United African Organization

UAO Announces New Executive Director

September 11, 2018NancyBlog, Editorial Nook

The Board of Directors of United African Organization (UAO) writes to you to announce a leadership transition in United African Organization’s executive director. As you may know, Alie Kabba, our longtime staff leader, has been appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the new government of Sierra Leone. There could be no better reason for a transition, and we are so proud of him and thank him for his years of dynamic leadership in Chicago.

On behalf of the United African Organization Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Nancy Asirifi-Otchere, to the UAO executive director position.  We are delighted that she has accepted the promotion and look forward to her execution of UAO’s new three-year strategic plan and to her taking a higher profile role in the African diaspora community. As we worked to develop our new strategic plan, it became clear to us all that Nancy’s knowledge of the UAO and insight into what community members need and want from UAO is very strong. We look to her to take the organization to the next level of development, and are committed to helping her achieve thatNancy holds an MBA from the University of Southern Denmark and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Management, and is a DOJ-accredited immigration representative. For the past nine years, she has represented the UAO in various capacities including most recently, as UAO’s program director. Her promotion is effective immediately.

The UAO is a federation of many of the local African community-based organizations as well of individuals. Over the past decade, UAO has been a vehicle for African leadership development through community organizing, policy advocacy, and community research; provided a range of family support and immigration services to community members; and helped other organizations build their capacity. It hosts annual conferences including the African Youth Forum for immigrant Africans, native-born African Americans, and other immigrant young people.

Over the past 10 months the UAO completed a new strategic plan and succession plan with generous grant support from the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Field Foundation of Illinois and the Woods Fund of Chicago. The strategic plan zeroed onto six action priority areas:

  1. A community-wide assessment;
  2. The engagement of more second-generation Africans;
  3. Development of the organization’s advocacy and organizing initiatives.
  4. Organizational development prioritizing the staff leadership succession
  5. Board strengthening
  6. Increasing communications and fundraising activities.

If you have questions or comments, you can reach UAO Board Chair, Godfrey Chinomona  at godfrey.chinomona@uniteafricans.org.

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Temporary Protected Status Renewal – Haiti

Scholarships for DACA Renewal Applications

The USCIS fee for a DACA Renewal Application is $495. For many, affording this fee is such a short time can be stressful and prevent them from renewing their applications. A number of organizations are offering scholarships to help DACA recipients who need to renew their applications before the October 25 deadline.

If you currently have DACA and your DACA benefits would expire before March 5, 2018, then you should submit an application to renew your DACA before October 5, 2017.

 

Get Help with the USCIS Fee of $495

Mission Asset Funds (MAF)Apply Here 

Protection for All Movement: To Apply, Email protectionforall@gmail.com

The Mexican Consulate in Chicago is offering assistance from $300. To Apply, visit the Consulate, 204 S. Ashland Ave., or call its Protection Department at (312) 738-2023 during regular office hours by October 5th.   

UndocumediaTo apply for a $495 scholarship, fill out this form.

UnDocuBlack Network: To Apply, email Patrice@undocublack.org OR out this form.

The Resurrection Project: To Apply, call 312-666-3062

Get Free Help Renewing Your DACA

There are many FREE workshops around you. Alternative call UAO on  312-949-9980.

DACA Recission – What You should Know

The Trump administration announced that they are ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The future of nearly a million young people are on the line. Since 2012, the DACA program has opened doors for employment, opportunities for education, and provided protection from deportation for beneficiaries. It’s up to us to act now.

WHAT THIS MEANS

New Applicants:

  • New initial DACA applications will not be accepted after September 5, 2017. Your application must be received by September 5th to be considered for DACA as a new applicant. Text “DACA” to 630-524-4106 for a list of low cost legal service providers.

Work Permits:

  • If your DACA work permit expires before March 5, 2018, and you want to renew, DHS must receive your renewal application before October 5, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after October 5th. (Applicable only through October 5th)]
  • If your DACA work permit expires after March 5, 2018, you will not be able to apply to renew. Please consult an attorney to review your options.

Advance Parole:

  • If you are outside the country with advance parole, make sure to return right away and while your advance parole and EAD are valid. DHS has stated that it will generally honor previously granted advance paroles, but that it retains the authority to revoke or terminate an approved advance parole. The safest route is to return as soon as possible.
  • If you have been granted advance parole under DACA but have not yet left the United States, speak with an attorney to determine potential risks before doing anything.
  • As of today (September 5th), DHS is NOT granting any new applications for advance parole even if your DACA is still valid.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

If Your Work Permit Expires:

  • You have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
  • Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
  • Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired. (See info above about your potential eligibility to renew)
For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/ daca/daca-and-workplace- rights/.

KNOW Your RIGHTS

February 6, 2017NancyBlog, Immigration, Resources

UAO is hosting “Know Your Rights” information sessions in our communities. Click Here to Request an information session.

 TRAVEL ADVISORY:
   
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
 KNOW YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
 KNOW YOUR SAFETY PLAN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

February 6, 2017NancyBlog

The executive orders:

(1) Immigration enforcement and border wall orders

  1. On January 25, President Trump issued two executive orders.
  • The border enforcement order, puts forth the president’s proposal to build a massive wall on the border in addition to a dangerous array of policies that will undermine basic due process protections and the basic rights of asylum seekers seeking safety on our southern border.
  • The interior enforcement order, outlines massive changes to the interior enforcement of the immigration laws, placing unconstitutional restraints on community policing efforts and announcing a set of enforcement priorities that are certain to breed racial profiling while tearing communities apart.
(2) Refugee ban order:
                On January 27, the president issued a third executive order suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,                 and blocking entry of refugees and other immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya.                
                The executive order:
  • (1) suspends the full U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for at least 120 days
  • (2) indefinitely suspends U.S. resettlement for refugees from Syria.
  • (3) suspends all other immigrant and non-immigrant admissions to the United States for at least 90 days for individuals from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya.
               Individuals from these countries are advised to:
  • 1) Consult with an immigration attorney before traveling outside the United States.
  • 2) Individuals outside of the United States and prevented from returning should contact an immigration attorney.
  • 3) Individuals with pending applications for immigration benefits should contact an immigration attorney, as they may experience delays in the adjudication of their cases. 
                Please note that the legality of this order already has been subject to federal court orders and its enforcement                   at airports and other ports of entry has been inconsistent and rapidly changing. 

USCIS Introduces New Fee Schedule

USCIS has published the final rule on their services fee schedule, the notice is available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-25328.  This rule is effective December 23, 2016. Applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after December 23, 2016 must include the new fee.

 The new rule establishes a three-level fee for Application for Naturalization, Form N–400.

  • First, DHS will increase the standard fee for Form N–400 from $595 to $640.
  •  Second, DHS will continue to charge no fee to applicants who meet the requirements of sections 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) with respect to military service and applicants with approved fee waivers.
  • Third, DHS will charge a reduced fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family income greater than 150 percent and not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

 Below, please find a copy of the table of changes for common applications:

Application/Petition

Current Filing Fee

NEW Filing Fee

I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)

$340.00

$535.00

 

I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

$420.00

$535.00

 I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

$1,070.00

$1,225.00

N-400, Application for Naturalization

$680.00

$725.00

N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship

$600.00

$1,170

 I-131, Application for Travel Document

$360.00

$575.00

 I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

$380

$410.00

 I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

$590.00

$680.0

 

Supreme Court votes 4-4 on DACA+ and DAPA

June 22, 2016NancyAdvocacy, Blog

Extension of DACA and Approval of DAPA by the Supreme Court

by Robert Giles, UAO Intern-2016

With President Obama’s executive action for the implementation of DAPA and the expanded DACA having been blocked and returned to the lower court due to a 4-4 split decision by the Supreme Court Justices, much is at stake regarding the upcoming presidential election and the future appointment of a 9th Justice. Many in the African immigrant communities will fully understand and appreciate the implications that such programs, or lack thereof, could possibly have on them and their families regarding temporary protection from deportation and newly permitted work authorization. With the recent deadlocked decision and the impending termination of the Obama Administration, there is much to be concerned about regarding the livelihoods of such immigrant families and the policies concerning deferred action that directly affect them.

Read more →

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