FAQs & Explainers

On January 31, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a final fee rule that will go into effect April 1, 2024. This Community Alert delves into the provisions of the new rule including increased fees, expanded fee exemptions, and changes to fee waiver policy. This downloadable guide also offers some key takeaways and resources to find support for your immigration case.
Criminal Convictions can have serious consequences on peoples’ lives – especially non-citizens who wish to stay in the United States. Many immigration benefits have criminal bars, meaning that certain convictions will prevent you from getting a lawful immigration status, like permanent residence (green card). This Community Explainer offers some options for those who have had certain convictions related to domestic violence or human trafficking, with insights about how to define these crimes, some example scenarios, and explanations about the benefits of a legal tool called a “vacatur.”
If you are a DACA recipient living in California and facing financial challenges, you can get your renewal filing fees covered by connecting with and getting support from a participating direct services organization found in the directory below. Note that this support is only available until the end of 2023.
On May 11, 2023, the Biden administration issued a new regulation creating a bar to asylum for people arriving at the southern U.S. border with certain narrow exceptions. Although there is an ongoing court challenge, the bar, known as the “lawful pathways” rule, remains in effect. This Community Alert explores the exceptions to the bar with a focus on some of the exceptions that apply to children and youth traveling with their families.
In December 2022 USCIS announced that it was starting a pilot project to redesign the English/civics test for naturalization. If the pilot test is adopted, applicants will face a more difficult English/civics exam. This community explainer breaks down some of those challenges, and how advocates can push for a more inclusive process of naturalization.
In June 2023, the California Dignity Not Detention Coalition passed a budget initiative in California called HEAL (Healthy Economies Adapting to Last). HEAL dedicates 5 million dollars to incentivize California localities to divest from immigration detention by providing them funding to invest in new industries and jobs. HEAL presents a new tool in our advocacy toolbox to close detention centers once and for all. This community FAQ breaks down Dignity not Detention’s newest initiative.