Immigration

May Day march through downtown Oakland calls attention to labor, immigration and police issues

Papery doves of peace hovered above Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, among people carrying colorful signs and banners demanding the end of immigration raids and deportations. “No ban, no raid, no wall—sanctuary for all!” people chanted from a flatbed truck as different groups from throughout the Bay Area gathered at the plaza on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate May Day, also known as International Worker’s Day.

For East Bay immigrants, notary fraud is a common legal threat

Notary fraud is a common set-up in which notaries unlawfully give legal advice to immigrants, and in many cases, pretend to be immigration attorneys. The scam often involves the notary reviewing a victim’s case, choosing which legal documents are appropriate for their case, helping complete these documents, and submitting them to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Office—all acts only lawyers have the authority to do.

Immigration experts and advocates say that notary fraud is one of the biggest issues facing the undocumented community. “It is also a big problem in the East Bay and surrounding areas in Northern California,” said Barbara Pinto, an immigration senior staff attorney at the Centro Legal de la Raza, a legal service agency for immigrants’ rights, located in Oakland.

Refugee group helps employ women in need

When Rafiullah Amiri, who had immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan, noticed that many women within his immigrant community were confined to their homes—shocked by the culture difference and unable to speak the language of their host country—he had an idea: They could earn money cooking.

Oakland schools run test to help students take mainstream English classes

Oakland schools are now in their second year of running a new testing process that will allow students who are identified as English Language Learners (ELL) and who have special needs to have better chances of joining mainstream English-language classrooms for students with and without disabilities. Currently, special education students who are also English learners must take a test to show that they are fluent in English. This standardized test evaluates the student’s English literacy level, and is only available…

East Bay women build a net of support to help cope with the fear of deportation

Every morning in front of Melrose Leadership Academy, the same choreography is repeated: the uproar of the children arriving at the school displaces squirrels and birds to the cherry and palm trees that adorn the sidewalk. At this public school, in the sanctuary city of Oakland, people exchange greetings in Spanish. The first poster near the school’s entrance doesn’t inform parents about opening hours or extracurricular activities. Instead, it states: “You have rights, don’t let ICE or police enter your…