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Early Arrival: Cab Drivers Rally at City Hall

Early Arrival is a Documented newsletter that provides a round-up of the most vital local and national immigration news. This is an archived edition of the newsletter.

Yellow cab drivers held a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday to request more regulations as they face mounting financial pressure.

More than 100 cab drivers gathered at the rally led by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, according to amNewYork.

They called on the city government to pass a cap on the number of for-hire vehicles in the city, an increase in fare prices, and financial assistance for drivers struggling with payments tied to their medallions.

The protests come after the body of cab driver Yu Mein Chow was found floating in the East River after he went missing earlier this month. He’s believed to be the fifth cab driver to take his life in recent months due to mounting financial pressure.

According to Sing Tao Daily, Chow was born in Burma and came to New York in the ’80s via Taiwan, fleeing persecution in his country of birth. He first worked in food services and went on to the jewelry business before purchasing a medallion in 2010. He went by the nickname Kenny. 

While the business was originally lucrative, Chow faced a dwindling income and mounting costs such as his children’s college tuition. According to his brother Richard, Chow required $9,000 per month to cover his expenses including payments on the $700,000 loan he took out to purchase a medallion. He was close to filing for bankruptcy.

“Kenny as a husband, father, son, brother, friend, was just like many New Yorkers — he was an immigrant with a dream who unconditionally loved his family and he worked hard every day,” said his brother Richard at the rally on Tuesday. Pix11, amNewYork, Sing Tao Daily via Voices of NY

Ellis Island

Mostofi: Thousands of U.S. citizen children could lose their parents due to TPS changes
Thousands of U.S. citizen children in New York City have been placed at risk, due to the ending of Temporary Protected Status for the majority of its holders, according to Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Mostofi made the remarks during a wide-ranging interview on the Brian Lehrer show. The Trump administration ending TPS for most recipients could force many of those parents to leave or go underground. “We vocalized to the Department of Homeland Security the grave concern that we have as an administration,” said Mostofi. She also criticized the administration for their attempts to prevent victims of domestic violence becoming eligible for asylum. WNYC

In Sodus killing, there’s ammunition for both sides of U.S. immigration argument, NYUpstate.com

Latino New Yorkers Must Find Common Ground to Move Toward Progress, Gotham Gazette [Opinion]


Feds ask for parent’s fingerprints
The Department of Human and Health Services will begin requesting the fingerprints of parents coming to collect their children from the agency’s custody, according to NBC News. Parents will now place their fingerprints in a system that checks if they have a criminal record. The checks were reportedly suggested by ICE in 2016 but HHS rejected the proposals over fear that it would deter parents from picking up their children. Acting Assistant Secretary Steve Wagner told NBC News that parents who do not want to pick up their children may not be fit to do so. NBC News

U.S. funds brutal wing of Salvadoran police
The U.S. government has been funding a section of the Salvadoran police that is allegedly responsible for 43 illegal executions, CNN reported. The unit, known as the Special Reaction Forces, is believed to have received a portion of the $72.7 million in aid that went to El Salvador last year. According to CNN, a forthcoming United Nations report says this unit illegally executed members of MS-13 in the street. The U.S. Embassy admitted that the government funded the group but criticized extrajudicial killings. The group was dissolved earlier this year. CNN

Number of children in shelters spikes under ‘zero tolerance’
The number of migrant children in government run shelters has gone up by 21 percent in the last month, according to data from the HHS. A release from the department on Tuesday indicated that the number of migrant children held in its custody has risen to 10,773 from 8,886, on April 29. The spike is due to the ‘zero tolerance’ policy announced last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The policy dictated that anyone caught crossing the Southwestern border will face federal prosecution. During prosecution proceedings, families traveling with minors are separated from their children, who often end up in HHS shelters. According to The Washington Post, those shelters are at 95 percent capacity. The Washington Post

The 1,500 “missing” migrant children: an immigration expert explains what you need to know, Vox

Debate Over Immigration Raises A New Question: Can The Law Be A Loophole? BuzzFeed

Hidden Horrors Of “Zero Tolerance” — Mass Trials And Children Taken From Their Parents, The Intercept


  • Donald Trump isn’t the first president to harshly treat undocumented immigrants. He is the cruelest, by the Editorial Board. The Charlotte Observer
  • Trump vs. immigrant kids: The parental-separation obscenity, by the Editorial Board. NY Daily News
  • Time’s up, Congress. Bypass GOP leaders and get DACA done for DREAMers, by John Kasich, the governor of Ohio. USA Today

Washington – DHS funds sanctuary cities

The Department of Homeland Security has allocated nearly $1.7 billion in grants to cities with sanctuary policies for this fiscal year, despite President Trump repeatedly saying they would no longer receive federal funding.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen authorized the grants despite objections from senior staff, McClatchy’s Anita Kumar reports. According to several reports this month, Nielsen is on thin ice with the president as Trump is unhappy with her performance.

Trump has targeted cities that do not comply with ICE detainer requests, often referred to as sanctuary cities. He and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have repeatedly threatened to make any city that does not cooperate with ICE, ineligible for federal funding. Sessions attempted to block sanctuary cities from receiving a DOJ grant, which resulted in a lawsuit that is now working its way through the courts. 

The recent allocation provides Homeland Security funding for localities. McClatchy

At a rally in Nashville on Tuesday, Trump claimed Mexico will pay for a wall on the border, a return to his old tactic for rallying up crowds. “In the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” Trump told the rally to rapturous applause. “They make all of this money and they do absolutely nothing to stop people coming from going through Mexico from Honduras and all these other countries.” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto swiftly responded on Twitter that they will “never” pay for the wall. 

Trump Exaggerates Record on MS-13, The New York Times

Republican moderates are close to forcing an immigration fight in the House, Vox

Fact checking the Trump administration on immigration, CNN

The dubious statistic getting the DHS secretary in trouble with President Trump, The Washington Post

Members of the New York Taxi Worker’s Association rally outside City Hall. Photo: Max Siegelbaum for Documented.

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