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Landlord Sues New Jersey Immigration Jail for Alleged Dangerous Conditions

The owners of a warehouse being used to hold immigrant detainees in Elizabeth, New Jersey, claim conditions at the facility are unsafe.

Deanna Garcia

May 05, 2021

While advocates pressure Gov. Murphy to end new ICE detention contracts, CoreCivic extended its contract until 2023

A detention center in Elizabeth, N.J.

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The owners of a warehouse being used to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in Elizabeth, New Jersey, are claiming the conditions at the facility are unsafe and have filed a lawsuit to end ICE’s lease. The lawsuit alleges CoreCivic, a private prison operator, infringed its contract by not following the safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the facility. The Elizabeth jail had the most COVID-19 cases of immigration jails in the region. A dozen detainees were reported as having the virus last week. Several counties in New Jersey have recently moved to stop admitting new ICE detainees. Gothamist 

In other local immigration news…

Immigrant Workers on Strike for Higher Wages at Catsimatidis’ Oil Company

📍 Documented Original
In April, 25 workers at the United Metro Energy Corp. terminal in Brooklyn, owned by former New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, went on strike and demanded an increase in wages, better health care coverage and a pension. Many of the workers are from the West Indies, including Dennis Spence, an immigrant from St. Vincent, who has worked with UMEC for five years. He thought the $27.50 an hour he was making was enough to support him and his three daughters, but that changed when he realized how dangerous his job could be. After Spence and other workers began striking, UMEC sent out notices to three workers on strike saying they had been permanently replaced. Workers say the company threatened to fire one worker every day they’re on strike. Read more at Documented.

NY Immigration Advocates Excited for Higher Refugee Cap

The New York Immigration Coalition is welcoming President Joe Biden’s increased refugee admissions cap. Biden announced Monday that the refugee cap will increase to 62,500 within the next six months, after saying a few weeks ago that he would not increase the cap before next year. Biden’s reversal showed he “listened to the American people” by “keeping his promise to safeguard children and families fleeing violence and persecution,” said Anu Joshi, NYIC’s vice president of policy. He went on to say that the new administration is “re-establishing American as a moral authority” and as a place for individuals to seek refuge. Jamaica Observer 

Bringing More Dominican New Yorkers in Elected Offices and Polling Sites

In 2016, Oswald Feliz watched upper Manhattan’s Rep. Adriano Espaillat become the first Dominican-born person to be elected to Congress. Feliz oversaw operations for Espaillat’s campaign, and has now used the rising political power of the Dominican community to win the crowded race for the City Council’s 15th district in the Bronx. The Dominican community in New York City is rapidly growing, especially in the Bronx, and community leaders are aiming to bring more Dominicans into office and to polling places. While they still have a slightly smaller share of the Bronx’s voter pool than Puerto Ricans, Dominican groups are mobilizing to grow their power. Gothamist 

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