November 20, the date I last wrote, was more than 3 weeks ago; it feels like that time has just flown by.
Things have been hectic at JFON:
We recently had a dessert fundraiser with our Board of Directors, and we are trying to promote our matching grants (individual donations will be tripled until the end of the year). Check out these awesome desserts!
We are approaching several one-year asylum deadlines, and we are also trying to push a few more I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) applications through for our unaccompanied children with approved I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) petitions in December. In other words, we are trying to help our kids get green cards. The process for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status has changed approximately 4-5 times since I started working with JFON (both in the Florida court system and with Immigration), so I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty complicated stuff, and I don’t always understand what is going on.
USCIS decides each month who (particular people from particular countries) can apply to adjust their status because a visa has become available to them. During this month for our unaccompanied children clients with approved I-360s, I’d look at the “Visa Bulletin for December 2016
” under “Employment-Based Preferences.” These unaccompanied children fall under the fourth category as “Certain Special Immigrants.” Then I look at this page
to see which chart to reference. Since, in December 2016, “you must use the Dates for Filing of Employment Based Visa Applications chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin,” I would look at Chart B: “Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications.” In that chart, “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed” are current, meaning that we could file the I-485 for our clients from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras). If we instead have to use Chart A: “Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases,” then we are not currently able to file for any of our clients because they are still only looking at priority dates before July 15, 2015.
I don’t know if that made any sense.
Anyways, we are busy, and I am learning, so that is a good thing, although probably by the time you read this, everything will have changed again.
I also had the awesome opportunity to attend the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s Congress in Leesburg, FL. It was great to be in fellowship with other activists and immigrants from across Florida. We had opportunities to attend educational sessions on things like Know Your Rights and how to form a deportation defense. We ate great food together, enjoyed beautiful scenery, and formed new friendships! The theme was Seeds of Liberation: “They tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seeds.”
On a personal level, I got to go home to Ohio for Thanksgiving ($66 tickets), which was really great, since my immediate family and I all got to be together for a few days.
I also was able to enjoy a little bit more of autumn, my favorite season, and that was nice!
At the beginning of December, I took the LSAT again. I’m very glad to be done with it, though I don’t think I did much better than the first time. I got my first acceptance letter yesterday (William & Mary Law School), so now I can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
I’ve crossed a couple of things off of my Florida bucket list: swimming with the manatees and horseback riding on the beach.
I have also continued with the meal delivery programs some, and I’ve made some pretty good food lately:
At the end of this week, I will head to Ohio for Christmas! And I’m actually really hoping for snow!
I think that’s all for now!