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Broken Air Conditioning Mandates Release from ICE Detention, Attorneys Say

Lawyers say air conditioners are broken in the Bergen County Jail as temperatures near 100°, but the jail says that's not true

Max Siegelbaum

Jul 29, 2020

Bergen County Jail

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A group of attorneys is calling on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release immigrant detainees from the Bergen County Jail because of broken air conditioners. The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project sent a letter to ICE saying A/C systems in several units of the jail were broken and detainees were “enduring oppressive and dangerous conditions of heat and lack of ventilation.” “No detainees/inmates have formally notified staff of high heat conditions and/or requested medical attention due to heat exhaustion in the facility,” said Keisha McLean, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. North Jersey

In other local immigration news…

New York Latinos Were Hit Hardest by the Pandemic. Why?

Latinx New Yorkers account for 33.4 percent of the city’s COVID-19 deaths but 29 percent of the city’s population, and have suffered job losses at higher numbers than their population would indicate. These disproportionate effects stem from the stark inequalities that plague New York: Crowded homes, food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare and public assistance, and working in bludgeoned job sectors have made it more difficult for Latinx New Yorkers to weather the crisis. Immigrants who haven’t lost their incomes have largely had to risk increased exposure to COVID-19 to keep their jobs in food service, retail and personal care. All of that, combined with their struggle to access government relief programs, created “a perfect storm of challenges for immigrant workers,” says Eli Dvorkin, policy director of A Center for An Urban Future. Read more at Documented.

The New Rent Relief Program and How to Apply

New York state recently passed a law to help tenants who have experienced an increase in their rent burden due to a loss of income during the pandemic. But this program does not seek to pay all or much of one’s rent. Rather, it seeks to pay the difference between the percentage your income took up in your budget before the pandemic, and the percentage that reduced income has taken up during the crisis. It’s complicated, and we know that. So we made a detailed guide explaining what the program does and how to apply for it. Find it in English here and in Spanish here.

City Council Cuts Hate Crime Program

Businesses in New York City’s Chinatown started reporting declines in customers in early January as fears of the coronavirus began to spread. Men and women of Asian descent were assaulted before the city saw its first confirmed coronavirus case. Complaints about attacks continued to surge for months, though reported hate crimes declined. But despite this uptick of violence, the city council defunded a $1 million initiative to prevent hate crimes. It was designed to provide a reporting avenue for people afraid of contacting the police to report hate crimes. City and State

Max Siegelbaum

Co-executive Director of Documented




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