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Carlos is an undocumented immigrant from Peru and worked in New York City’s food-service industry for 17 years until he lost his job in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. His two roommates are also undocumented and have also lost their jobs. Before the pandemic, they were on good terms with their landlord. Now, they’re not. “She doesn’t understand the struggles we’re facing right now,” says Carlos. “We’re not paying because we don’t want to—we just can’t.” Finding a new job is a trade-off between “paying my rent and my life,” he said.
Carlos is not eligible for any kind of government assistance, including the latest conditions of a statewide eviction moratorium, unless he discloses his immigration status, according to housing attorneys. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that he “took care of the rent issue” and that the “most vulnerable are protected” thanks to his statewide moratorium on evictions in March. New Yorkers will still be expected to pay what could amount to several months of back rent once the moratorium expires. The moratorium is currently in effect until August 20, and “if we’re still in this chaos in August, we’ll figure it out then,” Cuomo said.
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Starting June 20, the moratorium will only apply to tenants who have suffered a “financial hardship” because of COVID-19, or those who qualify for unemployment. People like Carlos could soon find themselves in court with few options of fighting their eviction during the public health crisis. New York landlords may also be able to begin enforcing eviction warrants, filing nonpayment cases and seeking default judgements against tenants starting June 20. Curbed
In other New York immigration news…
New York DACA Recipients Race to Renew Status Before Supreme Court Determination
New York City DACA recipients are racing to renew their status before an incoming Supreme Court decision. Cindy Moncada, a 30-year-old single mom who lives with her parents in Jackson Heights, first received DACA four years ago. But she’s worried the Supreme Court will terminate the program, as it’s expected to rule on the Trump administration’s legal challenge this month. She, like many other New Yorkers, applied for her permit renewal far ahead of its expiration, which is early next year. Renewing now could buy her another two years of legal authorization in the country, her lawyer said. Gothamist
Undocumented Immigrants Face Funeral Home Price Gouging
Funeral homes are price gouging undocumented immigrants in Brooklyn who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, Councilman Carlos Menchaca said. “We are trying to run as fast as we can to get as much information as possible,” Menchaca said. “Funeral expenses and price gouging, we are working with Attorney General Tish James to get to the bottom of that.” Undocumented families have been relying on community organizations to guide them through the bereavement process. “We get a lot of heavy stories every day,” said Janet Perez, program director of the Mixteca Organization. “Even the process of claiming their loved one, they haven’t even been able to do it because of the language access barrier.” amNY
Caravans to Support Farmworkers Travel the State
Caravans of decorated cars paraded across the state to show support for farmworkers and food chain workers last weekend. “We’re asking for access to child care for food chain workers, financial relief for undocumented workers and health and safety regulations for all workers on the job, especially farmworkers,” said Gabriela Quintanilla, the Western New York coordinator with the Rural & Migrant Ministry. But after conversations with Cuomo, “all that we’ve gotten so far is just a set of guidelines that have been sent to the different farms around New York State,” she said. “But there’s no protocol for implementation.” WBFO
High School Activists Stage Play Calling for City Council to Defund the NYPD
A group of high school activists staged a play to call on New York City councilmembers to defund the New York Police Department on Monday. The event was organized by the YA-YA Network, an organization that supports youth empowerment, including young immigrants. The FY 2021 budget is set to allocate $5.92 billion to the NYPD while cutting nearly $2 billion from public schools. Councilmembers Brad Lander and Vanessa Gibson attended the theatrical production that took place over Zoom. Children reenacted a city council meeting with real quotes from council members, while one playing ‘Little Bill’ de Blasio fawned over the police and dismissed concerns about the NYPD’s budget. Mazin Sidahmed for Documented
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