SEGCC has applied with the U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for credentials that will enable us to provide legal representation in immigration matters for low-income Georgetown area residents. We expect to receive USCIS approval and open our immigration legal services office in late summer or early fall.
In the meantime, IF YOU NEED HELP WITH IMMIGRATION MATTERS, please contact us–and we will help you find other low-cost services to meet your needs.
- Call us or text us at 512-931-2112
- Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here Are Other Resources You Might Consider . . .
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Whatever your immigration status might be, you have guaranteed rights under the U. S. Constitution. For example, you are not obligated to disclose your immigration status to law enforcement officials, and you do not have to admit officers to your home without a warrant. Learn more by visiting the ACLU’s Immigrants‘ Rights page.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
Regardless of immigration status, everyone is entitled to testing and treatment for coronavirus with no adverse effect on your ability to qualify for a Green Card or for citizenship.
- Texas LawHelp has great FAQs on Immigrant Rights and Healthcare Access During COVID-19.
- If you can’t afford health care, the Lone Star Circle of Care clinic on Williams Drive in Georgetown can help, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. For more information, check out their What to Expect page. They also have answers for your COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BASIC NEEDS
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing special financial challenges for many workers, but especially for immigrant workers. These workers and their spouses are eligible for the $1,200 per person cash assistance under the CARES Act, only if they have a Green Card and work permit–and if both spouses have social security numbers.
Whether or not you qualify for government assistance, here are local organizations that may be able to help:
- The Caring Place offers a drive-through food pantry on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Fresh Food for Families offers fresh produce in the drive through on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of each month from 9 :00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- The Georgetown Independent School District Meal Distribution program offers hot lunches and pre-packaged breakfasts Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Purl and Frost Elementary Schools and at Tippit Middle School.
- The Workers Defense Project has established the Texas Undocu Worker Emergency Fund to provide small grants of financial assistance to immigrants in the Houston, Dallas, and Austin areas who don’t qualify for state and federal financial assistance programs. The initial application period has closed, but you can still fill out an application to be placed on the waiting list.
APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP OR OTHER DOCUMENTATION ON YOUR OWN
If you are already a legal permanent resident of the U. S. or you feel comfortable pursuing other documentation on your own, you are legally permitted to do so. You do not need to hire an attorney. Here are some resources that might help get you started:
U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) provides myUSCIS, an online portal to help you navigate the immigration process on your own. Various immigration paths are explained on their Explore My Options page.
If you want to do things on your own but would prefer a bit more help, you might consider the following free sites offered by the Immigration Advocates Network, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Pro Bono Net, three non-profit organizations with over 20 years of experience in the immigration law and technology.
- CitizenshipWorks: This online service walks you through the questions needed to apply for citizenship–and, if it turns out you need help, they will connect you with organizations offering free legal advice.
- Immi: This site uses a simple online screening tool to help you understand your legal options–and it also connects you to nonprofit legal services organizations for additional help, if needed.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU ASK FOR LEGAL ADVICE!
Only licensed attorneys, organizations recognized by USCIS, and accredited representatives are qualified to give legal advice on the immigration process. Especially at this moment in history, immigration can be complicated, and regulations can change quickly. The wrong advice can have tragic and irreversible consequences. Even people who have good intentions and just want to help can lead you astray.
Avoiding Scams Against Immigrants, published by the Federal Trade Commission, provides additional details on how to find qualified legal advice.