New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has opened the city’s affordable housing lottery to undocumented New Yorkers. Before, to apply for affordable housing, every adult member of the household needed to submit their social security or tax ID number. Now, no member of the family has to do so. The change will eliminate the need for a credit check as well.
Undocumented immigrants who don’t have a social security number are sometimes wary of applying for a tax ID, according to Ana Nuñez, of Churches United For Fair Housing, a nonprofit organization. “They may fear that if they apply, especially with this administration, they might face some repercussion … so that is now a huge barrier that has been eliminated,” she said. Margy Brown, the associate commissioner of housing opportunity and program services in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development added that “there are racial disparities in credit. We do not want those disparities to spill over into who has access to affordable housing,”
New Yorkers entered the housing lottery over 4.6 million times last year, and now the city’s undocumented population of roughly 500,000 could be added to that. Just 7,857 people were given units with below market rent. Applicants will have to show 12 consecutive months of rent payments in order to apply. The mayor has pledged to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026, but as it stands, there are over 500 applicants for each affordable unit available. Bloomberg, NY1
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An Uzbek Immigrant Started Informing for the FBI. Now, He’s Trying to Get Out
One night in 2017, Bilol, an Uzbek immigrant, answered a knock on his door and found 25 people there, including FBI, immigration authorities and NYPD officers. Bilol had overstayed his visa and they offered him a deal: If he helped the FBI “catch criminals,” he could legally remain in the country. He agreed to the deal and soon received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that delayed any deportation proceedings. Soon, his FBI handlers had him spend time in mosques around the city to push people about their opinions on the civil war in Syria and other issues. Bilol decided to end the arrangement with his handlers, but he’s not out of the clear yet. Gothamist / WNYC
Democratic Congressmembers Tour NJ Detention Center
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Restaurant in Hudson Closes After ICE Targets Staff
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US Lost More Than 40 Percent of its Foreign Students from 2015 to 2018
Recently released data shows the United States lost 42.5 percent of its foreign-born students from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2018, totaling over 288,000. This decline is due in large part to the delay in processing student visas, which new Trump administration procedures have exacerbated. The U.S. also lost the $39 billion added to the economy by 1.1 million international students studying in the country through tuition, room and board and by adding over 455,000 jobs in the process. Leaders at universities like Harvard, MIT and Princeton have written to the Department of Homeland Security to urge action on the visa processing delays. Immigration Impact
US Envoy Offers Guatemala Triple Seasonal Visas for Safe Third Country Agreement
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Immigration Judges Speak Out After DOJ Includes White Supremacist News Source in Daily Email
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Man Held For Days Despite Proving Citizenship
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Mexican Gov’t Grows Tired of ‘Remain in Mexico’The Mexican government appears to growing tired of the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico. More than 35,000 people have been sent to Mexico so far under the policy known as Migrant Protection Protocols. But in recent weeks, the Mexican government has begun implementing caps on the number of people that can be sent back, restricting the hours they can be sent back and refusing to take people on Sundays, according to a DHS memo. Mexican officials are no longer accepting asylum seekers after 1 p.m. in El Paso, Texas, meaning CBP officials have to hold asylum seekers overnight. BuzzFeed News
Washington — Detaining Families Longer, Panama Targeted for Safe 3rd Country, Cities & State Rejecting Refugees, Birthright Citizenship Returns
The Trump administration is seeking toterminate a decades-old settlement in order to detain migrant children longer. DHS announced Wednesday that it would be issuing a rule Friday to withdraw from the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which had set the basic standards for detaining migrant children. It will require approval from the U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who oversees the settlement. She rejected an attempt by the government to expand detentions last year. If approved, the rule will go into effect in 60 days.
The new rule will eliminate the 20-day limit on detaining migrant children and allow ICE to open more family detention centers nationwide. The administration argues that the 20-day cap incentivizes migrants to travel with children, as they will get released quicker. Detaining families for longer, the administration says, will act as a deterrent. Trump has previously lambasted the Flores Settlement. The Washington PostRead about the history of the Flores Agreement in The New York Times
The Trump administration is hoping to reach a deal with Panama’s government to allow the U.S. to send African, Asian and other asylum seekers to its territory, according to The Washington Post. It’s another “safe third country” the U.S. is hoping to strike after coming to a shaky agreement with Guatemala, which will still require many steps before being implemented and has been met with widespread pushback. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan will travel to Panama City on Wednesday. The country is a natural transition point for U.S.-bound migrants coming from South America, and a lot of migrants from Africa and South Asia start their journeys with a flight to Brazil or Ecuador. The Washington Post
The Trump administration is considering letting states and local jurisdictions deny entry to refugees who have been approved for resettlement. Under the proposed order, the federal government will not be able to compel a jurisdiction to take refugees. The administration is also currently considering whether to reduce refugee admissions to zero starting next fiscal year. NBC NewsTrump on Wednesday resurrected his idea to end birthright citizenship. He said he was looking at it “very, very seriously” when speaking to reporters as he departed the White House. He once again said he would do so via executive order, a notion which has been widely rejected as unconstitutional by legal scholars. Associated Press
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