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Hindu Sect Accused of Using Forced Labor to Build Temple

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

Workers at a Hindu temple filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging the sect had lured them from India, forced them to stay on the New Jersey temple’s grounds and paid them about $1 an hour to perform grueling labor. According to lawyers for the workers, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect with close relations to India’s ruling party, may have exploited hundreds of low-caste men as they spent years building the temple. The workers were brought to the U.S. on R-1 visas, and say they were promised jobs with standard work hours and time off. The temple denied claims of underpaying the workers. The New York Times 

In other local immigration news…

Documented and Waterwell Present: I Know What Pandemic Means

📍 Documented Event
Wednesday at 2 p.m., Documented and Waterwell will release a documentary that examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated New York’s Latin American immigrant communities. “Yo sé qué es pandemia” or “I know what pandemic means” is a bilingual film and was directed by filmmaker Frisly Soberanis. It includes voices of the readers of Documented Semanal, a publication that provides undocumented New Yorkers with valuable information via WhatsApp. The film follows the loss, community, financial pressures and an overwhelming sense of helplessness within the City’s Latin American immigrant communities. 
It’s not too late! Register here for today’s free Zoom screening.

NYC Democratic Mayoral Candidates Speak on Immigrant Issues

Four Democratic candidates for New York City mayor gathered for a virtual forum Thursday to discuss issues affecting the city’s immigration population. Maya Wiley, Dianne Morales, Shaun Donovan and Andrew Yang discussed their views and goals regarding housing, education, employment and participation in political action for immigrant communities. All the candidates offered plans for ensuring immigrants had access to health care, and discussed how they’d address the economic downfall brought about by the pandemic. The forum was streamed in English, Mandarin and Spanish. Gotham Gazette 

What News is Most Important to New York’s Caribbean Communities?

📍 Documented Survey
Documented is looking to improve coverage of issues that are important to the Caribbean community. If you’d like to give us your input to help us achieve that goal, please answer a set of questions here.

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