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Unregulated, makeshift maternity wards targeting foreign women have continued to grow throughout New York City. The wards are part of an illicit service that encourages pregnant women to visit the U.S. and gives them immigration and paperwork assistance. The women then give birth in a U.S. hospital and spend weeks in one of these maternity centers. Some immigration experts refer to the scheme as “birth tourism” and say the industry promotes itself overseas as a way for mothers to have American citizen children. The New York Post discovered advertisements for over 80 local centers, mainly in Flushing, in Chinese-language media. New York Post
In other local immigration news…
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Pandemic Inspires NJ Immigrant Students To Take Up Photography
Tamara Torres, a New Jersey-based photographer, was taking photos of sunlight coming through her window during the pandemic when she got the sudden urge to talk with someone about photography. She called Tulia Jimenez-Vergara, who works with FUTURO, a youth mentoring program for first- and second-generation immigrant students. After their conversation, Torres set up Fábrica De Fotos, a photography club that pairs mentors and interested students of all backgrounds and ages. Six of students’ and eight mentors’ work is now being displayed at the Artworks gallery in Trenton until the end of the month. NJ.com
Nepalese Community Shares Culture in Jackson Heights
The Nepalese community is growing in Jackson Heights neighborhood, bringing new food and culture to the already-diverse Queens neighborhood. Among the businesses growing in the neighborhood is the Himalayan Yak Restaurant. Gyaltsen Gurung, general manager at the restaurant, came from Nepal to the U.S. in 2006 to further his education and is now trying to help his community’s population grow. The Nepalese community represents less than one percent of the Asian population in New York City. Still, the community tripled in the between 2010 and 2019, and now New York has second largest Nepalese population in any U.S. city, after Dallas. ABC 7
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