As skyrocketing rents show no sign of slowing, members of the New York City Council have introduced a bill aimed protecting small businesses from those ever-inflating costs.
The Small Business Jobs Survival Act would scrap month-to-month leases for 10-year-long agreements, as well as implement other specific guidelines to keep rents stable. More than 50 percent of all small business in New York City are owned by immigrants.
“Our intention is to establish fair and due processes in the negotiation of rental agreements in order to end the crisis that is causing small business, many of them immigrant-owned, to close their doors,” said Council member Ydanis Rodríguez, who announced the bill.
Jessica Walker, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce opposed the legislation, saying that it could have “unintended consequences.” Voices of New York
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New Jersey Freeholder Board Keeps ICE Contract While Calling for Agency Spokesperson’s Firing
The Essex County Freeholder Board has been calling for the firing of Immigration and Custom Enforcement spokesperson Emilio Karim Dabul, who has been linked to groups labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as Islamophobic. The board, however, still maintains its contract with the agency to house immigrant detainees. The contract was renewed in 2016, raising the daily rate for each bed in the county correctional facility in Newark from $108 per day to $117. Board President Brendan Gill said he was considering holding a public hearing on the subject, but no official date has been set yet. TAPinto.net
Advocates Renew Pressure on Greyhound
At stations and stops upstate and near the Canadian border, Customs and Border Protection have been conducting random searches of Greyhound bus passengers to find undocumented immigrants. Greyhound has said that “CBP searches have negatively impacted both our customers and our operations,” the NYCLU says Greyhound has the right to refuse these searches. Still, Greyhound says it doesn’t want to put its drivers’ “safety or the safety of our passengers at risk by attempting to stop a federal agent from conducting checks.” WXXI News
Canadian Man Who Served in U.S. Army Deported
ICE deported a Canadian man who was deployed in Afghanistan to work on drug operations because of a 24-year-old marijuana conviction. Demetry Furman, who is married to a former U.S. air force officer, spent 77 days in a maximum security jail in Ohio before being deported back to Canada. Furman was married in 2014 and started his green card application, and was told two years later that his application looked fine. In August of this year, though, the 47-year-old was arrested when his old conviction resurfaced as he was trying to register a truck at the local DMV. This week, an ICE officer drove him to the Canadian border. The Guardian
President Trump Calls Immigration “a War” on America
During a rally in Arizona, President Donald Trump called the influxes of undocumented immigrants coming to the United States as “a war” on America, adding that Democrats want “to throw your borders wide open to deadly drugs and endless gangs.” Trump was rallying to support to Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is seeking retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) seat. Trump also referred to the caravan of Honduran immigrants in his speech, saying they would “overwhelm our nation” should they cross into the U.S. The Daily Beast
ICE Slowly Stopping Use of Federal Prisons
ICE has been phasing out the practice of housing detained immigrants in federal prisons, a practice an ICE spokesperson called a “temporary measure to meet the increased need for detention space.” The agency’s use of prisons for detention sharply increased during the height of the zero-tolerance policy. But the detainee population has recently decreased due to immigrants being deported, granted bail, or transferred to civil detention facilities. NPR
U.S. to Stop Credit History and “Personal Characteristics” Check of Lawyers
The Trump administration has opted to end a check on lawyers intending to represent immigrant minors. The Office of Refugee Resettlement often asked lawyers to agree to a “consumer report,” in which the office could get information about the lawyer’s “character, general reputation, mode of living” and credit history. The news immediately created concerns among those who thought this would block willing lawyers from representing children. HHS announced on Friday that “only a good standing by a state bar association is required” to represent immigrant children from now on. BuzzFeed News
Family Separation Created Severe Mental Health Consequences
The zero-tolerance policy caused the separation of an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 “family units,” and a study shows this has since caused a “mental health crisis” among children in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Human Impact Partners, a California-based research organization, conducted a study of 1,800 children who had at least one parent deported by Immigration and Custom Enforcement in 2017. Many suffered “toxic stress” after the parent’s deportation, something the study says can have lifelong consequences including “anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping and fear of being alone.” The Texas Tribune
Washington — Migrant Caravan Marches Forward Despite Uncertain End
An estimated 4,000 migrants from Central America seeking refuge in the United States are fighting for their fate as President Donald Trump keeps labeling the migrant caravan as “a disgrace to the Democrat Party.”
Trump has continually derided the massive caravan and called on Democrats to “change the laws” to prevent the group from safely crossing into America. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supported Trump’s argument, describing it as a “a moment of crisis” in the U.S. immigration debate.
On Sunday afternoon Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president-elect of Mexico, suggested that Mexico, Canada and the United States should join forces and welcome the migrants. They’re fleeing widespread poverty in their home countries, with even young children and pregnant women making the trek.
Earlier in the week, Trump threatened to end all aid to Honduras if the country didn’t stem the flow of the migrants. He has since indicated support for a United Nations effort to identify “legitimate” asylum seekers within the caravan and likely deport the rest. The Associated Press