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Immigration

October, 2018

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz blasted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule change that would render immigrants who receive certain forms of public assistance such as Medicaid, Medicare food stamps and Section 8 vouchers potentially ineligible for U.S. permanent residency. Comments (13)
New Voices

After shuffle in Albany, can the DREAM Act pass?

The resounding primary defeats of former Independent Democratic Conference members is certain to cause a shuffle of legislative priorities in Albany. Comments (5)

September, 2018

New Voices

Administration’s approach to trafficking remains lacking

A chilling news story from the border has made national headlines. Comments (4)
New Voices

Trump to adopt “denaturalization” in war on immigrants

Under the Trump administration, long-held truisms about immigration have been tested. Some in Trump’s inner circle have flirted with the idea of ending birthright citizenship as a way of punishing undocumented immigrants. Others have pledged to crack down on “immigration fraud,” a term with no precise legal definition, but up until now it referred to service providers that exploited immigrants rather than the immigrants themselves. Comments (4)

August, 2018

Maspeth

Maspeth man’s deportation overturned by federal judge

Maspeth resident Edisson Barros’ deportation to Ecuador, issued by a New Jersey immigration judge, was waylaid by Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla late last week when she issued a stay allowing him to fight for the right to remain in the country. Comments (2)

Velázquez knocks DHS over TPS termination

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn) is questioning the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Nepal and Honduras. Comments (3)
Maspeth

Family’s plea to keep Ecuadorian man in the U.S. falls on deaf ears

The family of Edisson Barros was waiting anxiously for New Jersey federal immigration Judge Mirlande Tadal to reach a conclusion about the Queens taxi driver’s impending deportation to Ecuador on Aug. 14 when they were heartbroken by bad news. Comments (6)
New Voices

Lawsuit reveals flawed census citizenship question

The decision to include a specific question on citizenship on the upcoming 2020 Census is a controversial one, long suspected to be motivated by politics rather than practicality. The U.S. Census is intended to count all persons living in America, including non-citizens. Critics suggest that the inclusion of such a question, for the first time in nearly 70 years, is designed to suppress cooperation and response rates in predominantly immigrant communities. Comments (4)
Long Island City

LIC clinic helps immigrants apply for citizenship

About 50 registered immigrants attended a naturalization workshop clinic Saturday to receive free legal assistance with their naturalization applications at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City despite some anxiety that this is a perilous time to seek citizenship because of the Trump administration’s attitude toward immigrants. Comments (5)

July, 2018

Velazquez urges Trump to reunite immigrant children with their families

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn) spoke Sunday at Foley Square in Manhattan about the children separation crisis the country is experiencing. Comments (4)
Corona

Peralta introduces sanctuary state bill, joins call to abolish ICE

The newly redesigned Corona Plaza had its first immigrant rally last week with state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) unveiling a bill calling for the establishment of New York as a sanctuary state for immigrants, as well as the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Comments (2)

College Point pizza deliveryman detained by ICE now free

A federal judge stayed the deportation of an undocumented pizza deliveryman Tuesday and demanded he be immediately released from detention nearly two months after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained the driver of a College Point restaurant at Fort Hamilton Army Base on June 1. Comments (6)
New Voices

On Queens’ shores, a lesson on asylum seekers

Lost in the discussions on whether it is acceptable to lock up children separately or to simply lock up entire families for violating immigration law is the case of the Golden Venture, which landed on Queens shores 25 years ago carrying more than 200 illegal immigrants. Comments (5)
Letters

Loving your country a part of Muslim religion

My closest friend’s family, and even colleagues are first, second, or third-generation immigrants. I didn’t choose them for this reason, we just seemed to click this way. Comments (3)
New Voices

Pressure mounts for Queens politicians to take action on ICE

The sudden and dramatic implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy for asylum seekers by the Trump administration has renewed scrutiny on Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, with many immigration advocates now calling for the abolition of the agency. Though ICE has operated extensively throughout the city, reports of 2,500 children separated and detained or sent to foster case has brought national scrutiny on the agency. Comments (2)

June, 2018

Queens residents turned out by the hundreds Monday night to march against the White House policy of separating undocumented children from their families and detaining them in specialized facilities. Comments (5)
Editorial

Queens stands up

Queens lawmakers and city officials have spoken out against the U.S. Supreme’s Court decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and they should be applauded for doing so. Comments (3)
A series of free informational “Know Your Rights” workshops and confidential legal clinics for immigrants were announced last week and scheduled to run from June 25 to June 29 in five of the most diverse neighborhoods in Queens, delivering advice from Borough President Melinda Katz’s Immigration Task Force. Comments (3)
Long Island City

New York Public Lawyers for Interest to provide free legal services to immigrants in Queens

The New York Lawyers for the Public Interest in partnership with Catholic Migration Services reopened their immigration hotline this month to help eligible immigrants receive assistance with their naturalization applications, said Annamaria Santamaria, program associate of Pro Bono Programs at NYLPI. Comments (3)
Letters

Queens will support its immigrants

President Trump’s immigration policy is dehumanizing individuals, ripping children from the arms of their parents and tearing families apart. Comments (6)
Flushing

Federal judge orders immediate release of Flushing man seized for deportation during green card interview

A federal judge ordered the immediate release Wednesday night of the Flushing man separated from his family and detained during a green card interview. Comments (8)
College Point

College Point pizza delivery man spared immediate deportation following court ruling

The driver for a College Point pizzeria had his imminent deportation back to Ecuador halted by a federal judge Saturday. Comments (4)
New Voices

Detention of children in immigration facilities sparks furor

The Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of asylum seekers from their parents came under renewed scrutiny amid reports of inhumane detention facilities. Comments (4)

May, 2018

New Voices

City releases first-ever report on inclusion

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs released its first ever annual report in March detailing efforts in 2017 to in the report’s words integrate immigrant New Yorkers into the city’s “civic, economic and cultural life.” Comments (3)
New Voices

Queens’ Nepali immigrants slam decision to end TPS

Accusing the federal government of “playing games with immigrant rights” and making a “political decision,” the Nepali community in Queens slammed the Trump administration’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status for Nepali nationals. Comments (7)

April, 2018

New Voices

Lawmakers, activists turn to innovative solutions to help undocumented

As the prospect of an immigration deal fades with each day, state and local officials as well as community groups are looking for ways to ease the burden on undocumented city residents. One such initiative, Green Light NY, pressures Albany to restore the right of undocumented persons to have driver’s licenses while another initiative proposed by the city comptroller’s office attempts to address the soaring cost of filing fees to become a citizen. Comments (3)
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan urging an 18-month extension for the Temporary Protected Status designation of Nepali New Yorkers. Comments (1)
Corona

Peralta rallies for DREAM Act at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) joined Dreamers and their advocates last week at a rally held at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to call on the New York State Senate to pass the Dream Act and expand the Tuition Assistance Program to undocumented college students. Comments (3)

Queens is home to most naturalized immigrant population: MOIA report

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs presented its first report last week, and despite the upheaval within the city’s immigrant population due to shifting policies from the White House, Queens remains the biggest bastion for immigrants of varying statuses. Comments (6)

March, 2018

New Voices

Policy of separating children spurs ACLU lawsuit

A controversial practice by Immigration Customs Enforcement made national headlines as the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the agency for separating mothers and children detained at the border in a policy the ACLU has panned as having “no legitimate purpose.” Comments (3)
Woodside

DACA recipient tells her story

Shortly after President Trump terminated the DACA program March 5, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent out a press release featuring video testimonials of the human faces of the Obama-era initiative, which included former Woodside resident Angie Kim. Comments (7)
New Voices

What would an immigration deal look like?

After the Trump administration decided to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and kicked the onus on a fix to Congress, the program beneficiaries, better known as “Dreamers,” have lived in limbo, facing deportation to countries they last set foot in as children. Comments (1)

February, 2018

DACA deadline looms

Two mayoral agencies have joined forces with a Latino advocacy coalition to discuss impending federal action that will have a major impact on immigrant communities in New York and beyond. Comments (1)
As January came to a close, the Department of Homeland Security announced an extension to the Temporary Protected Status for nearly 7,000 Syrians that came to the United States before Aug. 1, 2016, but the remaining 2,000 recipients will have to find immigration relief through other channels and no new Syrian applicants will be accepted into the program. Comment
New Voices

What is the history of chain migration?

“Chain migration” is the latest buzzword to define the ongoing immigration conversation in the United States: popularized by the extreme right to describe the process of immigrants gaining residency through a family visa from a relative established in the country. Anti-immigration advocates have made the spurious claim that these immigrants are arriving in “hordes” and are of a lower quality than those arriving in America on a professional or marriage visa. Comments (2)

January, 2018

The fate of DACA is up in the air

With the government shutdown having come to an end on Monday for at least three weeks, Congress has until Feb. 8 to decide the fate of about 689,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children and remain temporarily protected from deportation. The Trump administration has said that the protection from DACA will expire on March 5. Comments (1)
It was announced on Monday that the Temporary Protected Status of 200,000 El Salvadorans in the United States has come to an end, and they will have to leave the country by Sept. 9, 2019, according to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Comments (5)
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