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Early Arrival: Immigrants lead economic boom in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn

The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn’s immigrant population has been growing since 1990, boosting the number of businesses, their job counts and sales and the boroughs. Unemployment is also at its lowest rate since 1990, according to data from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

According to the data, Queens is the most middle class borough of the three, college graduates have flocked to Brooklyn and health care is the largest employer in the Bronx.

Greetings and welcome to the midweek version of Early Arrival. I’m Max Siegelbaum, here to take you through the latest in local and national immigration news and analysis. If you have feedback, suggestions, tips or leads, reach out at max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com or on Twitter.

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Ellis Island

New York Attorney General Challenges Abortion Policy for Detainees

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is challenging a policy that forbids unaccompanied immigrant girls in detention from having abortions, saying it violates the constitutional rights of women and as well as states’ rights. “All women have a constitutionally-protected right to access safe and effective abortion services — including unaccompanied minors,” Underwood said. “Many of these young women have fled horrific violence, and some are pregnant as the result of rape.” Underwood is joined by 18 attorneys general in the filing. Albany Times Union

Racist Graffiti Found in Brooklyn Spurs Protest

Anti-Chinese graffiti was found outside several businesses in Bensonhurst over the weekend. A Monday rally called on the NYPD investigate the vandalism as hate crimes. “Let me be very clear. This is one of the sickest hate crimes that we’ve experienced here in this neighborhood in recent memory,” Councilmember Mark Treyger said. Treyger called on the NYPD to activate the Hate Crime Task Force, and for the Brooklyn District Attorney to prosecute the perpetrator. Bklyner

Jumaane Williams Convicted of Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle

On Monday, a jury convicted Brooklyn city councilman Jumaane D. Williams of obstructing an emergency vehicle after he blocked an ambulance carrying New Sanctuary Coalition leader Ravi Ragbir in January. Ragbir was at a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and fainted after being detained during the routine appointment. Williams blocked the ambulance and was subsequently arrested. He was sentenced to the few hours he already served after his arrest. The New York Times

Amy Meselson, Lawyer Who Defended Young Immigrants, Dies at 46, The New York Times

Gov. Cuomo Orders Probe into “White Lives Matter” Flyers, News12

New Yorkers Write the Rules for this City. Not Uber [Opinion], Crain’s New York


It has been 125 days since Memphis-based journalist Manuel Durán was detained by immigration authorities after first being arrested by the Memphis Police Department while covering a protest. Documented will keep a running tally of how long Durán remains in detention.

More Asylum Seekers are Failing Credible Fear Interviews

Asylum seekers are quickly failing their initial interviews with asylum officers at the border in record numbers recently, according to attorneys and advocates. In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced asylum seekers must show the threatening behavior was condoned by the government, making it nearly impossible for people fleeing domestic and gang violence to win asylum. Findings of credible fear in immigration court began to fall during 2018, according to figures collected and released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The New York Times

DACA Recipients File Lawsuits for Workplace Discrimination

Four recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program claim they were denied jobs because they were in the program. President Donald Trump attempted to end the program in 2017, but in January and February, two federal courts ordered the Department of Homeland Security to continue renewing work permits for DACA holders. The immigrants are suing employers for allegedly denying them jobs due to their lack of citizenship, despite presenting valid work permits. The lawsuits could have important implications for the estimated 700,000 DACA recipients. Vox

Family of Slain Mexican Teenager Can Sue Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Him

A federal court has ruled the family of a Mexican teenager killed by U.S. Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz can sue the agent and the U.S. government for damages. Swartz was acquitted of second degree murder in April over the 2012 shooting of José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, who was 16 at the time. The agent is facing retrial in October on charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Swartz shot Rodríguez 10 times through the border fence from American soil. The Guardian

Two Lawsuits Could Put DACA on the Chopping Block

In January, a federal judge partially blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA. On Friday, another federal judge ruled to further negate the administration’s actions, ordering it to start accepting new applications on Aug. 23. Another judge will soon hear a case that is trying to shut down DACA entirely. The judge expected to rule against the program, creating  contradictory orders from two federal judges and leaving the program in a precarious position if the issue is brought before the Supreme Court. Vox

ICE Protester Arrested by ICE and Questioned by the FBI

A DACA recipient and participant in ICE protests was questioned by the FBI after being arrested and brought to a detention center. Sergio Salazar has lived in the United States since he was 2 and had been in the country for the past several years under DACA. He was at an Occupy ICE protest in San Antonio, Texas when ICE agents grabbed him after he stepped away from the encampment. In custody, Salazar says FBI agents told him his renewal to DACA had been denied because he was a “bad person.” The Intercept

Two-week Waiting Line at Nogales Port Turns to No Wait for Asylum Seekers, The Arizona Republic

No Driver’s License, No Photo ID? Philadelphia Will Issue Municipal ID Cards Starting Next Year, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Salt Lake City Hiring Full-Time Census Coordinator to Avert an Undercount Many Fear is Likely with Trump’s New Immigration Question, Salt Lake Tribune

Even With No New Arrests, it Would Take 4 Years to Eliminate Immigration Court Backlog, The Hill [Opinion]

In a Conservative Northern California County, a Team of Mexican immigrants Helps Battle Carr fire, Los Angeles Times

Faith Leaders Say They’re Being Targeted For Leaving Water To Help Migrants, HuffPost


Trump Administration to Challenge Immigrants on Public Benefits

A rule proposed by the Trump administration would threaten all legal immigrants who receive government assistance. The rule would order immigration caseworkers to essentially penalize immigrants who receive tax credits and some welfare programs, like food stamps, transit assistance and health programs for children, according to a leaked draft of the proposal.

The rule would allow federal officials to revoke green cards and other legal statuses from immigrants who accept these benefits, concluding they are likely to become a “public charge.” Critics of the rule argue it could force immigrants who use those programs to avoid them, endangering their health and their children’s.

A Homeland Security Department official told the New York Times that over half of all immigrant households use one or more welfare programs. The Trump administration feels providing taxpayer-funded benefits to those households is “unfair,” according to the official. The Trump administration said the measure is aimed at promoting fiscal responsibility for immigrants. The details of the proposal are still weeks away from being finalized and unveiled. The New York Times

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Credible Fear Changes

A group of asylum seekers are challenging the Trump administration in federal court. In June, a legal decision affected asylum claims from those fleeing domestic violence and gang violence. The Trump administration began following this ruling during credible fear interviews at the border. The American Civil Liberties Union and the University of California Hastings’ Center for Gender and Refugee Studies filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. ACLU

Ronald D. Vitiello to be nominated as head of ICE

Donald Trump will nominate the acting director of ICE, Ronald D. Vitiello, to run the agency. Vitiello began his career as a Border Patrol agent in 1985. He was transferred to the headquarters of that agency in 2010 to become the border patrol’s deputy chief and was named CBP deputy commissioner last year. Homeland Security Today

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