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Undocumented New Yorkers Face Deadline for Rent Protections to Expire

A rent moratorium will expire in just a few weeks, putting undocumented immigrants on the hook for back rent they can't afford

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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. 

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

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Undocumented Immigrants Face Funeral Home Price Gouging

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Caravans to Support Farmworkers Travel the State

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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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