United African Organization

UAO aims to serve as the African Community Resource Clearinghouse wherein constituents gather, access information, share experiences, exchange views, and coordinate organizational capacity development. UAO's hub of resources on this website is intended to assist community members in navigating services, programs and resources that are available to help them cope better in the United States.

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.


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.


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/.


February 6, 2017NancyBlog, Immigration, Resources

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








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:


Current Filing Fee

NEW Filing Fee

I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)




I-130, Petition for Alien Relative



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



N-400, Application for Naturalization



N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship



 I-131, Application for Travel Document



 I-765, Application for Employment Authorization



 I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence




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 →

The Zambian Heritage Association in Chicago (ZHAC)

May 12, 2016NancyBlog

The Zambian Heritage Association in Chicago (ZHAC) is unique in its engagement with Chicago’s Zambian community and integral in its growing voice. ZHAC aims to promote all aspects of Zambian heritage, from its cuisine to its fashion, by encouraging and promoting the professional and personal ventures of local Zambians.  Every year, ZHAC organizes numerous opportunities for the local community to get involved. These events range from “family gatherings” like picnics or barbeques on holidays such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, to a business expo where Zambians can rent space and display their talents, from fabric-making to cooking. ZHAC is also responsible for a Zambian soccer team that plays in tournaments during the season.

In all aspects of the work that ZHAC accomplishes, an ultimate goal is to make aware the surrounding Chicago community of Zambia’s history and culture, so as to not only benefit Zambians themselves, but to also achieve unity with all members of the local community. It is, thus, critical in ZHAC’s efforts to include and involve “Zambians and their friends,” meaning any and all people interested in learning about the Zambian presence in Chicago.

As a relatively young and small organization, ZHAC is working to “spread its wings” through Facebook and word-of-mouth outreach, and through fundraising and donations. For more information on how to get involved with this growing community, please visit the ZHAC website at http://zhac.weebly.com/, or contact the ZHAC Chairperson, Tamiwe Helen Sichinga, at +1 733 398 9160. 

West Side Teens Make Global Connections at African Youth Forum

May 8, 2016NancyBlog

By  Vickie Casanova Willis

AfriCaribbean ArtsConnections (formerly known as West Side Story AfriCaribbean Drums & Dance) is a cultural education After School Matters program incorporating dance, music, and textile art to help teens connect to their roots from the West Side of Chicago, throughout the city, to Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. Founder and Director Vickie Casanova Willis created this program nearly 10 years ago, to help teens discover the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of the arts in an apprenticeship program that provides dance and drumming experiences, global engagement, life skills, and training in various arts techniques of the African diaspora. Activities each semester include guest speakers, performances, and collaborative events within the community plus college connections.

The talented teen apprentices in this unique After School Matters program recently spent a day visiting the continents of Africa and South America without ever buying a passport or leaving Chicago! They did this all during a special Saturday field trip to one of their favorite annual events, the African Youth Forum hosted by the United African Organization (UAO) on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology, at 35th and State Street on the city’s South Side. Read more →

Diaspora Monologues

February 4, 2016NancyBlog, Events
Shola Shade Ezeokoli  @ 2016 Diaspora Monologues – Show 1 , performing a monologue “Do you speak African?”
Don’t miss ‪#DiasporaMonologues2016‬ Show 2 on
Sunday Feb 7 @ 6PM
Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Read more →

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