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The census, by design, is a grassroots effort. Thousands of people fan out across the country and go door to door, attempting to interview everyone and provide an accurate representation of how many people live in the U.S. But immigration lawyers across New York state say they’re worried local communities will not participate in the census due to fear of ICE. “Immigrants are hearing stories about ICE coming to their door and ICE getting information from different areas like the DMV,” immigration lawyer Cianna Freeman-Tolbert said. “So they’re trying to stay safe for their families.” Spectrum Local News
In other local immigration news…
Queens Communities Show Increased Demand for Muslim Funeral Services
Last August, Koyas Ahmed started working with his mosque to make Muslim funeral services available to the community. When he started, he didn’t know that the need for these services would become so crucial to the community less than a year later. Muslim funeral services such as bathing and preparing the body for Janazah, an Islamic funeral ritual where community members gather and pray for the departed person’s soul, are hard to find in Queens. A lack of these services has long posed a serious problem for the community, but the pandemic has exacerbated the need even more. As dozens of Bengali New Yorkers lost their lives due to the pandemic, they often had to travel to Brooklyn and the Bronx to bury their loved ones. Read more at Documented.
Brooklyn Pastor Helps Undocumented Immigrants in Need During Pandemic
On a recent day, Juan Carlos Ruiz, a pastor in Bay Ridge, delivered meals to three apartments, received a truck full of food donated from a Bronx grocer, and spoke at a demonstration in solidarity with the city’s essential workers. Ruiz has a reputation citywide as a fierce fighter for undocumented immigrants. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, he has been arranging for burials at a funeral home in Park Slope run by an old friend. It’s been hard to find funeral services for the last few months, but Ruiz has been able to help scores of immigrants bury their loved ones and seek out food aid, among other lifesaving measures. The New Yorker