Category: Immigration

JHISN in Jackson Heights Post

Our campaign to prevent the deportation of Alfredo Flores was recently featured in the Jackson Heights Post. Journalist Meghan Sackman wrote the article, describing Alfredo’s struggle to remain in the US with his family, and our efforts to raise awareness of Alfredo’s case. Thank you, Meghan, for helping to make Alfredo’s voice heard.

You can view the article here.

Help Alfredo Stay With His Family

Alfredo Flores is a native of Mexico who came to the US to seek a better life as thousands of Americans before him have done. He is married to US citizen, Wendoly (Wendy) Valverde, has three US citizenchildren, and has been a peaceful and productive resident of Jackson Heights, Queens.

In July of 2018 Alfredo boarded a Greyhound bus to visit his brother in Seattle, Washington that, unbeknownst to him, included a stop in Canada. Upon discovering he lacked legal status he was detained by Canadian border patrol and then delivered to DHS. ICE agents detained him after finding he was undocumented.

Alfredo was put in an ICE detention center outside of Buffalo, NY where he remained for 20 days, until his wife Wendy posted a $10,000 bond.

His detention was excruciating for his family, both emotionally and economically. They didn’t have the required $10,000 needed to secure his freedom. However, Wendy valiantly raised it by starting a fundraising campaign.

Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, who was a candidate at the time, read about Alfredo’s detention in the Jackson Heights Post. She connected Wendy with free legal service providers who helped win Alfredo’s release from ICE detention.

Alfredo was reunited with his family and we now ask for your help with keeping their family united and Alfredo on a road to U.S. citizenship.

Sign the petition to help your neighbor Alfredo Flores fight deportation, pursue citizenship, and stay with his family in Queens. Click HERE.

Download the Factsheet HERE.



Public Charge Comment Event – Gallery

On December 8th we held our Public Charge Comment Event, outside the Jackson Heights Post Office. The aim was to help as many people as possible make their comments against the Trump administration’s Public Charge Proposal. The turnout was fantastic, and it was a joy to see so much of our community getting involved. Thank you to everyone who participated, and to Isa Newman-Rodriguez for the pics!

Click each image to see it full size.

The “Public Charge” Proposal – Make Your Voice Heard!

DEADLINE December 10th!!!

President Trump’s “Public Charge” proposal will force millions of immigrants to choose between public services and seeking permanent residence, by making it harder for those who have used public services to get their Green Card.

Before the rule can be finalized, however, the administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive.

To make your voice heard, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to this link:
  2. Fill in your name.
  3. In the box labeled Why is this important to you? write your comment.
  4. Click the Submit Your Comment

What should you write in the comment box?

  • Tell the government why you disagree with the “Public Charge” rule.
  • What will happen to you or your family if you are forced to stop using public services, such as Medicaid, food aid, or housing aid?
  • Do you disagree with the proposal, even though you will not be affected by it? Let the government know!
  • Use your own words – if you copy someone else’s comment it will not be read more than once.
  • Use English – comments must be in English to be read.
  • Some examples:

This rule will threaten the health and well-being of my children.

I disagree with this rule because I have paid my taxes and should be entitled to receive help without jeopardizing my chance for a Green Card.

This rule could cost our economy $164 billion a year and drive up poverty, hunger & housing needs.



The Public Charge Rule – The Facts

This information was presented at a meeting, held at PS 69, Jackson Heights, on Tuesday November 20, by Claudia Calhoun (Senior Director of Immigrant Integration Policy, New York Immigrant Coalition).

The purpose of the meeting, and this post, was to correct the ongoing misinformation about these proposed changes to the Green Card application process, and to encourage people to submit comments to the government during the current comment period.

The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Green Card application process which would take into account whether or not the applicant has previously used certain public benefits. The ‘Public Charge’ rule would mean that any immigrants using these benefits would be considered a Public Charge and therefore less desirable as a potential permanent resident.

Here are the facts about the proposals, and how they will affect future Green Card applications:

  1. The rule is still in the proposal and public comment stage. It has not been enacted yet. The proposed changes are in a comment period until December 10.  The government must read all the comments before any further action can be taken.  This will take 4 to 5 months.  If the proposals are approved, it will then take another 60 days before they go into effect.
  2. The proposed changes only take into consideration certain benefits. These are benefits relate only to housing, SNAP, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D.
  3. The proposed regulations do NOT affect people who already have a Green Card or a temporary Green Card.  They also do not affect refugees, asylees, Uvisa, VAWA, or special immigrant juveniles.  If you have no pathway to citizenship, these regulations do not affect you.
  4. If enacted, the Public Charge rule will not be retroactive. Once the rule comes into effect, only public benefits used after that date will be considered. The rule cannot take into account benefits used before that date.
  5. Applications for citizenship DO NOT fall under the Public Charge proposal. There will be NO public charge test for people applying for naturalization.
  6. Receiving workers’ compensation is NOT part of this proposal.
  7. Children’s benefits will NOT affect a parent’s ability to get a green card. Anyone who has WIC, CHIP, EITC, ADAP, or benefits for American-born children to go to a clinic or hospital will not be affected by this proposal.
  8. Some aspects of the Public Charge rule are not new, and are already part of the process. When someone applies for a green card, income, health, job, and skills are already looked at. These are not new tests, but maybe the government will be more interested in the answers now. However, the government has to look at the whole picture.
  9. Green card holders are NOT being asked to surrender their cards at the border. There have been no genuine reports of people being stopped at airports and having their IDs taken away. This was a false story in a newspaper which was later retracted.

It is important to remember that these changes are still only a proposal. They are not final. So you should keep using your current benefits. You will not currently be helping yourself by quitting your benefits at the moment. 

There have been changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual, so if you are trying to bring your parents to the US, you should talk to an immigration attorney.  Call 1-800-566-7636.  Or call 311 and ask for ActionNYC.

Post a comment now and voice your opposition to the Public Charge rule

Make a comment at You can make your comment on your cell phone or on a computer.  Comments must be in English.  Anyone can make a comment regardless of immigrant status.  Citizens can comment too.  Explain how these proposed changes will affect your life. The government is obliged to read ALL comments and take them into consideration.

By making a comment

  • You can affect the final decision.
  • You can make your voice heard.
  • You can show your community’s opposition.


‘Open the borders’: New York rally urges US to welcome caravan

Great article on this past Saturday’s march, featuring one of our members, Barbara Mutnick. Thanks to all JHISN members who attended the march.

“Barbara Mutnick, an organiser with the Jackson Heights [Immigrant] Solidarity Network, said Trump was “trying to divide the American people and trying to scapegoat immigrants”.

“We feel no human being is illegal, and we fight for that,” she said, adding that even progressive Democrats have been silent on the migration caravan issue.”