Category Archives: Immigration

Keep Getting the Help You Need

In a new media outreach campaign, county officials aim to make it clear that no changes have been made at this time to “public charge” definitions as it relates to immigrants and immigration status. In fact, county officials strongly encourage all clients and patients to continue getting the help they need by accessing healthcare, food and housing services whenever necessary.

Last year, the federal government put forth a proposal that could significantly affect how immigration officials determine whether or not an immigrant is primarily dependent on government assistance.

Several lead organizations in San Mateo County including the Health and Human Services Agency, Health Plan of San Mateo, the Department of Housing, the Office of Community Affairs and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County have joined together to ease concerns around “public charge.”

Free legal aid and interpretation services are being offered to help answer any questions about green card applications and immigration-related or public charge issues. Providers are encouraged to connect their clients with this resource.

Download the poster below for more information or print and post in your offices.

Free Citizenship Assistance Workshops – Jan. 26th

Hosted by: The International Institute of the Bay Area

Day: Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Times: 9am, 10am, 11am

Location: Hillsdale High School Cafeteria / 3115 Del Monte St. San Mateo, CA 94403

At the event, you will receive FREE eligibility screening, application assistance and review of your application by Immigration Attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives.

What you need to do:

  1. Bring your confirmation number!
  2. Be on time! If you arrive late, we may not be able to assist you.
  3. You must apply in person. No-one else can apply for you.
  4. Bring all your required documents with you.

Register and view the full workshop description and required documents HERE!

August 5 – One Community: Healing and Empowered Together

Join us on Sunday, August 5th from 3pm – 5pm at Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City (1400 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061) for an event celebrating solidarity and unity!

Families of many different backgrounds experience the pain of separation, whether we had to leave family behind to seek opportunity for the future, we were forced apart by by discriminatory policies, or we lost our link to family when we lost our language and cultural practices. We all deserve the care and support of family. Join us to celebrate family unity across cultures! Kids activities, light refreshments, and free family portraits available!

Several Health Equity Initiative Co-chairs collaborated to make this event possible. Come enjoy amazing and inspirational keynote speakers including Macrina Mota- Pineda from the documentary “Torn Apart”, youth poets, and more!

Immigration’s Threat to Health

The topic of immigration is controversial and complex. However regardless of one’s personal views on the issue, it is undeniable that the uncertainty and lack of information  in our communities is ultimately detrimental to the communities’ health. An article by the Washington Post describes how the stress experienced by the threat of deportation can have devastating effects on health, beyond those immediately affected.

“Over time, such chronic stress, unaddressed, will make them far more vulnerable to heart disease, asthma, diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The University of Michigan conducted a study on the impact of the 2008 federal immigration raid in Postville, Iowa, the largest in U.S. history. The study found an increase of Hispanic babies born with low birth weight, which can cause long term health risks, a 24% increase in comparison to the year before. 

The study also found that the risk for low birth weight was equally high for Latinas with protected legal status, “…in spite of their apparent safety, their bodies were reacting as if they, too, could soon be deported.” This can result in an “epigenetic” effect that modifies the way genes are expressed, allowing for the transmission of “vulnerabilities to stress from one generation to the next.”

While the debate over immigration continues, it is important to take a moment to recognize that what affects one group actually affects us all. We have a responsibility to care for the health of all community members, but equally important, to stay informed and aid those who are vulnerable.

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4/29- Health for All Workshop

Join BHRS and the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society to learn about available health coverage programs for San Mateo County residents and how to become and remain eligible for them. This event is free and open to the public.

When and Where?
Sunday, April 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Municiple Services Building, Betty Weber Room

See the event flier for more information.

February 26 – “Torn Apart” Film Screening

The Prevention Training Academy Film Series is featuring “Torn Apart,” a documentary produced by the San Jose Mercury News in 2010 about a San Mateo family’s struggle to stay together. The film shines a light on the experiences of immigrant families and how the organization, Fools Mission, is working to empower and support them. Read more

The Office of Diversity and Equity Offers New Community Resources!

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) created a We Welcome All poster and Cultural Humility Group Agreements poster for the community to practice cultural humility, advance equity, and build inclusion in their home space, business space, work space, community space, etc. 

We Welcome All Poster

The We Welcome All Poster was designed to show the Office of Diversity and Equity’s solidarity with San Mateo County’s diverse community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, citizen status, sexual orientation and gender identity, ODE celebrates and values diversity. We invite everyone to celebrate and value diversity with us. 

The varying languages on the bottom half of the poster represent San Mateo County’s 5 threshold languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Tagalog, as well as the county’s 5 emerging languages: Arabic, Burmese, Portuguese, Samoan, and Tongan. 

People with the We Welcome All poster are encouraged to post them near the front entrance of their buildings where visitors and passer-bys are able to see them.

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