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The Brooklyn Defender Services and other public defender law firms have secured the release of dozens of immigrants after the coronavirus began spreading in immigration jails across the country. But after their release, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees have struggled to get state IDs and have not been eligible for government benefits. BDS started a fundraiser last week, Todos Together, to help immigrant families and those who are still detained during the pandemic. The money will go to immigrant families who need emergency help and into the commissary accounts of detainees. Patch
In other local immigration news…
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Asian Woman Faces Racist Harassment on Subway
Billy Rosario, a 39-year-old Bronx native, is facing aggravated harassment charges for spitting on an Asian woman and blaming her for sparking the coronavirus pandemic, police said on Friday. The incident occurred on an uptown No. 5 train at Westchester Ave./Jackson Ave. on July 31. “Asians caused the virus!” he allegedly screamed at the woman. “Go back to China! Go back to Manhattan!” He then spat at the woman before exiting the train, according to police. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed in New York City since the beginning of the pandemic, leading the city to create a task force focused on the issue. NY Daily News
AOC Raises Money for Immigrants
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) raised $1 million in direct funds to support people who were excluded from federal relief packages, including immigrants. “Immigrants make up 50 percent of our district, some of which are undocumented workers. They are frontline workers who despite the fact that they pay taxes have been left out of the stimulus payments and from unemployment expansion,” she said. She raised $60,000 in 30 minutes for undocumented essential workers during an Instagram Live on July 27, which went to New York State Youth Leadership Council’s Relief Fund. The $1 million will be distributed between nearly 40 grassroots organizations. QNS
New Yorkers Stranded in Ghana Due to Pandemic
Ghanian New Yorkers are planning to sue the U.S. government as they’re stranded in Ghana and unable to get on flights home. Nova Felder and Pamela Ama have been stuck in Ghana for months now because the pandemic has cancelled their flights back home. Ama even attempted to purchase a $1,400 flight to leave but was not able to. The delay caused her to miss her mother’s death. The U.S. State Department stopped bringing people stuck abroad back to the U.S. in May. Felder has hired attorney Pierre Gooding to potentially sue the government to get back to the U.S. Moguldom