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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is considering building more immigration jails in New York and New Jersey even as the number of immigrant detainees in those areas and nationwide decrease. ICE is requesting information on detention sites that could house up to 900 detainees within a 60-mile radius of its New York City and Newark field office in New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, documents show. The proposed new facilities would have 900 low-, medium–low-, medium–high- and high-security beds for 850 male and 50 female immigrant detainees. They must be “capable of providing detention, medical, and armed transport services, including the physical structures, equipment, personnel, and vehicles,” the documents say. NorthJersey.com
In other local immigration news…
An ICE Shooting and a ‘Political War of Words’
It has been nine months since two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents dressed in civilian clothes and barged into a Brooklyn home. They tased and pepper sprayed Gaspar Avendaño-Hernández and shot Erik Diaz-Cruz on the side of his face and hand; both were unarmed. The shooting occurred the same week of this year’s State of Union address, where President Donald Trump attacked New York for refusing to transfer arrested undocumented immigrants to ICE custody. ICE blamed New York City for the shooting, saying if the ICE officers could’ve detained Avendaño-Hernández earlier, there would have been no need to enter his home. Read more at Documented.
WeChat Assists Chinese Immigrants and Restaurant Owners
The world’s third largest messaging app, WeChat, is expected to be banned by the Trump administration, and it has left Chinese restaurant owners and Chinese communities throughout the U.S. worried. WeChat united a food network and helped Chinese restaurants survive during the pandemic. Among those restaurants saved by WeChat is August Gatherings, a Cantonese fusion cuisine in Manhattan that closed in March and reopened in August. The restaurant created a WeChat group allowing members to order food through the app. Over 70 percent of those members were of Chinese descent, and more than half were Chinese international students. Eater New York
Documented Wins Two National Awards
This month, Documented won an Online Journalism Award and LION Award for consistent coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. The moment the lockdown started back in March, the Documented team quickly started providing important updates to guide immigrants through this pandemic. We published resources through text, illustrations and audio; hosted Facebook Live events with labor lawyers; and brought in housing and health experts to answer readers’ questions. Combined with our coverage of the immigration system, Documented has worked to give readers the latest news of how the pandemic affected immigrants and how it still can. Read more at Documented