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NJ Elected Officials Join Fight to End Hudson County ICE Contract

New Jersey's Senate and Assembly introduced bills that would block municipalities and private prison operators from entering into contracts.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

New Jersey activists have fought for years to terminate a contract between Hudson County and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But as recently as November, Hudson County commissioners voted to allow the agency to continue to hold undocumented immigrants in the Hudson County jail. Now the state’s Senate and Assembly are taking action with two similar bills that would block counties, municipalities and private prison operators throughout the state from entering into these contracts. These bills will not end existing contracts, which currently exist in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties. NJ.com 

In other local immigration news…

Credible Fear Interview: A Critical Step in the Asylum Process

📍 Documented Original This explanation is part of Documented’s Glossary to ensure our readers an understanding of the U.S. immigration system. Immigrants facing removal proceedings and fear of persecution in their home countries for their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group could be eligible to seek asylum through the asylum process. Those who apply for asylum are subjected to a “credible fear interview” with an asylum officer. This officer decides if “the applicant has a credible fear of persecution or torture” and if they have a significant possibility of winning an asylum case with an immigration judge, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says. An asylum interview is required and part of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8. Read more at Documented.

NJ Immigrants Have Hope for Biden’s Stimulus Plan

Yessenia Moreno is one of thousands of immigrants who have worried about paying bills during the pandemic. Moreno is a single mother of five and lost her job at a restaurant after it temporarily closed for statewide shutdowns. Because Moreno is undocumented, she has not qualified for unemployment benefits or other federal relief programs. But President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package will possibly help her. Even though Moreno still does not qualify for a stimulus payment, the new law makes her U.S.-born children eligible for the funding. “It’s a light of hop in this dark path that we are living,” Moreno said. North Jersey 

NYC Protesters Celebrate Release of Bronx ICE Detainee

Protesters gathered at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Thursday to celebrate Bronxite Javier Castillo Maradiaga’s release from an ICE detention center. Maradiaga, a legal resident, was arrested in 2019 for jaywalking and was mistakenly held for more than a year after. While his sister Dariela Moncada said she was “super, super happy” for her brother’s release, she and other protesters in Brooklyn demanded permanent protection for 11 million undocumented immigrants throughout the U.S. “Family separation doesn’t start at the border, it starts here, where immigrant workers are detained and also put in concentration camps, detention centers,” she said. News12 the Bronx

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