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NYC’s Population Expert Predicts City Will Recover After the Pandemic

Joseph Salvo believes the real threat to New York City's population isn’t people leaving; it’s the possibility immigrants stop coming.

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

Joseph J. Salvo retired Thursday as New York City’s chief demographer at the Department of City Planning, where he served as the top expert on the city’s population. The Bronxite and son of Italian immigrants said he believes the real threat to the city’s population isn’t people leaving the city; it’s the possibility that the city stops attracting immigrants. Since 2016, there has been a 46 percent decline in the amount of immigrants coming to the city. “Our growth is going to depend on giving support to these immigrants, many of whom suffered and lost family members,” Salvo said. The New York Times 

In other local immigration news…

Pandemic Destroying the West African Hair Braiding Industry

📍 Documented Original  West African hair braiding salons in Harlem were a one-stop shop for advice between hair braiders and clients before the pandemic hit. But like many businesses throughout New York City that closed, the hair braiding profession, which is largely staffed by West African women, has found it difficult to recover even though workers have been allowed to return to work. Mariam, from Gambia, had been braiding hair full-time in Harlem for 23 years until Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of personal care salons last March. She then got a job in maintenance with the New York City Housing Authority, where she realized she had far more benefits and stability than when she braided hair. Read more at Documented.

Documented Event: Immigrant Labor in New York Under the Pandemic

📍 Documented Original The pandemic has worsened labor conditions for many low wage immigrant workers in New York City, but has also galvanized worker’s rights organizations. This was the topic for Documented’s second virtual panel discussion on immigration issues in New York City. Amir Khafagy, a freelance journalist who covers immigrant labor issues for Documented, moderated the discussion with three labor organizers: Rosanna Rodríguez-Aran, co-executive director of the Laundry Workers Center, Yolanda, organizer for ain’t I A Woman campaign and volunteer for the Flushing Workers Center, and Nelson Mar, president of Labor 318 Restaurant Workers Union. Panelists discussed workers’ lack of PPE, job loss and wage theft during the pandemic. Read more at Documented. 

New York Lawmakers Want to Provide Billions to Undocumented, Former Inmates

New York State lawmakers are close to coming to a final agreement on a multi-billion dollar fund, known as the Excluded Workers Fund, to give unemployment benefits to undocumented immigrants and former inmates excluded from federal aid packages throughout the pandemic. State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) said legislators and Cuomo’s office are now discussing how the relief plan would function “programmatically” while prioritizing “eligibility and access.” The proposal would supply some recipients with over $27,000. “It’s the biggest investment any state has made to provide this level of relief to those workers,” said Vanessa Agudelo from New York Immigration Coalition. Politico

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