and employment.

Funded by the City of Santa Rosa, LASC will be providing SIJS legal services for Sonoma County immigrant children.

For more information, please call (707) 542-1290.
Visit their Website

Keystone Therapy and Training Services specializes in providing therapeutic support to people of all ages, identities, and dynamics. They also offer professional development to people who work in the human service and mental health fields. 

They offer customizable, compassionate, community-based wrap-around mental health and wellness services to Sonoma County residents.

For more information, please call  (707) 327-0909.
Visit their Website
view this email in your browser

Contact the Collaborative
422 Larkfield Center #227
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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

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