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Vera Sung didn’t want to board up the main branch and headquarters of Abacus Federal Savings Bank located in Chinatown. The branch, as well as the six other locations, has remained open throughout the pandemic and its chaos of customers lined up around the corner to make deposits, loan payments or withdrawals. Over the last year, Abacus customers weren’t only worried about the pandemic, but the alarming amount of violence against the Asian community. In Chinatown and other Chinese immigrant neighborhoods in NYC, businesses that barely survived last year are either opening later in the day or closing earlier so workers feel safe commuting. Next City
In other local immigration news…
Immigrant Labor in New York Under the Pandemic
Documented will be hosting a panel discussion Wednesday to discuss how the pandemic has affected low wage jobs and the City’s immigrant essential workers. Amir Khafagy, a freelance journalist who covers labor issues for Documented will moderate the panel. He will be joined by:
Nelson Mar, President of Local 318 Restaurant Workers Union, who represents workers from the infamous Jing Fong restaurant located in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
Yolanda Zhang, organizer with Ain’t I A Woman Campaign and the Flushing Workers Center.
Rosanna Aran of the Laundry Workers Center.
Register here to join our free Zoom event Wednesday evening at 4:30 PM.
Immigrant Women on Hunger Strike for Pandemic Relief
📍 Documented Original It’s been 11 days since three women have eaten and a year since they’ve been able to work enough to support their families. They’re part of a group of workers taking part in a hunger strike to push the state legislature to pass a fund for undocumented workers and New Yorkers recently released from incarceration, as they have not been eligible for state and federal aid throughout the pandemic. The proposed excluded workers fund would provide flat rate cash payments to families and give retroactive pay from April 2020 to the end of the declared emergency. Advocates propose creating the $3.5 billion fund by ending tax breaks for the wealthiest New Yorkers. Read more at Documented
Native American and Indigenous Immigrant Groups Unite to Fight Hunger
📍 Documented Original Many Indigenous immigrants and their undocumented families have been excluded from federal, state or local government support during the pandemic, leading them to unite to collect and distribute resources to their communities. Among them was the American Indian Community House’s March 20 food distribution rally. Since September, the organization has so far given out basic staples to more than a thousand families in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, as well as hundreds of winter jackets. The March rally delivered close to 220 food packages, and almost 25 went to households of elderly Native Americans. According to the Mexican Consulate in New York, over 250,000 of the city’s 323,000 Mexican-born people in the tri-state area are of Indigenous origin. Read more at Documented.