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Community Testimony
The Office of Immigrant Relations would like to put a face to the immigrant community and personalize the struggle we are all too familiar with. Below is Ayde's story which she shared at our State of the Immigrants 2020 event.
Ayde's Testimony
My name is Ayde. I came to this country with my 3 children more than 30 years ago and although we have worked very hard, it has been very difficult for us. Despite all our efforts and struggles, we still live in a lot of uncertainty.

Immigration (ICE) is in our communities, they are deceiving us, they are dressing up as policemen to enter the community, they arrive in civilian clothes and hid their badges.

Today I write to denounce because they are not respecting our sanctuary city. Why disguise as a police officer if they are immigration agents?

As a mother, I have suffered because of the separation of my son for many years. ICE had already arrested him in the past, collaborating with the police, which we know cannot be done in sanctuary cities. He is again detained in Victorville and we have had to navigate how to help him. Victorville is very far from here and being able to visit is not easy. He will be released in November but at the moment, we don't know where he will go.

In Victorville, there are many people infected with the coronavirus. In fact, there were two with whom my son shared a cell and both were taken to the hospital seriously ill. My son tells me about people who have died of the coronavirus in recent months. Lots of people are infected right now. Due to the pandemic, they were forced to be inside their cells without being able to go out to the yard. According to ICE, it was so that they would not be infected, but even without leaving, there were many infections and deaths. They are taking away their freedom.

And just as there are many mothers and fathers concerned about their children and relatives in detention centers, we do not know how we are going to protect ourselves.

I denounce the detention centers. In all detention centers, there are deaths from the coronavirus. They do not give medical attention to people in detention! My partner was also detained and suffered a lot from appendicitis, and they did not want to give him medical attention. In Yuba, where he was, they don't have doctors, there are only doctors who visit once a week, which is not enough for all the people who are detained. They are taking away their human rights!

For this and many reasons, I am here demanding that ICE stop arresting and deporting, that they release all people in detention, and we are going to fight to obtain documentation for everyone!
Testimonio de Ayde
“Mi nombre es Ayde. Vine a este país con mis 3 hijos hace más de 30 años y se nos ha hecho muy difícil, aunque hemos trabajado duro. A pesar de todos los esfuerzos y luchas, aun vivimos en mucha incertidumbre.

La inmigración está en nuestras comunidades, nos están engañado, se están vistiendo de policías para entrar a la comunidad, llegan con ropa civil y con su placa oculta.

Hoy escribo para denunciar porque no están respetando nuestra ciudad santuario. ¿Por qué disfrazarse como policía si son agentes de inmigración?

He sufrido, yo como madre, por la separación de mi hijo por muchos años. En el pasado ya lo habían detenido, utilizando la colaboración de la policía y la migra, lo que sabemos que no se tiene que hacer en las ciudades santuario. Nuevamente esta detenido en Victorville y hemos tenido que navegar como ayudarlo. Victorville está lejísimos de aquí y poder visitarlo, no es fácil. En noviembre el tendrá salida, pero en estos momentos, no sabemos a dónde ira.

En Victorville hay muchísimas personas contagiadas con el coronavirus, incluso dos de las personas con las que el compartía celda fueron contagiadas y llevadas al hospital gravemente. Mi hijo me cuenta de personas que han fallecido del coronavirus en los últimos meses. Muchísimas personas están contagiadas en este momento. Por la pandemia, los forzaron a estar adentro de sus celdas sin poder salir a la yarda. Según la migra era para que no se contagiaran, pero aun sin salir, hubo muchos contagios y muertes. Les están quitando su libertad.

Y así como hay muchas madres y padres preocupados por sus hijos y familiares en centros de detenciones, no sabemos cómo nos vamos a defender.

Estoy denunciado a los centros de detención. En todos los centros de detención, hay muertos del coronavirus. ¡No dan atención médica a las personas en detención! Mi pareja también estaba detenido y sufrió mucho de apendicitis y no le querían dar atención médica. En Yuba, donde él estaba, no tienen doctores, solamente hay visita de doctores una vez por semana, lo cual no es suficiente para todas las personas que están detenidas. ¡Les están quitando sus derechos humanos!

Por esta y muchas razones, estoy aquí demandando a la migra que deje de arrestar y deportar, que den libertad a todas las personas en detención ¡y vamos a pelear para obtener papeles para todos!
Día de los Muertos and COVID-19
This year, Day of the Dead festivities will not only look different but may also feel more somber. As families celebrate and honor their loved ones who have passed, we must acknowledge the disparities COVID-19 has heightened. Latinx communities in Santa Clara County have been hit hard by the current Pandemic. As of October 28, 2020, Latinx comprise 57% of COVID-19 cases and 37% of COVID-19 deaths

As public health experts have stated, the Latinx community may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as a result of the same factors that have put minorities at risk across the country. Many have low-paying service jobs that require them to work through the pandemic, interacting with the public. A large number also lack access to health care, which contributes to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions that can worsen infections.

The Office of Immigrant Relations would like to take a moment and honor all those who lost their lives due to COVID-19. In particular, we pay our respects to all the essential workers who put their lives on the line for ours. OIR also expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have passed. 
- Team OIR
Staying Safe during Fall Festivities
For guidance in additional languages, select the preferred language below.
Cómo celebrar el día de los muertos de forma segura
Heightened Fear of ICE Raids

Update provided by Cities for Action
On September 29, 2020, the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration was planning to target and ramp up ICE arrests in ‘sanctuary’ cities, beginning in California.
The operation would later expand to additional cities including Denver and Philadelphia. The operation targeted arrests in “sanctuary” jurisdictions and lifted the temporary suspension of interior enforcement due to the COVID-19 pandemic that had been in effect since March 18th. ICE also updated their guidance on COVID-19 and FAQ deleting mentions of limitations on "who they will arrest" and not making arrests "at or near health care facilities except in extraordinary circumstances." 

On October 7th, ICE issued a press release announcing the conclusion to a week-long enforcement operation named, Operation Rise, which resulted in the apprehension of over 125 individuals in the state of California. On October 16th, the agency announced that it made 170 arrests in Denver, Seattle, New York, Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia. Despite, Operation Rise's conclusion, Cities for Action, encourages everyone to be prepared for the continuation of enforcement actions. Cities for Action expects the enforcement actions to continue in “sanctuary” jurisdictions given the fact that ICE has returned to pre-pandemic level enforcement and has expanded its use of expedited removals.

This update has heightened fear and stress in the immigrant community that continues to fight to survive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of increased enforcement. As we prepare to face additional challenges in this unending time of anti-immigrant rhetoric, we remind all immigrants and allies that everyone has rights regardless of status. You can download the Know Your Rights Booklet below: If you suspect ICE activity in your community, call the Rapid Response Network hotline at (408) 290-1144. The Rapid Response Network is a community defense project developed to protect immigrant families from deportation threats and to provide accompaniment support during and after a community member’s arrest or detention. Anyone can call the 24/7 hotline to report ICE activity in our county and receive help in real-time!

Interested in being trained as a responder:
Questions about the Rapid Response Network?

Please do your best to stay informed in these times of uncertainty. 
Update on USCIS Fees

On Sept. 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS, preliminarily enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from implementing or enforcing any part of the USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

This means the fee increases and adjustments, and changes to the fee waiver policy have not gone into effect. As a result, application fees and fee waiver policy will remain the same for as long as the court order is effective. Therefore, applicants can continue to submit applications with the current USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) fees. 

As we wait for further changes and updates, we urge anyone who may be eligible for naturalization to seek legal advice. Santa Clara County residents may also be eligible for free to low-cost legal services.

For a full list of immigration legal services providers click here

Presidential Election 2020
With only 4 days left before the 2020 Presidential Election, having a plan to vote on election day is critical to making sure your vote is counted.

Start making your voting plan.

Whether you still need to register to vote, request your mail-in ballot, or find your polling place, you can learn more about your options and deadlines here.

We don’t have much time left, but we must all do our part next week. Have you already voted? Reach out to family and friends who have not voted yet and help them make a plan. Every single vote counts.

*Information provided by NILC Immigrant Justice Fund
In preparation for the upcoming presidential election, the Office of Immigrant Relations collaborated with Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters to develop Q&A style videos to inform the community of their rights as voters. These videos are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese and can be found on our Facebook (linked below). Please share far and wide! 
One County One Future | (408) 678 - 1430 |
2460 North First Street, Suite 210, San Jose CA 95131

The Office of Immigrant Relations strives to improve the lives of Santa Clara County residents through the provision of services that help to successfully integrate local immigrants into community life. We achieve this through research, policy development, promoting awareness and education about various issues including resources that help immigrants achieve full civic engagement.

Copyright © 2019 Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations, All rights reserved.

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Office of Immigrant Relations · 2460 N 1st St. Suite 220 · San Jose, CA 95131 · USA