All Bronx residents, regardless of immigration status, will now have access to affordable health care under a new city program. People who can prove they have lived in the Bronx for at least six months will now qualify for NYC Care. The city plans to expand the coverage to all five boroughs by next year at an estimated cost of $100 million.
Dr. Herminia Palacio, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, described the plan as “Affordable, quality care with compassion and dignity for every New Yorker, regardless of your immigration status regardless of your ability to pay.” The program will assign recipients of the insurance to primary care providers.
As it stands, there are an estimated 600,000 uninsured residents of New York City. The city hopes they will all be covered by insurance once the program is fully active. It also plans to install 60 new primary care teams for recipients of NYC Care, and they will see patients for free or for a low cost. Meanwhile in Albany, advocates have been fighting for the state to extend its Essential Plan to undocumented people. PIX11
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Staten Island Residents Patrol the Streets for ICE Activity
Concerned Staten Island residents are taking to the streets to patrol for ICE agents to warn and protect undocumented New Yorkers. The inativie is partially led by César Vargas, a resident of Staten Island, an Army Reserve specialist and one of the first undocumented immigrants admitted to the New York State bar. The patrols start at 5 a.m. and circle around spots where ICE has arrested multiple people. The members of the patrols try to inform people of their rights and document ICE activity. AM New York
Children Separated After Zero Tolerance’s End are Largely in New York
The zero tolerance policy officially ended after President Trump issued an executive order to cease that practice, beginning the monumental task of reuniting nearly 3,000 families the administration separated. Yet since then, the Trump administration has claimed it is within its rights to continue separating kids from their families. Since the beginning of 2019, the administration has split 911 children nationwide from their parents, and has sent 308 of them to New York foster homes and shelters. The ACLU is challenging these separations, which happen to parents with criminal records. WNYC
NJ Attorney General Gearing Up To Fight County Governments
County governments across New Jersey are rebelling against Attorney General Gubir Grewal’s directive that places limits on their abilities to enforce federal immigration laws. In mid-July, the Ocean County freeholders authorized their attorney to file a federal suit against Grewal and his Immigrant Trust Directive. Grewal also came into conflict with Monmouth and Cape May counties after he accused local sheriffs of violating the directive. If the Ocean County case made it to court, it would likely revolve around issues of preemption: whether a state law or policy preempts a local one. Rulings around similar issues have been varied. New Jersey Law Journal
Trump Administration Pilot Program Will Fast Track Deportations
The Trump administration is piloting a program in 10 cities aimed at fast-tracking immigration court hearings to discourage migrants from traveling to the U.S. Family cases will be a part of the fast-tracking efforts. Speeding up the hearings aims to prevent migrants from forming community ties while they await the conclusion of their asylum hearings. Asylum seekers can get work permits if their applications are pending before a judge for six months, but fast-tracked cases make it impossible to receive the permit. Associated Press
Anti-Immigrant Manifesto Appears Online Before Mass Shooting in El Paso
Shortly before a man went into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 20 people, a anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online. The manifesto talked about the “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners. Police are trying to determine whether or not the writings were done by the 21-year-old man who has been charged in the shooting. The manifesto drew inspiration from the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand in March and other white supremacist writings. The New York Times
Migrants Held in Squalor in Mexico
Detained migrants in Mexico have been held in a wrestling arena, a fairground and in government offices as they await immigration hearings, sleeping on the ground in hallways and on basketball courts. They have had to face bedbug infestations, extreme heat and days without showers among other horrors. “Everything’s a disaster,” said the leader of a migrant advocacy group. The Trump administration recently pushed the Mexican government to crack down on migrants traveling through the country to the U.S., and detention centers have reached up to five times their capacity. The New York Times
Another Migrant Dies in CBP Custody
A 32-year-old man from El Salvador died at a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in Lordsburg, New Mexico last week. He is one of at least 10 undocumented immigrants who died this year in the custody of the federal govrenment. While undergoing processing at the facility, the man “fell into medical distress,” CBP said. According to El Salvador’s embassy in Washington, D.C., “forensic personnel are verifying the causes of the death.” The man had been traveling with his 8-year-old daughter, who is now being transferred to a shelter in Clint, Texas. HuffPost
DHS Civil Rights Office Ill Equipped to Handle Complaints
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is allegedly failing to stop rights abuses as they’re happening in the rapidly expanding immigration detention system. The office ineffectually handles complaints, according to immigration lawyers and former staff from the office. “It seems to mislead the public, to invite complaints involving specific information about the individual or the family and the alleged violation, if Civil Rights and Civil Liberties had no intention of specifically investigating or resolving those individual complaints,” said Ellen Gallagher, a former CRCL staff attorney and adviser. NPR
Washington — Emails Expose Stephen Miller’s Public Charge Fight, Graham Pushes Bill to Lengthen Detention Times, Biden Defends Obama’s Deportation Legacy
White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller has behind nearly every policy that has pushed the Department of Homeland Security to aggressively arrest and detain immigrants across the country, according to emails obtained by Politico. Among them, he orchestrated the public charge rule, which would bar immigrants from obtaining green cards if they receive certain public benefits. The rule will likely be released in the coming days, sources familiar with the administration’s plan have said.
Emails show the lengths Miller went to pass the rule and his aggressive lobbying to restrict the immigration system even further. In an email sent on June 8, 2018, Miller berated then-USCIS chief Francis Cissna over the pace of developments for the rule. “Francis — The timeline on public charge is unacceptable… The public charge reg has been in the works for a year and a half. This is time we don’t have. I don’t care what you need to do to finish it on time. You run an agency of 20,000 people.“
Miller went on in the email to deride Cissna’s performance at USCIS. “It’s an embarrassment that we’ve been here for 18 months and USCIS hasn’t published a single major reg,” Miller wrote. Miller’s emails could raise legal questions about whether the rule was rushed to completion. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said Miller is involved in rulemaking process, but Trump is the “driving force” behind the public charge. Politico
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have rammed through immigration legislation that would extend family detentions despite the objections of Democrats. Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last week pushed an asylum bill forward without input from Democrats, skirting committee rules allowing for amendments and minority participation. The bill would change the law that limits family detention to 20 days for migrants traveling with children, doing away with the limits. It would also require asylum seekers to apply for the status outside of the U.S., rather than when they arrive at the border, and would bring in 500 new immigration judges. Associated Press
Former Vice President Joe Biden defended former President Barack Obama’s immigration record during a candidate form hosted by a labor union in Las Vegas on Saturday. When asked about Obama’s deportation record, Biden said the administration employed a tough approach to border enforcement with the hope that it would lay the groundwork for a bipartisan immigration bill. “We thought at the beginning we might be able to get a more rational approach to the way we dealt with, for example, immigration,” Biden said. “By the middle of the term, it was clear that wasn’t going to happen and things changed.” HuffPost