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African Services Committee Update
Dear Friends, 

I write to you from Ethiopia this year where I’m spending a couple of weeks visiting our Health and Community Development Centers. We just wrapped up a fruitful visit to ASC's clinic located in Addis Ababa's Shola Market, before heading to ASC's northernmost clinic in Ethiopia's Tigray Region, where we are now. This is a special visit for a number of reasons, most notably because this year I have the honor of being accompanied by one of Ethiopia's royal family, honorary ASC Ethiopia Advisory Board Member, and dear friend, HRH Prince Ras Mengesha Seyoum, along with my mother, Ann Nichols, Co-Executive Director Asfaha Hadera, and our daughter Ilfenesh Hadera.
Our morning arrival at the Mekelle Airport yesterday was a spectacular surprise: Local press, officials, and the university community honored Ras Mengesha Seyoum and Ilfenesh with great fanfare. It was an event to behold — one filled with Tigrayan music and dancing that began at the airport and extended for miles to our health clinic in the heart of the Mekelle where youth HIV outreach ambassadors staged brilliant skits, drumming, and dancing. We are forever grateful for such a warm reception. I can report from the ground that our clinics in Ethiopia are as effective as ever at serving thousands more women and children impacted by climate disaster, diseases of poverty, human rights abuses, war and ethnic persecution, and famine.

And while I’m enjoying yesterday’s memorable welcome in Mekelle, I’ll be headed back to New York City in a few days and my thoughts are not far from a host of troubling issues facing the immigrant community in the United States today: the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule and our ongoing lawsuit against the regulation’s cruel implementation, ICE’s rampant and egregious abuse of immigrants, the Muslim and refugee bans, health insurance proclamation, and the fee waiver rule.

Morale is strong at African Services Committee. With our 39th year of service under way, our diverse staff are mobilized with unflinching heart and skill to provide service and advocacy in defense of refugees and immigrants from more than 100 countries across the globe. Our compassionate Harlem staff are testing for infectious diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, navigating clients to much-needed health care, teaching nutrition and distributing nutritious food to thousands of families, providing a safe, welcoming and supportive space for the LGBTQ immigrant community, providing free and affordable legal immigration services to newcomers, providing case management and housing assistance, and teaching literacy to new immigrant adult learners. 

When we aren’t providing direct services to the immigrant community, we are advocating for critical issues like health equity and an accurate 2020 Census count. We also continue to help ASC clients thrive in this country by participating in federal litigation against the Administration’s unlawful immigration regulations. 2020 will be a momentous year and we will be providing direct service to the immigrant community and fighting Trump’s racist administration every step of the way. 

We have much to be grateful for and thank you, our supporters, for helping to provide the critical funding needed to allow us to do our work. We would also like to thank all of ASC’s anonymous donors whose generosity deserves much recognition. Stop by our Harlem office or one of our clinics in Ethiopia -- we'd love to have you anytime.

Best regards,
Kim Nichols
Co-Executive Director

Editor's note: ASC thanks our partners at  Legal Aid Society Protecting Immigrant Families , and  The New York Immigration Coalition  for providing information and resources. 

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s request to undo the District Court’s injunction in the MRNY v. Cuccinelli case on Monday, January 27, 2020, in which African Services Committee is a plaintiff. This means that the October 11, 2019 injunction we had obtained to block the DHS public charge rule will be un-blocked pending further litigation. 
The Supreme Court’s stay will last at least until the appeals court's decision, until the Supreme Court denies any request for certiorari (a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a decision of a lower court), or agrees to hear the case and issues a decision. However, even if we ultimately prevail in court, in the meantime the Rule would likely remain in effect for at least several months. 
Exactly when will the Rule go into effect?  February 24, 2020. On January 30, 2020, USCIS announced that the DHS Rule will take effect on February 24, 2020. The announcement makes clear that any application for adjustment of status (green card) postmarked on or after February 24, 2020 will be subject to the new Rule (except in the state of Illinois, where an injunction is still in place). Applications postmarked BEFORE February 24, 2020 will be subject to the current rules. Likewise, the use of non-cash benefits, specifically SNAP, federal Medicaid, and federal housing assistance BEFORE February 24, 2020, will not be considered under the test set forth in the new rule.

New Yorkers who have questions about the new rule can contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information and be connected to resources.

Click here to read more.
ASC Attorney Speaks with  TheBody.com  A bout Public Charge
African Services Committee staff attorney Gabriel Guimaraes speaks with  TheBody.com  about SCOTUS' decision, lifting the last remaining nationwide injunction, in which African Services Committee is a plaintiff, that blocked DHS'  Public Charge immigration rule from going into effect and devastating countless immigrant families.

Click here to read the full story.
ASC Legal Hotline
First + Third Thursdays 9am - 12pm
(212) 222 - 3882 Option 1
ASC’s legal hotline operates for anyone seeking legal information, as well as other information on ASC services.

The hotline operates live every First and Third Thursday of the month from 9am to 12pm . The Hotline will serve to pre-screen legal callers and schedule follow-up consultations/ upcoming workshops, where they will meet with ASC legal staff to provide legal advice or services as appropriate. Hotline callers will not receive legal advice on the hotline.
Calling All English Teachers!
Join ASC’s TESOL/Literacy Volunteer Program 
We are seeking experienced teachers for ASC's TESOL/Literacy volunteer program (small stipend provided). 

Teachers work one-on-one or in small groups with adult students who are learning to read, learning English, or both. Classes meet Mondays and Tuesdays 5 to 8 pm. 
ASC’s English as a Second Language program provides free, tailored language and literacy lessons to help immigrants communicate and build opportunity for themselves and their families. ESOL instructors and volunteer tutors teach an average of a dozen students of all nationalities, in adult literacy and basic ESOL class levels, languages and academic backgrounds twice a week.

Click here to learn more about becoming a part of the team.
Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby: Healthy Eating
Upcoming Free Session in English

Thursday Feb. 27, 2020
11:30am to 1pm

African Services Committee
429 West 127th Street
New York, NY 10027
Free resources for you and your baby:

Pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding attendees will receive four metro cards + their choice of a baby carrier or a breast pump.

Questions | Reserve your place: halimatouk@africanservices.org  or
Adama: (646) 209-4740
ASC staff and Clients Advocate in Albany for #Coverage4All!
African Services Committee staff, clients, and fellow advocates mobilized in Albany this week to push for #Coverage4All! Thanks to The New York Immigration Coalition for organizing this critical advocacy event. 

Click here to learn more about the #Coverage4All campaign.
African Services Committee provides a safe, welcoming and supportive space to addresses the particular vulnerabilities experienced by recent LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers. In an affirming and culturally-appropriate manner, African Services’ “LGBTQ Health and Human Services Program” aims to eliminate disparities in health care access and wellness by addressing issues related to the key social determinants of health that impact LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers.
Click here to learn more.
' New Age of Immigration: Impact on Communities of Color'
ASC Supervising Attorney a Featured Speaker at NY State Diversity Coalition Annual Event
African Services Committee Supervising Attorney Franco Torres, pictured middle right, was a featured speaker at the New York State Diversity Coalition’s annual diversity networking event “New Age of Immigration: Impact on Communities of Color” at Dwyer Cultural Center on Jan. 28.
Franco shared the panel with Hamra Ahmad (Her Justice), William Chimborazo (Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian), and Hasan Shafiqullah (Immigration Unit of the Legal Aid Society). Thanks to The New York State Diversity Coalition for creating a representative and collaborative atmosphere within legal aid and services programs. Photo courtesy of New York State Diversity Coalition.
Free Winter Coats to ASC Clients Thanks to NY Cares
Thanks to  New York Cares , ASC’s Pantry Coordinator, Youma, and fellow staff have a bounty of winter coats to give to African Services Committee clients in this frigid season in  Harlem .
ASC's dedicated staff will continue to fight for our clients. We need you to join the fight, too, by