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  • Thursday, June 18, 2020 1:00 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release:
    June 18, 2020

    Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Releases Statement
    Supporting U.S. Supreme Court Decision
    [PDF]

    Dallas, TX – Today the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Dreamers. In Department of Homeland Security et al. v. Regents of the University of California et al. the Court, in a major 5-4 decision, rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, the Court found that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.”

    This is a great day for DACA recipients, Dreamers, families, and immigration advocates,” stated Dallas Hispanic Bar President Isaac Faz. “For many who benefit from DACA, this country is the only country they know, the only anthem they sing, the only place they call home. Texas has the second highest number of DACA recipients. They are our neighbors, our family, our essential workers including doctors and educators.”

    DACA is an Obama-era program that began in June of 2012 which provided work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation to eligible undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the United States as minors. To be eligible, these young immigrants needed to meet several requirements, including not being convicted of a felony, being currently enrolled, or having graduated from high school, or honorably discharged from the military. Applicants were also required to pay a $495 application fee, which the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association has sponsored in the past to support Dreamers.

    DACA recipients are contributing members in our society and have quite literally embodied the American Dream. These are hardworking individuals, including approximately 27,000 health workers fighting Covid-19, and over 450,000 undocumented students who are enrolled in higher education. They also contribute to our economy by paying federal, state, and local taxes,” added Faz.

    A Center for American Progress report found that DACA recipients and their households hold $24.1 billion in spending power and pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes annually. By any measure, Dreamers form a critical part of our society and support the communities they call home.

    This decision is only the beginning. We still need to find a permanent resolution to protect the 700,000 DACA recipients and the other individuals that were too young to apply. It’s time for Congress and this administration to act. We must continue to advocate, to educate and voice our opinions via the ballot box in local, state, and federal elections.”

    ###

    Contact: Mauricio Navarro
    214.600.1533
    Navarro@navarrogrp.com

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:00 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)


    The J.L. Turner Legal Association, working with the Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition and Dallas Office of Community Police Oversight, is creating a volunteer legal team to collect information about showing and use of force by the Dallas Police Department during the protests. The work will all be remote.

    They need attorneys to help work over phone/video chat with protest participants to collect a statement. Training for attorneys will be announced the week of 6/8.

    They also need help from paralegals, legal assistants, law students, and recent law grads to assist with screening phone calls to determine whether someone will receive a follow-up call to submit a statement. Training for screeners will be virtually, Friday 6/5 from 5:30-6:30 PM OR Saturday, 6/6 from 12:00-1:00 PM.

    If you can help, sign up here.

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:40 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)
    The J.L. Turner Legal Association is signing up attorneys willing to provide pro bono and/or reduced rate legal services for individuals impacted by the social justice protest events. If you can help, sign up at jltlavolunteers.com.
  • Monday, June 01, 2020 5:10 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)


    Contact Lynn Dempsey
    214-768-8617 or ldempsey@smu.edu

    June 1, 2020

    SMU’S LAW SCHOOL LAUNCHING HELPLINE JUNE 1 TO ASSIST WITH COVID-19 RELATED LEGAL ISSUES

    DALLAS (SMU) — Beginning June 1, SMU Dedman School of Law will launch a clinic project with an emergency helpline that offers North Texas residents the opportunity to secure free legal assistance with matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as housing, immigration and consumer protection. Working under the supervision of SMU Law Clinic faculty, more than 45 law students will staff the COVID-19 Legal Helpline, which may be reached by dialing 214-SMU-COVD (214-768-2683).

    Callers seeking assistance with certain COVID-19 related legal problems can receive assistance through the SMU legal clinics or, when necessary, referral to local law firms and attorneys providing free services in some specialized areas. Dedicated community partners like the law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and SMU Law alumnus Mark Melton, whose pro bono project DallasEvictions2020.com includes more than 80 volunteer attorneys, are already working with the law school to take referrals. Other partners for the project will include the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and UNT Dallas College of Law.

    “This project is a wonderful example of how deeply committed SMU is to helping our students and to serving the beautiful city in which we are so fortunate to be located,” said Jennifer Collins, Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law. “We are very grateful to have such committed partners and to be able to provide support to our community as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”

    The COVID-19 Emergency Helpline Project has two primary goals:

    • To fill gaps in the availability of reasonably fast, reliable and necessary legal information and advice in certain key areas through a dedicated helpline
    • To provide SMU law students with meaningful opportunities to develop important professional values and skills as they work collaboratively with each other, supervising faculty, and volunteer attorneys

    “We hope the Helpline will be an important resource for members of our Dallas/Fort Worth community who are struggling,” said professor Mary Spector, Associate Dean for Clinics at SMU. “It will also provide SMU Law students with the chance to gain valuable legal experience and professional skills. I’m proud of our students’ eagerness to step up to the legal challenges the pandemic presents.”

    Those interested in making a financial contribution or supporting the Helpline project may visit the SMU Dedman School of Law giving page at smu.edu/law/giving.

    ###

    The School of Law at SMU was founded in 1925. It was named Dedman School of Law in 2001 in honor of Dallas benefactors Nancy and Robert H. Dedman, Sr., and their family. SMU Dedman Law enjoys a national and international reputation of distinction. It is among the most competitive law schools in the country for admission, as well as one of the most successful in the placement of its graduates.

    In 1947, SMU Law was one of the first law schools in the country to sponsor a community legal clinic as part of a law school curriculum. Today, legal clinics are essential to Dedman School of Law’s mission of preparing students to be leaders in the legal profession and in business while serving the needs of their community.

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020 2:22 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    S.T.E.E.R. flyer (PDF)

    As the nation faces the first significant economic downturn since 2008, your local bar associations have teamed up to form STEER, a program that aims to provide lawyers with employment and career advice related to changes in the economy and the profession because of CoVID-19. If you have been furloughed, are concerned you might be or are just starting your career and are finding it difficult to land employment, this program will connect you with Dallas’ most experienced and well connected lawyers who will be available in an advisory capacity to help you navigate a difficult market and changing times. To learn more or to sign up, please click on this link to fill out a very brief application.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020 2:00 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    [PDF]

    Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Donates Meals to Three Dallas Area Emergency Hospitals

    Dallas, TX - To contribute to the support of local frontline health care workers during the current COVID-19 crisis, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) is donating 150 meals to three of Dallas’ most impacted emergency room hospitals.

    Yesterday, Methodist Dallas Medical Center’s Laura Motta Mena, PhD., Director, Community and Public Relations with Jackie Guzman, welcomed the meals from a local restaurant in Oak Cliff, El Taxqueno Taqueria.


    Pictured: El Taxqueno Taqueria owner Amando Monroy

    Additionally, the DHBA delivered meals to Parkland Hospital, and plans to deliver to emergency medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center. “This is a small gesture of support for all the frontline heroes that are working tirelessly during this pandemic,” stated DHBA President Isaac Faz. “We are more than happy to help thank healthcare workers and support our local restaurants, a win-win. It’s our turn to support them, and the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association and our members say gracias! We hope others in our community will join us by donating, finding a way to give back, to those working to combat the virus, or to help those in need across the DFW area.”

    The small business restaurants participating in DHBA’s donation effort include El Taxqueno Taqueria in Oak Cliff, Sammy’s BBQ in Uptown, and Mama Mia Pasta & Pizza in Deep Ellum.

    Interviews and additional pictures are available upon request.

    Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Purpose:
    To promote the social, economic, educational and civic advancement of the DFW Metroplex Hispanic community by making the legal system more accessible to the Hispanic community, and more responsive to its needs. Follow on social media @DallasHBA

    Contact: Mauricio Navarro
    214.600.1533
    Navarro@navarrogrp.com

  • Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:31 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    DHBA's President-Elect, Javier Perez, gave an interview to Univision today about changes to unemployment benefits.

    Watch the interview

  • Monday, March 23, 2020 8:13 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    Yesterday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a shelter-in-place order for Dallas County, effective tonight through April 3. The Texas Tribune has coverage.

    Below is a summary of the order from Texas State Rep. and DHBA member Victoria Neave.

    WHO:

    • Order applies to every resident of Dallas County, including residents of Mesquite, Garland, and Dallas.

    WHAT:

    • Everyone must stay at their place of residence--#StayAtHome.
    • Everyone must practice 6 feet of social distancing when they are outside their residence.
    • You may leave your home ONLY for Essential Activities, to perform Essential Government Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses
    • All businesses, except for Essential Businesses, are required to cease activities; however, businesses can continue to operate with their employees or independent contractors working from home
    • All public gatherings outside the home are prohibited.
    • Restaurants may continue to provide takeout, delivery, or drive-through services.
    • Religious services may only be provided by video and teleconference.
    • Elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited.

    WHEN:

    • As of 11:59 pm on Monday, March 23, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 pm on Friday, April 3, 2020

    WHERE:

    • Every city in Dallas County, including Mesquite, Garland, and Dallas

    WHY:

    • To save lives and protect the health and safety of our community

    WHAT IS CONSIDERED AN "ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY?"

    • Activities or tasks essential to one's personal or family's health and safety (For example, getting medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home)
    • To get or deliver essential supplies or services necessary to maintain one's personal or family's safety (For example, buying food, pet supply, household products)
    • To engage in an outdoor activity WHILE COMPLYING with social distancing requirements (Walking, hiking, biking, and running are allowed, if comply with social distancing)
    • To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business.
    • To care for a family member or pet in another household.

    WHAT IS CONSIDERED AN "ESSENTIAL BUSINESS?"

    • Essential Healthcare Operations
    • Essential Government Functions
    • Essential Critical Infrastructure
    • Essential Retail
    • Providers of Basic Necessities
    • News Media
    • Childcare Services
  • Monday, March 16, 2020 7:27 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

     A message from the City of Dallas:

    Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and the CDC recommendation that gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled for 8 weeks, we have elected to suspend the April 25th #MyDallas Citizenship Workshop. Our top priority is the health and safety of residents, and suspending the workshop follows CDC recommendations to practice social distancing to halt the spread of the virus.

    We are closely monitoring the local situation concerning the COVID-19 virus in our area. We will continue to keep you updated regarding the Citizenship Workshop once a new date has been identified.

    We thank you for your understanding.

  • Monday, February 24, 2020 7:35 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    The Trump Administration's "public charge" rule goes into effect today.  For over a hundred years, public charge inadmissibility has been narrowly used to identify immigrants who are likely to depend on the government for long-term assistance as their main form of financial support.  U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services would be able to deny such an individual's application for permanent resident (or "green card") status. 

    The new rule drastically expands this long-standing policy by adding specific standards for income, health, age, and English proficiency for new immigrants.  It greatly expands the forms of public assistance that are considered as part of the public charge determination.

    DHBA opposes this new rule, as it fundamentally changes our country from one that welcomes individuals and families who come here to work hard and build a better life for themselves and their communities into one in which all that matters is how much money they have.  It also discourages parents from applying for necessary health and food benefits to which their U.S. citizen children are entitled, punishes potential immigrants for being too old or too young, and prioritizes wealth over community.

    Below are helpful links and key points from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

    Trump's new Public Charge rule takes effect today (2/24/2020), replacing rules that have been in effect since 1999.

    • The new Public Charge rule affects ONLY persons submitting a visa or green card application today or in the future.  Pending applications already in the pipeline are subject to the "old" rules.
    • Negative consideration of SNAP (food stamps), federal housing benefits, or Medicaid use by adults (pregnant women and kids are NOT counted) will ONLY look at use of those benefits from today forward.  No looking back.
    • Use of benefits by a family member has NO impact on the green card or visa applicant.  ONLY use of the benefits above by the applicant herself is considered.
    • As of today, these policies are the same regardless of whether someone applies from outside the U.S. at a U.S. consulate, or inside the U.S. (there had been a period in which they were inconsistent).

    CPPP has posted new, updated resources, targeted to support workers who help Texans apply for benefits and health insurance.  More will be continued to be posted on Updates for Texas on the "Public Charge" Rule.

    The national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign has updated these materials to share with consumers:

    Public Charge: Does this apply to me?
    Updated February 14, 2020*
    (See how 'public charge' will impact you based on your immigration status, and what you should do – PIF)

    Should I Keep My Kids Enrolled in Health & Nutrition Programs? 
    Updated February 14, 2020*
    (Use this guide to help answer commonly asked questions about how to make good decisions for your family and their health – PIF)

    KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Public Charge Messages for Community Members
    Updated February 14, 2020*
    (Top messages to share with immigrant communities on the recent changes to public charge – PIF)

    You Have Rights – Protect Your Health 
    Updated October 24, 2019*
    (An overview for mixed-status families when it comes to going to the doctor or enrolling in health insurance – PIF).

    The links above are also available in Spanish, see https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/.


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