What do Obama’s Immigration Changes Mean for me? WORKSHOP

*info en español abajo

What do Obama’s Immigration Changes Mean for me?

Find out at our mini-workshops!

When: Tuesday December 2, 9 and 16th 9:30am

Where: Come to BIC, 88 South St. Pittsfield to register at 9:30; workshop held close to office.

Cost: $5.00 per person age 15 and older, cash or check pls

Important: These workshops will be capped at 25 people per workshop; first come first served!

On November 20 the President announced 10 areas where his Administration will modify immigration policy. These mini-workshops will explain Administrative Relief and focus on the provisions expanding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability.)

Although many details have yet to be released we will give a general overview of who is eligible, what we know about the application process so far and what you can do to start preparing as well as how protect yourself from scams. There will also be an opportunity for q and a as well as brief private consultations. Workshops are expected to last until 11am. Visit www.uscis.gov, http://www.adminrelief.org/, www.miausa.org and http://iamerica.org for more information.

During the coming days and weeks the Berkshire Immigrant Center will keep the community updated by posting information on our website www.berkshireic.com, holding workshops and emailing our clients and colleagues as more information becomes available. Due to staff capacity at this time, we ask that all questions about this program be directed to the many workshops we will be providing and appreciate your patience with us as we strive to meet your needs to the best of our abilities.

This process will take some time. We want to stress that there is NO APPLICATION PROCESS YET. Please be cautious so you are not taken advantage of. http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/

Que significan los cambios inmigratorios que hizo Obama para mí?

Venga a aprender más en nuestros mini-talleres!

Cuando: Martes Diciembre 2, 9 and 16th a las 9:30am

Dónde: Venga a BIC, 88 South St. Pittsfield para registrarse a las 9:30; el taller será cerca de nuestra oficina.

Costo: $5.00 por persona (mayores de 15 años), efectivo o cheque por favor.

Importante: Estos talleres tienen un límite de 25 personas por taller; inscribiremos a las personas en el orden en que llegan y se registran.

El 20 de Noviembre el Presidente anunció que su administración cambiara sus procedimientos en 10 áreas. Estos mini-talleres explicaran la Acción Ejecutiva y se enfocaran en las provisiones que extienden el Programa de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Juveniles) y DAPA (Acción Diferida y Responsabilidad para los Padres).

Aunque hay muchas detalles que no sabemos todavía, daremos información general acerca de quienes califican, información acerca del proceso (lo que se conozca hasta el momento) y que puede hacer para empezar a prepararse desde ahora y también protegerse de estafas. Además habrá la oportunidad para hacer preguntas y tener conversaciones privadas brevemente. Creemos que los talleres terminaran a las 11. Viste www.uscis.gov, www.adminrelief.org , www.miausa.org y www.iamerica.org para más información acerca de los programas.

Durante los próximos días y semanas, el Berkshire Immigrant Center los mantendremos informados a través de nuestra página web www.berkshireic.com, talleres y correos electrónicos que mandaremos a nuestros clientes y colegas en cuanto haya más información.

Debido a la capacidad del persona en este momento, pedimos que todas las preguntas acerca de este nuevo programa sea dirigido a los múltiples talleres que proveeremos y apreciamos su paciencia mientras intentamos ayudarles de la mejor manera posible.

Este proceso tomara tiempo. Queremos repetir que todavía NO EXISTE ALGUNA MANERA DE APLICAR PARA EL NUEVO PLAN. Sean cautelosos para que no les estafen. http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/

What’s happening with immigration? Find out at our workshop TUESDAY November 25 at BCC!

What’s happening with immigration? Find out at our workshop  TUESDAY November 25 at BCC!

We applaud President Obama for taking the first steps to fix our broken immigration system and are so proud of all the different sectors of our movement that made this victory possible. Millions of families who are already part of our communities can finally participate fully in our communities. It’s truly a victory for all Americans and for our im­migrant brothers and sisters who contribute to our economy, schools, neighborhoods, small businesses and our everyday lives.

As we celebrate however we must keep in mind the millions left untouched by this announcement. BIC reaffirm’s its commitment to continue fighting with the immigrant community and allies for a fair and permanent solution. We also call on Congress to do what is right and pass legislation that brings as many immigrants as possible out of the shadows and creates an immigration system that reflects our Country’s values of due process and justice.


On Tuesday, November 25, at 6 p.m. the Berkshire Immigrant Center will be hosting a workshop at:

Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St. Pittsfield in room K-111http://www.berkshirecc.edu/images/campus-maps-2014-2015.pdf

We will discuss the president’s expanded deferred action program and to answer your questions about who qualifies and what you can do now to prepare!


What we know so far is that the President announced 10 areas where his Administration will modify immigration policy. More information can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/20/fact-sheet-immigration-accountability-executive-action.

Here is a summary of the part of the President’s plan that expands the Deferred Action Program:


Although the government has released some information, we expect DHS will produce detailed explanations and instructions in the coming months. Visit www.uscis.govhttp://www.adminrelief.org/ andhttp://iamerica.org for more information.


During the coming days and weeks the Berkshire Immigrant Center will keep the community updated by posting information on our website www.berkshireic.com, holding workshops and emailing our clients and colleagues as more information becomes available. Due to staff capacity at this time, we ask that all questions about this program be directed to the many workshops we will be providing and appreciate your patience with us as we strive to meet your needs to the best of our abilities.

This process will take some time. We want to stress that there is NO APPLICATION PROCESS YET. Please be cautious so you are not taken advantage of. http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/

Cautions About the Expected Administrative Action on Immigration

*info en español abajo

More information/info importante: http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/

Cautions About the Expected Administrative Action on Immigration

With major media outlets talking about the prospect of administrative action on immigration coming soon, there is an understandable surge of enthusiasm among our communities. But it hasn’t happened yet, and when it happens you will know.
For now, BIC urges you to be cautious. At this point, there is very little known about what the administration will announce, including who will be eligible and when the announcement will come.
Please be aware there are people out there who will try to take advantage of you. They will make big promises and take your money and without delivering anything. It could be many months before eligible individuals are able to apply for the program; you should NOT be giving any money to anyone who promises to do your paperwork until the government starts accepting applications. Once the application process does begin, BIC and many other community organizations throughout Massachusetts will begin providing low-cost or even free services to those seeking to apply. This may be in the form of individual representation or group workshops where we go through the application step by step with you. It will depend on how many people are eligible as we want to help as many as possible.
There are some things you can start to do now:
Everyone who hopes to be eligible should start gathering their documents. These would include:
Any official government documents including passports and anything you have ever received from the US government, whether that’s from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or the immigration courts.
Documents to prove residence in the US from the date you arrived. Individuals should start gather bank statements, tax records, utility bills, school or medical records, and any other documents you can get your hands on to show that you resided in the US since the date you arrived. Do your best, but try not to worry too much about years you may not have. We don’t know yet whether or not this will even happen let alone how many years someone might have to prove they lived here. You should also be gathering any documents from immediate family such as birth certificate, citizenship certificates, or copies of green cards.
The service will most likely require an application fee for any relief offered. You may also have to pay for help from any agency like BIC or in some cases, even an attorney- if something happens you will need some money.
Finally, wait until you hear an official announcement! BIC will post something on our website www.berkshireic.com confirming an announcement within 24 hrs if it happens. Within 48 hours we will also send any of our clients who have provided an email address any information we have.
We are extremely proud of all the hard work that organizations and individuals have done to get us to this point. But there is still a lot of work left to do. Any action that the administration takes this year IF ANY will not provide a permanent solution to our problems, but it’s a great (and long overdue) first step to providing a degree of security to our communities and reduced unauthorized employment.
With continued hard work, we can advocate with Congress to provide a permanent solution through legislation to provide a just and humane fix to a system that has been failing to work for our communities for far too long.

Precauciones acerca de la acción administrativa prevista en Inmigración

Con importantes medios de comunicación hablando de la posibilidad de que acción administrativa acerca de inmigración venga pronto, hay una oleada de entusiasmo comprensible entre nuestras comunidades. Pero todavía no ha sucedido, y cuando suceda usted sabrá. Por ahora, BIC les recomienda ser cautelosos. En este momento, se sabe muy poco acerca de lo que el gobierno dará a conocer, incluyendo quién será elegible y cuando el anuncio vendrá.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta que hay gente por ahí que tratara de aprovecharse de usted. Ellos harán grandes promesas y tomaran su dinero sin entregar nada a cambio. Puede que sean muchos meses antes de que las personas elegibles sean capaces de solicitar para el programa; No le debe dar NINGUN dinero a nadie que le prometa hacer el papeleo hasta que el gobierno comience a aceptar solicitudes. Una vez que el proceso de solicitud comience, BIC y muchas otras organizaciones de la comunidad a lo largo de Massachusetts comenzarán a proporcionar a bajo costo o incluso servicios gratuitos a los que quieran solicitar. Esto puede ser en forma de representación individual o de talleres en grupo donde miramos la solicitud paso por paso con usted. Esto dependerá de cuántas personas sean elegibles ya que queremos ayudar a tantas como sea posible.

Hay algunas cosas que usted puede comenzar a hacer ahora:

– Toda persona que espera ser elegible debe empezar a reunir sus documentos. Estos incluyen:

– Todos los documentos oficiales del gobierno, incluyendo los pasaportes y todo lo que alguna vez ha recibido del gobierno de Estados Unidos, ya sea de Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración, de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas, o los tribunales de inmigración.

– Documentación que pruebe su residencia en los EE.UU. a partir de la fecha en que llegó. Las personas deben empezar a reunir estados de cuenta bancarios, registros de impuestos, facturas de servicios públicos, registros de escuela o registros médicos y cualquier otro documento que usted pueda conseguir para demostrar que usted residió en los EE.UU. desde la fecha en que llegó. Haga su mejor esfuerzo, pero trate de no preocuparse demasiado por años que no tenga. Todavía no sabemos si esto va a pasar ni tampoco cuantos años alguien tendría que probar que han vivido aquí. También debe estar reuniendo todos los documentos de la familia inmediata, tales como certificado de nacimiento, certificados de ciudadanía, o copias de las tarjetas verdes.

– El servicio muy probablemente requerirá un pago de solicitud para cualquier alivio ofrecido. También es posible que tenga que pagar por la ayuda de alguna agencia como BIC o en algunos casos, incluso un abogado – si algo sucede, usted necesitará un poco de dinero.

– Por último, espere hasta que escuche un anuncio oficial! BIC publicará algo en nuestra página web www.berkshireic.com confirmando un anuncio en las primeras 24 horas si se produce. En las primeras 48 horas también enviaremos a nuestros clientes que han proporcionado una dirección de correo electrónico cualquier información que tengamos.

Estamos muy orgullosos de todo el fuerte trabajo que las organizaciones e individuos han hecho para traernos a este punto. Pero todavía hay mucho trabajo que hacer. Cualquier acción que la administración tome este año, SI TOMAN ALGUNA, no proporcionará una solución permanente a nuestros problemas, pero es un gran (y desde hace mucho tiempo) primer paso para proporcionar un grado de seguridad a nuestras comunidades y reducir el empleo no autorizado.

Con el continuo trabajo fuerte, podemos abogar ante el Congreso para que provea una solución permanente a través de legislación que proporcione un arreglo justo y humano a un sistema que no ha funcionado para nuestras comunidades por demasiado tiempo.

Berkshire Immigrant Center.

DACA Renewal

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Dear Clients and Friends,

USCIS is still accepting INITIAL applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA and now will begin accepting DACA RENEWALS for those who qualify. 

Applicants for RENEWAL should apply between 150 to 120 days prior to the expiration of their EAD cards (work authorization documents.)

Applications CANNOT be filed more than 150 days prior to EAD card expiration and, in order to be “covered” by a work authorization extension if necessary, SHOULD be filed at least 120 days before card expires.

BIC will begin helping file DACA renewals as of Monday 6/30/2014 for those who qualify. 

All DACA clients- new or having been served by BIC in the past- will need to have a consultation with a counselor prior to having their renewal form prepared by us. At this appointment we will determine if you qualify for renewal and, if so, tell you how you can apply on your own or with our representation.

You can book a consult now by calling BIC or try coming to one of our Wednesday Walk-in Clinics. http://berkshireic.com/?page_id=213

For more information on this process, see the links below. To make an appointment to file with our help, please call 413-445-4881 or email secretary@berkshireic.com.

We look forward to continuing to assist you and hope you will help us spread the word to others who may benefit from this important opportunity!


The Berkshire Immigrant Center

The link below has a list of websites with DACA resources:


We also recommend that you join the DACA renewal network:

Official USCIS Information on DACA:

New I-821D form (Rev. 06/04/2014) and instructions


Updated FAQs


Updated Website


Information for initial applicants


Information about Renewals

USCIS en Español:



BIA Accreditation and Fee Increases

June 4, 2014

Dear Valued Clients and Friends,

The Berkshire Immigrant Center is very happy to announce that two of its staff members, Director Hilary Greene and Program Coordinator Brooke Mead have recently been acknowledged by the Board of Immigration Appeals as “Accredited Representatives”. This bestowal enables us to dispense legal advice and to represent clients in their pursuit of immigration benefits. While we will not be accompanying clients to interviews or representing them in court, we will be able to provide an enhanced level of service delivery, advocacy and follow-up for our clients.

This achievement is a major honor and benefit to the Center and its clients, but it also comes with a marked increase in responsibility, time commitment, training requirements, reporting, and accountability.

Due to the above, we must make some internal changes that enable us to provide the highest quality services possible and to ensure the long-term sustainability of our program. Many of these changes will focus on in-office policies and procedures to maximize efficiency and improve service delivery.

Another change we must implement is an increase to our fee structure. Charging “nominal” fees is a requirement of the Board of Immigration Appeals. For years we have tried to keep our fees at the bare minimum, and we will continue to do so. The new fees will still remain extremely low relative to other non-profit immigration programs and private attorneys. The new fee structure will go into effect as of July 1, 2014 at which time you can view the fee chart in our office or on-line at: www.berkshireic.org.

We understand that this is a difficult economic time for many and appreciate your understanding of the costs BIC incurs in assisting our new neighbors to settle here as well as bringing in family members from overseas. We will continue to offer fee waivers and reductions to those who meet income eligibility guidelines. No one will be turned away due to the inability to pay.

Thank you so much in advance for your understanding and support. We look forward to continuing to serve you and your families in the pursuit of your own American Dream.

Best regards,

The Berkshire Immigrant Center

National Immigration News Updates, 12/16/13

National Immigration News Updates from the Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC)

Please call 413-445-4881 to make an appointment to discuss any of the programs below

For more information about BIC, visit:  www.berkshireic.com

1.     Parole In Place for Military Families: a legalization program that allows certain immediate family members of those who are serving or have served in the military to legalize their status. Under immigration law this would apply to the military member’s:

  • spouse
  • child (if unmarried and under 21 years old)
  • parent (if the military member is over 21 years old)

For more information please call BIC to make an appointment or visit this website

2.      Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): a legalization program that applies to certain people who came to the United States under the age of 16 and have resided in the US since July 15, 2007. For more information please call BIC to make an appointment or visit this website.

3.      Provisional Waiver (Family Unity Waiver): A way for certain people who entered the United States without inspection and are married to a US citizen to file a hardship waiver while in the United States. Although it would still require a return to one’s home country, the idea is that someone could leave fairly sure they would be readmitted. For more information please call BIC to make an appointment or visit this website.

4.      Petitions for Same Sex Spouses (DOMA): Due to the Supreme Court Ruling overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) certain US Citizen spouses can now sponsor their same sex husbands/wives. For more information please call BIC to make an appointment or visit this website.

5.       Comprehensive Immigration Reform: As of yet there is no national legalization program, but we are hopeful that Congress will work on this again in the spring. Even though it seems there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, it is important to understand that as of now, there is no program. It is important that community members continue to get their information from qualified immigration attorneys or other accredited immigration centers like BIC

Please avoid notarios and confirm what you think you have heard on the news with an immigration expert!

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Three new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to spread widely as Congress debates immigration reform.

[gview file=”http://berkshireic.com/files/2013/06/PSA1.pdf”]

[gview file=”http://berkshireic.com/files/2013/06/PSA2.pdf”]

[gview file=”http://berkshireic.com/files/2013/06/PSA3.pdf”]

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Prepare for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before a Law Passes

(A bill to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants has not passed.)


  • Do not go to “notarios publicos” for immigration help.
  • Do not apply for a “legalization” benefit before the law passes.
  • Do not pay anyone to complete “legalization” benefit applications before a law passes.
  • Do not pay someone in advance to hold an appointment to complete a “legalization” benefit application.
  • Do not register to vote.
  • Do not vote in elections where non-citizens are ineligible to participate.
  • Do not make false claims to U.S. citizenship.


  • Do go to an attorney or BIA accredited representative if you have immigration questions.
  • Do obtain a government-issued photo identification document from your country of nationality.
  • Do organize personal records of residence, employment and tax filings in chronological order.
  • Do maintain good moral character and avoid activity which may cause you to be convicted of a crime.
  • Do learn to speak, read and write in English to the best of your ability.
  • Do learn U.S. history and government similar to questions asked on the naturalization test.
  • Do save money to pay for future USCIS application fees and legal assistance fees.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. www.cliniclegal.org
415 Michigan Ave NE, Suite 200 * W ashington DC 20017 * 202-635-2556

BIC Newsletter: Fall 2012

Click below to read the first edition of our new newsletter and let us know what you think.

BIC Newsletter Fall 2012

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Please help us keep the Center open!

Unexpected funding cuts may force us to drastically cut services unless we raise $4500 per month to cover the $50,000 shortfall for the fiscal year.  Please help us support the immigrant community as we do today

Please make a tax deductible donation today

ONLINE: use the DONATE button on the right to give online!

CHECK: Mail To
Berkshire Immigrant Center
88 South Street, Pittsfield, MA  01201

With your help, we can continue to create a welcoming community for the more than 10,000 immigrants who are our neighbors, friends and co-workers in the Berkshires.

Donations in any amount DO make a difference.

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