Estrella Insights - April Edition

Estrella Insights - April Edition

April 1, 2024

USCIS Increased Fees Take Effect

As soon as April started, new immigration fees took effect. As previously announced by USCIS a few months ago, the new fees took effect. With the increase of this fees USCIS is looking to recover some of the operating costs, support time processing of new applications. In addition, there will be a $50 discount for the forms that might be filed online with USCIS, of course some exceptions apply under certain circumstances.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Met For A Preliminary Injunction About SB4

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Met For A Preliminary Injunction About SB4 April 3rd marked another chapter in the ongoing saga of SB4. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals convened to hear arguments from both sides, Texas and those representing our migrant community. During the injunction, Texas defender Aaron Nielson added that “maybe Texas went too far” when he tried to cover up the fact that SB4 interferes with federal laws. No decision has been handed down by the court yet; however, SB4 remains on hold, where it belongs.

We’ll keep you posted as more news arises regarding this unconstitutional law that the state of Texas is pushing.

National Crime Victims Rights’ Week

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was April 21st and will continue until the 27th of the month. This year’s theme focuses on providing options, services, and hope to those who have been victims of crime. In 2022 alone, there were nearly 20 million reported crime victimizations in the U.S. Additionally, we want to remind you of the resources available nationwide, statewide, and locally, such as the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV). Remember, together we are stronger.

Immigration Advocacy at Estrella del Paso

Our work did not stop there, during this month we were able to raise our voices and support different initiatives in our community.

  • The first event we were able to attend and provide our services was the bilingual SB-4 know your rights regional update where discussed the updates on SB-4 along with other sister organizations in our community.

  • Another event where Estrella del Paso was a proud sponsor was the Citizenship Workshop for Residents hosted by the state Representative Lina Ortega and other advocacy organizations. This time, we helped those U.S residents who wanted to fill their N-400(application for naturalization) at no cost.

  • This time, we joined over 150 organizations to raise our voices and demand action from our congressional leaders against the inhumane rhetoric and language used against migrants.

  • Lastly, our Executive Director, Melissa M. Lopez, along with representatives from the Mexican Consulate and other border organizations, held a meeting with the Mexican Foreign Secretary, Alicia Barcena. During this meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss Mexico’s plan in case SB-5 is implemented.

April started with some challenging news, with increased fees and a preliminary injunction hitting us right at the beginning of the month. However, as the days passed, we were heartened by the progress made through our immigration advocacy work. We had the opportunity to serve our community and amplify our voices alongside leaders from around the world.

Throughout the month, we were touched by many beautiful testimonies from clients we were able to assist. For example, Rosa’s story, where she bravely fled domestic violence in her home country, leaving her family behind. Then there’s Maria’s story, where our team at Estrella del Paso provided support to her parents, husband, and sons.

These stories are our driving force. Hearing from our clients and staff keeps us motivated to change the narrative about immigration and to illuminate the light that shines when we help those in need.