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The Immigration Service and Aid Center is proud to announce its 2012 schedule of events.  If you and your church are sensing a call to minister to our immigrant population in Texas by offering legal services, the Spring and Fall seminars and our Summer Basic Immigration Law Institute are designed to provide all necessary training toward accreditation and recognition by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Our cadre of speakers for all events will consist of immigration lawyers and BIA-accredited staff from federally recognized ministries from all across Texas.  Although ISAAC’s training events do not result in automatic accreditation and recognition, all interested individuals seeking both must have at least 40 hours of training in immigration law knowledge and procedure.

The kind of training that offers basic immigration law training this thorough and taught by a highly qualified faculty and at an affordable price is not offered very often either at the state or national level. ISAAC’s training will be all that and more: our seminars and Summer Institute include hands-on components so that all participants can gain valuable experience in filling out forms and preparing a BIA accreditation/recognition portfolio.

  • The Spring Training Seminar will take place at North Dallas Family Church, located at Royal Haven Baptist Church in Dallas on April 27-28.
  • Iglesia Bautista Houston, located in downtown Houston, will host the Fall Training Seminar on September 21-22.
  • Our Basic Immigration Law Institute will by hosted by Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio on June 4-8.

You may register for all three events and save up to $100 if you pre-register.

View more information on our 2012 events.

Or contact:

Jesús Romero (210) 633-6257 or

Alicia Enríquez (214) 828-5192

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The ISAAC Project hosted a training seminar on legal relief for vulnerable people in our society this past September.  The seminar was hosted by Iglesia Bautista Houston, in Houston, Texas.  Bianca Dueñas, an intern at the Christian Life Commission, attended the event and had this to say about her experience:

ISAAC Project Immigration Law Training Seminar

By: Bianca Dueñas

As a first time intern with Christian Life Commission, I had the privilege of attending the ISAAC Project –Immigration Law Training Seminar.  It is a training I highly recommend to anyone with a willing heart who desires to help brothers and sisters through immigration counseling and aid.

The seminar is well equipped with information and resources for one to be educated on issues that affect a vast majority of our Texas population. Topics covered range from: permanent resident cards, citizenship, adjustment of status, hope for refugees, hope for battered women under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and more.  I gained a lot of insight and I am hoping to continue to attend other trainings in order to be able to provide “good” help and not ill-founded knowledge.  Immigration laws are changing and reform is not at the door as of today, through ISAAC trainings, one can stay up to date with changes and provide well-informed aid that can change someone’s life.

The training provided by the ISAAC Seminar is one that everyone should take advantage of, especially churches and their members.  After the completion of required training hours, one can become accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and help individuals through a BIA recognized agency, which the church can become if desired.  ISAAC Project provides “assistance in obtaining immigration law training and in completing the ‘recognition’ and ‘accreditation’ process.

It is a blessing to be a blessing. Take a look at the ISAAC Project

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Facts on Deportation Relief Announcement

On August 18, 2011, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would begin reviewing all pending deportation cases and establish a new process and new guidelines for deportation. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that the Government’s resources are used toward deporting individuals who committed serious crimes and not toward deporting individuals who are not a priority for deportation.  This announcement means certain hope for a large number of people, and they constitute a meaningful act of grace from the Federal Government.  ICE estimates the number of current cases to be reviewed at 3,000.  It has announced that it will also review future cases under these new guidelines.

As the Federal Government looks carefully into every case, certain factors will be taken in consideration, such as:

  • whether the case involves a child or someone who came as a child and completed high school in the US
  • how many years the person has been living in the US
  • whether the person is elderly or has close family members who are permanent residents or citizens
  • whether the person is the primary caretaker for an elderly person or someone in poor health
  • whether the person is pregnant, nursing, is ill or suffers from a disability
  • whether the person or a family member are in the military.

This new review process is by no means an amnesty or legalization program.  People whose deportation proceedings are closed will not receive a visa, a green card or any kind of new legal status.  Some may be eligible for work authorization and, thus, obtain a work permit, but this will not change their legal status in the US at all.

People who benefit from this new policy will not see their legal status changed once their case is closed.  In fact, they will continue to be in the same status they were before they were placed under deportation proceedings. They may be eligible for work authorization, but they cannot file for it until after their case is closed, and these work permits will be granted on a case-by-case basis.  ICE attorneys have already started reviewing cases, but there is no word from the Government as to how long it will take to review all of them or how soon cases will begin to be closed.

There is no application whatsoever that must be filled by individuals who are under deportation proceedings for their case to be reviewed. The Government will review all cases automatically.  If an undocumented immigrant is not currently in deportation proceedings but thinks he may benefit from these new guidelines, he may consult with a lawyer about the possibility of being put under removal proceedings.  Normally, there is no formal way to force ICE to put someone in this kind of situation.

The new process is unclear regarding individuals with no criminal background who have already been deported or have been issued voluntary departure orders and have not left.  It is thought that immigration attorneys may be able to reopen some of these cases, but the issue has not been addressed clearly by ICE.

The new policy will not remove barriers to obtaining a green card, such as being subject to the three and ten year bars on reentering the US as well as bars on adjusting status for individuals who entered the country without inspection.  

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The ISAAC Project is pleased to announce the second edition of our Guidebook for Starting an Immigration Service Ministry(pdf) .  The first edition was posted on our website in 2008, and although there have not been many changes in the process for recognition and accreditation, it was time for an updated version.

The main update has to do with Form EOIR-31, a federal two-page document that is required to start the application process.  The Executive Office for Immigration Review had modified this form since late 2009.  It consists of eight questions that have to be answered thoroughly by those churches and religious non-profits interested in starting immigration service ministries.  The 2011 edition of our guidebook includes a new section that provides guidance and much practical advice on every single one of those questions.

The guidebook also includes helpful links to facilitate the submission of accreditation/recognition materials and supporting documents to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, to the local Chief Counsel for Immigration Customs and Enforcement and the local USCIS District Director.  Other minor changes were made in order to make the guidebook a bit more reader-friendly.  We hope that the process will seem easier to those churches and religious non-profit organizations that wish to become federally accredited and recognized.

As the number of notarios and scammers continues to increase and many in the immigrant community continue to be preyed upon by them, this type of ministry is becoming imperative.  Being recognized and accredited by the Federal government allows churches to contribute to the well being of the immigrant community in at least two ways: by offering legal services in a safe and compassionate environment, and by educating both the immigrants and the general public about immigration law issues and developments. 

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September 09 – 10, 2011| Houston, TX

Loving and Protecting the Least of These

This training seminar will consist of a variety of conferences that will offer information and answer questions about legal relief for certain vulnerable members of the immigrant community, such as abused/battered women, children, victims of crimes, victims of natural disasters and refugees. For those interested, the 8-hour seminar will count toward accreditation with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Iglesia Bautista Houston (Map)
5102 Texas St.
Houston, Texas 77011

Friday, September 9 & Saturday, September 10

$120, which includes conference materials and a catered lunch.

($120 1st person; $60 additional participants of same organization)

Click here to Register Online

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ISAAC Updates


As previously announced, the ISAAC Project will host an immigration law training seminar this fall.  It will be hosted by Pastor Johnnie Musquiz and Iglesia Bautista Houston, on Friday, September 9 and Saturday September 10, 2011.

This is the event that was originally scheduled to be ISAAC’s Second Immigrant Outreach Conference.  The name has been changed in order to communicate more clearly this event’s objective.  Although ISAAC’s work in general is geared toward empowering Baptist churches to reach out and love the immigrant communities around them, this particular event is designed for those churches and individuals interested in credit hours toward federal accreditation to offer legal services to immigrants.

The seminar will center on issues of legal relief to the most vulnerable and helpless segments of society: women, children, victims of abuse, violence and crimes, victims of natural disasters and refugees.

Our roster of speakers features Houston immigration attorneys and BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) accredited representatives. Alfredo Valdez, a Houston immigration attorney, will speak on legal relief for abused women and children under the Violence Against Women Act.  Roberto Hinojosa, also a Houston immigration attorney, will speak on the cancellation of removal process for immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Maribel Ramirez, a paralegal and the owner of R.A.S.A. Business Center, “Servicios Para La Comunidad” in Houston, will offer a conference on the “nuts and bolts” of family petitions and citizenship. Viviana Triana, a certified counselor at the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco, Texas, will speak on legal relief for crime victims through U-visas.   Mark Heavener, Intercultural Ministries Specialist for Texas Baptists, will address the topic of legal relief for refugees and the Refugee Resettlement Process.

The cost of this two-day training event will be $120.  It includes training materials and a luncheon on Saturday.  A completion certificate will be issued to all who attend the entire seminar.  Preregistration will be required.  For questions, call Alicia Enriquez at 214-828-5192.

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Isaac Updates

The ISAAC Project is pleased to announce its Second Immigrant Outreach Conference.  It will take place in Houston, Texas on Friday, September 9 and Saturday September 10, 2011.  Pastor Johnnie Musquiz and Iglesia Bautista Houston will be our hosts.

The ISAAC Conference will have as its central theme issues of legal immigration relief to the most vulnerable and helpless sectors of society: women, children and victims of abuse, violence and crimes.

The roster of speakers will include immigration lawyers and federally accredited representatives of different non-profit agencies involved in loving, reaching and serving the immigrant community in Texas.

The topics covered will be:  family petitions, legal relief for women under the Violence Against Women Act, Temporary Protected Status, Cancellations of Removal, legal relief for minors under the Special Immigrant Juvenile provision, and “U” Visas for victims of crimes.

Details are being finalized for this conference.  There will be more information about registration fees and lodging in the weeks to come.

If you wish to know more details, contact
Email Jesús Romero,
or call 210-633-6257