Honoring the Nestorian Christians

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jokes for Old people

JOKES FOR OLD PEOPLE (under construction)

Ever since I announced that I turned 65, I instantly received some email from the AARP and one of them contains a collection of jokes for old people. Here are three of them:

1. An aged man had hearing problem for years. He went to the doctor and was given a set of hearing aids. He went back a month later for check-up. and the doctor said, 'Your hearing is perfect; your children must be really pleased you can hear again.” The man replied, 'Oh, I haven't told them yet; I just sit around and listen to their conversations—and I've changed my will several times!' 

2. Two elderly men, Slim and Fat, from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree. Fatty  turns to Slim and said, 'Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?' Slim replied, 'I feel just like a newborn baby.''Really!?, replied Fatty, incredulous. "Like a newborn baby!?' Slim replied, “Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.'

 3. An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, 'Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great.. I would recommend it very highly.'
The other man said, 'What is the name of the restaurant?'The first man thought and thought and finally said, 'What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know.... The one that's red and has thorns.''Do you mean a rose?'
'Yes, that's the one,' replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled to his wife,  'Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?' 

Saturday, February 14, 2015


(Sermon by The Rev. Canon Dr. Winfred B. Vergara. St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373. February 15, 2015.)

What are your dreams in life? How many dreams have already come true? How close are you from realizing your dreams?

At 65 years of age, I have many dreams that already came true. Some were big dreams and significant achievements; others ordinary and even mediocre dreams and achievements. Some involved education; others involved travel, jobs and vocation.  Still others involved wealth, health and relationships.

I guess I am perpetually a dreamer because I still have many dreams. Some of these new dreams are within my reach; others seem distant; and still others are utterly impossible. But if it true that there is nothing impossible with God, then I believe that someday, with God’s help, all of my new dreams will come true.

I believe that all of us, human beings, should be dreamers. Dreams are the language of the spirit and because we were created with body, mind and spirit, then we owe it to our Creator to be dreamers. I believe a person who has no dream has no life. Dreams motivate us to struggle, to sacrifice, to endure, to wait and to hope.

In the gospel this morning, Peter rose up from a dream. He saw Jesus being transfigured, meaning Jesus’ figure changed. The raiment of Jesus, the body of Jesus and the face of Jesus changed color. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus’ figure became “radiant and dazzling white as snow.” 

Matthew’s version says “Jesus’ face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” The gospel writer Luke described the appearance of Jesus as a very bright light, “like as a flash of lightning.” 

It seems that what Peter saw was a vision of Jesus’ resurrection. He saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah. In the Old Testament, Moses was the supreme lawgiver of Israel who died thousands of years before the birth of Jesus. In the story of Exodus, it was through Moses that God delivered the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt, turned them into the nation of Israel and given them the laws of God.

Elijah was the first and greatest prophet of Israel. People looked to him as the spokesman of God and worker of miracles upon whom God would break open their hearts to faith.  The prophet Elijah seemed not to have experienced literal death as he was swept up by the chariots of fire and carried by the whirlwind to the beyond. And it also happened centuries ago before the birth of Jesus. 

What therefore Peter had seen in this dreamlike state was that Jesus was the embodiment of "the law and the prophets.”

The vision that Peter saw moved him to suggest another dream. He told Jesus, “Master, it is better for us to stay on this mountain. I will build three shrines: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Peter was for a short-term dream; he wanted to capture a passing moment and enshrine it with a memorial.

But the dream of Jesus was not like Peter. Jesus’s dream is beyond the reach of Peter. Peter’s dream was small and insignificant compared to the dream of Jesus.  

There is something about fishermen from Galilee. For instance, the "Sea of Galilee" is not actually a sea but a lake, but for them, is "our sea." There is an equivalent of the spanish saying, "mi vino ES NO DULCE PERO ES MI VINO" or something like "my wine may not be as sweet but it is my wine." the fishermen do not speak the way king speak, For instance, King Solomon of old, in his entire splendor, built the Temple in Jerusalem and during its inauguration said, “O Lord, heaven and highest heaven cannot contain Thee, how much more this house that I built?” And here was Peter suggesting he would build a tent for Jesus, Moses and Elijah!

Jesus’ dream is one that heaven and highest heaven cannot contain because it is a dream rooted and grounded in the salvation of humankind. It is a dream of building the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of God’s people.

Father Abraham was called by God. “Leave your people and go to a place that I will show you.” Abraham obeyed and walked with God. He wandered from one place to another. He had become wealthy but he never settled in a palace or a mansion because he had a dream. He dreamed of a city, a heavenly city not made by human hands, but a city made by God. 

St. Augustine, a famous theologian and church father, wrote a book of twenty volumes. Volumes 1-10 was about the City of Man and volumes 11-20 was about the City of God. The City of Man, Augustine wrote, is a city built by man’s pride, by man’s greed, by man’s ambition. This kind of city, Augustine wrote, will always die. 

Augustine pointed to another city, the “City of God” (Civitas Dei); a city built by God’s love, by God’s peace, by God’s compassion. This City, Augustine wrote, will never die.

Peter was all about the city of man but Jesus was all about the City of God. The transfiguration was a foretaste of the resurrection, the glory that will be revealed. But the glory will only happen, not on the mountain of pride, greed and ambition but in the valley of humility, love and compassion. The glory will be achieved not with a short-term of gratification but in the long term of suffering. In a sense, there is no gain without pain, there is no glory without sacrifice, there is no resurrection without crucifixion.

Yes, the apostles of Jesus have to leave the mountain of transfiguration and come down to the valley of reality. The face of Jesus was transfigured for future glory, but for now they have to come down to face the reality. The face of Jesus is now set in Jerusalem, where he will be rejected, vilified, spat upon, tortured, and then nailed to the cross. It was not an easy decision but it was the will of the Father, so that God’s people will be saved from their sin, be reconciled to God, paid with the price of Jesus’s own blood.

Today we observe the transfiguration as a foretaste of a dream turning to reality.  Jesus will die, will rise again and be coming back. But on Ash Wednesday, we begin the journey of the forty days of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we will be reminded of our mortality. “From dust you came and unto dust you shall return.” Then for the rest of the forty days, we will journey into Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness, until at last He confronted the powers that will put him on the Cross.”

It is worth noting that when the transfiguration of Jesus eventually faded, there was a cloud that overshadowed Peter and the other apostles.

According to Bible commentator William Barclay, the cloud in Jewish thought, is regularly connected to the presence of God. Yes, what seems to be a foreboding of a storm is also the presence of a mighty power of God. Barclay commented, “It was in the cloud that Moses met God. It was in the cloud that God came to the Tabernacle, It was the cloud which filled the Temple when it was dedicated after Solomon had built it. And it was the dream of the Jews that when the Messiah came the cloud of God’s presence would return to the Temple.”

The descent of the cloud on that mountain of Transfiguration was a way of saying that the long-awaited Messiah had come. He is Jesus Christ, our Lord!

So are there clouds which seem to envelope and cover your dreams? Fear not, the cloud is not an obstacle; it is a foretaste of your dreams coming true. The cloud may be the presence of God affirming that your dreams will soon come true.

And indeed from the cloud, the apostles heard the voice from heaven once again. It was the same voice that was heard when Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan. And voice said, “This is my Son, my Beloved; listen to Him.”

The cloud and the voice did something to the apostles of Jesus. A week before they went up the mount of transfiguration, they were shattered by Jesus statement that He was going to die in Jerusalem. They were confused, bewildered and unable to understand. But what the transfiguration of Jesus, the cloud and the voice had given them something to hold on to, even when they could not comprehend. “Cross or no Cross," Barclay wrote, “they heard God’s voice and acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son.”

So what are your dreams? What do you hold on to as you struggle, endure, wait, hope and long for the fulfilment of your dreams? Let us pray:

“O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed His glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of His countenance, maybe strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into His likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one god forever and ever. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer, p 217)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



(Sermon of The Rev. Canon Dr. Winfred B. Vergara, St. James Episcopal Church, Elmhurst, NY 11373. 2/1/2015)

Jesus’ three-fold ministry can be described as a PHD- Preaching, Healing and Deliverance. Jesus preached the Good News, healed the sick and delivered the oppressed from the devil. The gospel this morning is about this ministry of deliverance or exorcism.

In this gospel, Jesus was at the synagogue. A Jewish synagogue is the equivalent of the church. Sabbath (which is Saturday and a day of rest) is equivalent to Sunday, then “Lord’s Day.” So Sabbath in the synagogues is like Sunday in a church.

It is interesting to note that the man who was demon-possessed was inside the synagogue. It is therefore possible for demons to enter a church building. In this synagogue, the demons or evil spirits were alarmed by the coming of Jesus and through the man, they spoke, “What do you want to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” 

The demons recognized and called Jesus as “the Holy One of God” but Jesus rebuked them to be quiet. Then He commanded to come out of the man. The man experienced convulsion as the evil spirits came out. He exorcised the demons and delivered the person free!

Jesus casting out demons in the synagogue
Personal Experience:
 I had a few experiences of exorcisms or deliverance ministry. In Philippines, I participated in an exorcism rite in one barrio in Pangasinan. An extended family built their house on a former abortion clinic and they would hear infants crying by the wall. After the exorcism, we conducted a requiem mass which eventually healed the family of demonic oppression.

In Singapore, I served as assistant to an Australian exorcist named Bill Subritzky. He claimed he was able to see the demons and he described them as “beings without body” (and that was why they seek to inhabit other people’s bodies.)  I have never seen the demons myself but I’ve seen strange manifestations when persons are exorcised. 

Four  years ago, when In was serving as Supply Priest at St. Michael & All Angels in Seaford, Long Island I was called to minister to a family in the neighboring town of  Amityville . Amityville is the location of the 1970’s scary movie, Amityville Horror. It seems that the father of the family, had virtually invited the evil spirits to come.  He bought the house close to the sea and remodeled it to look like the house in the movie and then exclaimed, “We’re going to be the next Amityville Horror House.”

House in "Amityville Horror"
 From that time on, the wife and children had experienced some paranormal incidents, quite similar to some scenes in the movie.  I do not have time to describe what happened during and after the exorcism, but this and many other experiences of encounters with evil spirits, I get a glimpse of the purposes of the devil. (By the way, the family were safe but the house was destroyed during the Hurricane Sandy. They decided to relocate to Pennsylvania).

What are the purposes of the devil?
In the Bible, Jesus gave us a glimpse of the purposes of the devil. In John 10:10, he likened the devil to a thief and he said, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy.”

  1. So the first purpose of the devil is to steal.
The devil comes to steal away your joy. The will of God is that we may live in peace and quietness, and to enjoy the blessings of life. If these are not present in your life, if there is no peace in your mind, no love in your heart and no joy on your face, then the devil has a hold on you.
So many people go through life without experiencing the good life that God has willed for all of God’s children. They dwell in pains and misery, in heart aches and heartbreaks, in hopelessness and despair because the devil has robbed them of God’s grace. 

Now those people who seem to glorify poverty, I believe, are those who have not really experienced it.  Those who have experience poverty, as I have and some of you have, will never testify that it is good to be poor. No! Never! Poverty is a denial of God’s will. To be born poor and remain poor and to have your children and children’s children inherit the same hopelessness and despair is a curse and not a blessing. Even Steve Jobs once said that “when you are born poor, it is not your fault; but if you continue to be poor until you die, it is your fault.”

Now it does not mean that a person who is poor is not blessed by God. As a matter of fact, as Pope Francis recently affirmed, God loves the poor---and we too must love the poor and extend our hand to them. But when we say “God loves and blesses the poor,” it does not mean that God wants them to be poor always. God loves them and wants to set them free from poverty! 

In the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the universal declaration of human rights, freedom from poverty is implied in the “unalienable right” of every human being  “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Governments are expected to honor and promote these rights. Government officials who deny their citizenry of opportunities to improve their lives should be voted out of office. Oppressors who enriched themselves with greed are agents of demonic institutions. Corrupt politicians should have no place in public service. They would only divert resources from tax payers' money that could improve the plight of the poor.

In biblical history, God set the Hebrew slaves in Egypt free---and provided for their needs---even in the wilderness of Sinai. And in John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I  come to give you life and have it abundantly.” The eradication of poverty remains to be a major part of the vision of shalom, the reign of God on earth.  

Yet some people feel that they are cursed into chronic and perpetual poverty. No matter how hard they try, it seems that they cannot get out from the quagmire of poverty. Even if they work so hard, and work doubly hard, it seems that they cannot rise from the quicksand. They continue to slide down. Now when these things are happening in your life, you need a deliverance from the demons of poverty.

2.The second purpose of the devil is to kill.
Today, there are many happenings that make us believe that the devil is active in today’s world.  The recent terrorist activities in France and other parts of the world , the ISIS cruelly beheading their hostages, the lawless elements in Nigeria kidnapping and killing children, the brutal killings of policemen in Mindanao and many other events of murders and massacres are works not of human beings but of evil.

Many of you know that I am under treatment from prostate cancer. I am beginning to think, ironically, that there is a purpose for my affliction.  As a healing priest, it gives me a motivation to study about cancer. I have come to believe now that cancer is not just a problem that calls for healing but also of deliverance. In Mark 5:9, Jesus asked the devil inside of a man “Who are you?” And the demons said, “My name is legion, for we are many.” In the Roman Army, which was the context of this text, a legion is composed of 6,000 fighting men.

Cancer is not one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. They are named from the organ in which they start. For example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in the skin is called melanoma; cancer that begins in the breast is breast cancer; cancer that begins in the prostate is prostate cancer, cancer that begins in the blood is leukemia and so forth and so on. Cancer is a growth of destructive cells.
Lymphoma cancer cells
Now our body is composed of billions of cells. Some are healthy, others not. Therefore, if you have a cancerous tumor the size of an apple, then you have millions of harmful cancer cells. So like the devil that possessed the human body, the cancer also can be called a legion or many legions, for there are many cells. The devil, named “legion” like cancer, comes to kill. But thanks be to God! Christ comes to give us life and have it abundantly!

3.The third purpose of the devil is to destroy.
The devil’s ultimate purpose is to destroy the image of God that was imprinted in the human being. When God created Adam, he was formed from clay and he had no life. Then God breathe into the clay and Adam sprung up with life. That was the meaning---we are created in the image of God--in the image of God, we are created. The breath of God, the ruach of God, the spiritus of God, gives us life and the image of God was imprinted in every human being. 

It means that a human being has innate godly or divine elements: the capacity to love, to give, to forgive, to experience peace, joy, forgiveness, and all positive aspects of life. But when the devil has come into the person and steals that joy, steals that compassion, steals that mercy and grace, then the person becomes the devil’s possession.  He becomes a different personality. Suddenly he turns 180 degrees: from a loving, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, peaceful person, he becomes a hateful, wicked, unloving, unforgiving, cruel---the personification of the devil himself.

Recently, not far from our community, there was a man who murdered his wife, his mother in law and his children and then committed suicide. The only one who survived was a 12 year old daughter who , despite being hit by a bullet on the head, miraculously survived and was able to call 911 and named her father as the culprit. When other family members and neighbors were asked about the man, they could hardly believe, because they knew him as “good and kind man.” What has happened to that “good and kind man” that he turned into a beast?

When the devil has possessed that person, the ultimate purpose is to destroy his personality that he would totally be unrecognizable from the human being created in God’s image.  But possession does not happen instantly. The devil’s scheme has a progression: from attraction to repression, from suppression, to addiction and finally to possession.  The devil may first appear as an “angel of light” to tempt and later on proceed to make a stranglehold. The addiction to alcohol, drugs, violence, etc. has all the makings of a devil’s scheme.

How do we resist the devil?
Our patron saint, St. James wrote:,Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7)

The antidote to the devil’s poisonous attack is closeness to God. When there is a flood and you are being carried away by the raging waters, what do you do? Cling to a rock, or to a strong tree. Those who were saved from the tsunami were those who were able to cling to something stronger than the floods.  When you are under spiritual attack by the devil, cling to God. The power and strength of God are far more superior than those of the evil one.

St. Paul says in Ephesians 6:12. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.”

In this image of combat, St. Paul said “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:14-18)

Belt of truth; breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit which is the word of God; and prayer at all times.

This is why we come together as a community of faith on Sundays. Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst” (Matthew 18:20).

When we gather as a community in the name and in the presence of Christ, there is safety and power. We hear the Word of God, we practice our faith, we pray for one another and for the world. We can bind and cast out the devil in the name of Christ and the in the power of the Holy Spirit. So have no fear of the evil one. The power of our God is far more superior than that of the devil. With Christ as our deliverer, we are set free! 

Yes, Lord. Deliver us from all evil and grant peace in our time. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


By Cristina A. Godinez, Esq.

President Barack Obama announced on November 20, 2014 his executive action outlining specific steps to fix the U.S. immigration system. These include providing protection to millions of undocumented persons from deportation; redefining who will be the focus of enforcement efforts; and improving access to U.S. citizenship. Here are 11 things to keep in mind about President Obama’s new immigration relief announcement. 

1.       1. More childhood arrivals are now covered.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is now expanded by removing the age cap (upper age limit). Those who came to the U.S. before turning 16; have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; meet educational or military service requirements; and pass criminal and public safety background checks may qualify for relief. An additional 290,000 childhood arrivals are expected to qualify under the expanded DACA. 

DACA period and work authorization is extended from 2 years to 3 years. Pending DACA applications and renewals should also receive 3 years (instead of 2). Expanded DACA applications begin on or about February 18, 2015. Initial and renewal DACA applications under the prior 2012 rule is ongoing. 

2.       2. Parents of U.S. citizens (“USCs” and lawful permanent residents (“LPRs” or “green card holders”) get relief.
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) refers to deportation relief and work permits to be made available to parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders who have resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and are not considered a priority for deportation. This relief is valid for 3 years. Approximately 4.4 million undocumented persons are expected to benefit under the DAPA. USCIS will begin to accept DAPA applications on or about May 19, 2015. 

3.       3. Deportation relief covers only less than half of the undocumented population.
About 6 million out of the estimated 11.5 million undocumented are not eligible for relief. Those who entered the US without papers recently or those who will enter in the future will not be protected. Examples of groups who are not covered are parents of DACA recipients; those without USC or LPR children; those who came after 01/01/2010, among others. 

Those who think they might qualify for relief must seek reliable legal advice and be careful of notarios or scammers who guarantee results. Check the U.S. government website: www.uscis.gov and for information and consult with a licensed attorney. 

4.       4. Enforcement priority is clarified.
Immigration enforcement resources will be directed on three priority groups effective 01/05/2014.
• Priority 1 are those who are threats to national security, border security and public safety.
• Priority 2 are those convicted of misdemeanors and recent unlawful entrants.
• Priority 3 are those with a final deportation order on or after January 1, 2014.
These persons, however, may still qualify for relief in limited cases. 

5.      5. SECURE Communities Program Replaced with a similar program.
Under SECURE Communities, local police automatically sent information to immigration enforcement officers to identify deportable noncitizens. This inter-government program was heavily criticized for eroding the public’s trust in the local police. SECURE Communities is now replaced by the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) which is essentially a similar program under a different name. All fingerprints are still sent to ICE or FBI. ICE’s request to detain removable non-citizens is replaced by request for notification for when person will be released. 

6.       6. Provisional Waivers (PW) will be expanded to cover all family-based petitions.
Before the Obama action, PW is available only to either the spouse, parents or children of USCs with a USC qualifying relative who will suffer ‘extreme hardship’ and is inadmissible based on unlawful presence. Changes include an expansion of the coverage to include family preference petitions. Guidance will also be provided on what will constitute “extreme hardship.” 

7.      7. New advance parole rule may enable certain DAPA or DACA grantees sponsored by immediate relatives to obtain green card.
Travel abroad by DAPA or DACA grantees who have advance parole will not be considered ‘departure’ for the purpose of triggering the 3-year/10-year bar. In addition, a DAPA or DACA grantee who entered the U.S. without inspection (EWI) and is a beneficiary of an immediate relative petition may be able to apply for a green card upon returning to the U.S. with the use of their advance parole. They are no longer EWI but may be considered to have been “paroled” into the U.S. 

8.     8. Labor Department will expand its support of victims of human trafficking and other crimes.
In early 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL will begin to certify applications for trafficking victims seeking T visa status. It will also issue certifications for U visa applicants where its workplace investigation detects three additional qualifying criminal activities: extortion, forced labor and fraud in foreign labor contracting. 

9. Parole-in-place and deferred action will be expanded to include undocumented families of U.S. citizens and green card holders who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. 

10. Eligible legal permanent residents will have better access to U.S citizenship.
DHS will permit the use of credit cards in paying the $680.00 naturalization fee and will explore the expansion of fee waiver for those who cannot afford it. 

11. Improvements in the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa system will be implemented to support business and benefit highly-skilled foreign workers. 

Caution: Deferred action application has not started yet. . Applications under the expanded DACA will begin on or about 02/18/2015. . Applications under Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) will begin on or about 05/19/2015.
Obtaining deportation relief under the new criteria involves complex immigration rules and procedures. The public is advised to check the accreditation of the legal service provider and be cautious of notarios, immigration consultants, or those who guarantee results. The wrong help can hurt. Do not leave original documents with a legal service provider. 

Check reliable sources of information like www.dhs.gov, www.uscis.gov, the American Immigration Council: www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/, or contact the Migrant Center of the St. Francis of Assisi Church at 212 737 8500 ext. 377 to know more about this immigration relief. Or St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway, Elmhurst, New York 11373.
Por Cristina A. Godínez, Esq.

El Presidente Barack Obama anuncio el 20 de Noviembre 2014, su acción ejecutiva delineando los pasos específicos para arreglar el sistema migratorio de EEUU. Estos incluyen proveer protección de deportación a millones de personas indocumentadas; redefinir quienes serán el enfoque de los esfuerzos de control migratorio; y mejorar acceso a la ciudadanía Estadounidense. Aquí están 11 cosas sobre el nuevo anuncio de alivio migratorio del Presidente Obama. 

1. Mas llegados en la infancia serán cubiertos.
La Acción Deferida para Llegados en la Infancia (DACA por sus siglas en inglés) será expandida al removerse el límite de la edad (límite de la edad máxima). Los que llegaron a EEUU antes de cumplir 16 años; han residido continuamente en EEUU desde Enero 1, 2010; cumplen con requisitos educacionales o militares; y pasen la verificación de antecedentes criminales y de seguridad publica podrán calificar para el alivio. Unos 290,000 de llegados en la infancia están estimados a calificar bajo la expansión de DACA. 

El periodo de DACA y autorización de trabajo es extendido de 2 años a 3 años. Las aplicaciones y renovaciones de DACA pendientes también recibirán 3 años (en vez de 2). Aplicaciones de la DACA expandida empezara en o cerca de Febrero 18, 2015. Aplicaciones iniciales y renovaciones de DACA bajo las reglas anteriores del 2012 continúan. 

2. Padres de ciudadanos Estadounidenses (“USCs” por sus siglas en ingles) y residentes permanentes legales (“LPRs” por sus siglas en inglés, o portadores de “Green card”) recibirán alivio. 

 Acción Diferida para Padres de Ciudadanos Estadounidenses y Residentes Permanentes Legales (DAPA, por sus siglas en inglés) se refiere a la protección de deportación y permisos de trabajo para padres de hijos ciudadanos o residentes permanentes que hayan residido en EEUU desde Enero 1, 2010, y que no estén considerados una prioridad para deportación. Este alivio es válido por 3 años. Aproximadamente 4.4 millones de personas indocumentadas están estimadas a beneficiar bajo DAPA. USCIS empezara a aceptar aplicaciones para DAPA en o cerca de Mayo 19, 2015. 

3. Protección de deportación cubre solo a menos de la mitad de la populación indocumentada.
Cerca de 6 millones de los estimados 11.5 millones de indocumentados no son elegibles para este alivio. Los que entraron a EEUU sin papeles recientemente o los que entraran en el futuro no serán protegidos. Ejemplos de grupos que no están cubiertos son los padres de los recipientes de DACA; aquellos sin hijos USCs o LPR; aquellos que llegaron después de 01/01/2010, entre otros.
Aquellos que piensen que podrían calificar para el alivio deberían de buscar consejo legal de confianza y tener cuidado de los notarios o estafadores que garantizan resultados. Revise la página web del gobierno de EEUU: www.uscis.gov para información y consulte con un abogado licenciado. 

4. Prioridad de control migratorio es clarificado. 
Los recursos de control migratorio serán dirigidos a tres grupos de prioridad efectivo 01/05/2014.
• Prioridad 1 son aquellos que son amenazas a la seguridad nacional, seguridad fronteriza, y seguridad pública.
• Prioridad 2 son aquellos que son convictos de delitos menores y los últimos entrantes indocumentados.
• Prioridad 3 son aquellos quienes su orden de deportación final es en o después de Enero 1, 2014. Estas personas, sin embargo, podrían aun calificar para alivio en casos limitados. 

5. Programas de “Comunidades Seguras (SECURE) será remplazado por un programa similar.
Bajo Comunidades Segura, la policía local automáticamente mandaba información a oficiales de inmigración para identificar no-ciudadanos que serían deportables. Este programa inter-gubernamental fue criticado por erosionar la confianza del público en la policía local. Comunidades segura ahora será remplazado con el Programa de Prioridad de Control Migratorio (PEP, por sus siglas en Ingles), que es esencialmente un programa similar bajo otro nombre. Todas las huellas seguirán siendo enviadas a ICE o el FBI. La solicitud de ICE para remover a no-ciudadanos es remplazado para notificarlos cuando la persona es soltada. 

6. Exenciones Provisionales (PW por sus siglas en inglés) serán expandidas para cubrir todas las peticiones familiares.
Antes de la acción de Obama, PW soro era disponible para un esposo, los padres o hijos de USCs con un familiar USC que calificara que sufriría una ‘dificultada extrema’ y que es inadmisible basado en presencia en EEUU sin permiso. Cambios incluyen la expansión de cobertura a incluir peticiones de preferencia familiares. También habrá guía sobre que califica como “dificultad extrema”. 

7. Nueva regla de venia de reingreso puede permitir a ciertos recipientes de DAPA o DACA pedidos por familiares inmediatos recibir su “Green card”.
Viaje al extranjero por recipientes de DAPA o DACA que tienen venia de reingreso no serán considerados como “salida” para propósito de activar la barra de 3/10 años. Adicionalmente, recipientes de DAPA/DACA que hayan entrado a US sin inspección (EWI, por sus siglas en Ingles) y es beneficiario de una petición de familiar inmediato podrá aplicar para una Green card al regresar a EEUU con el uso de su venia de reingreso. Ya no serán considerado EWI sino considerado haber ingresado a EEUU. 

8. El Depto. Laboral expandirá apoyo a víctimas de trafico human y otros crimines.
A principios de 2015, la División de Salario y Hora del DOL empezara a certificar aplicación para víctimas de tráfico buscando estatus de visas T. También dará certificaciones para aplicantes de visa U donde sus investigaciones del trabajo detecten tres actividades criminales adicionales que califiquen: extorción, trabajo forzado, y fraude en contrato laboral extranjero.

9. Permiso-en-lugar y acción deferida será expandida a incluir familias indocumentadas de ciudadanos EEUU y portadores de “Green card” que busquen entrar a las Fuerzas Armadas de EEUU. 

10. Residentes permanentes elegibles tendrán mejor acceso a ciudadanía EEUU.
DHS permitirá el uso de tarjetas de crédito para pagar el costo de $680.00 para naturalizar y explorara la
expansión de la exención de costo para aquellos que no lo puedan pagar. 

11. Mejoramientos en el sistema de no-inmigrantes e inmigrantes serán implementados para apoyar negocios y beneficiar a trabajadores extranjeros con altas destrezas. 

Cuidado: Solicitudes para Acción Diferida no han empezado aun.
+ Solicitudes bajo DACA expandida empezara en o cerca de 02/18/2015.
+ Solicitudes bajo DAPA empezara en o cerca de 05/19/2015. 

Obtener alivio de deportación bajo la nueva criterio requiere reglas y procedimientos complejos de inmigración. El público es avisado de revisar la acreditación del proveedor de servicios legales, y tener cuidado con notarios, consultantes de inmigración, o aquellos que garanticen resultados. La ayuda equivocada puede lastimar. No deje documentos originales con proveedores legales. Revise recursos confiables de información como www.dhs.gov, www.uscis.gov, el Consejo de Inmigración Americana: www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/, o contactar al Centro de Migrantes de la Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís al 212 737 8500 ext. 377 para aprender más. 

Cristina Godinez es una abogada de inmigracion. Ella esta tambien la coordinadora ad hoc en el Centro de Migrantes en el Iglesia de San Francisco de Assisi en laCiudad de Nueva York.o Iglesia Episcopal de de Santiago,84-07 Broadway,Elmhurst, Nueva York 11373.