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Family Separated at the Border Reunited After 3 Years

Plus: Immigrant farmworkers dissect discriminatory practices, Minnesota teacher honored for understanding immigrant students, and more.

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Keldy Mabel Gonzales Brebe fled Honduras with her family to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. But when they arrived, U.S. officials separated Gonzales Brebe from her children, put her in jail and then deported her under former President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. Her two sons were able to live with relatives in Philadelphia while she went back to her home country. Finally in May, after three years of being separated, Gonzales Brebe was one of four parents brought to the U.S. to be reunited with their children. But even though she’s reunited with her sons, they still need to adapt to their new life together. The Associated Press 

In other national immigration news…

Farmworker Advocates Deconstructing Discriminatory Labor Policies in Washington

While most people stayed home at the height of the pandemic, farmworkers continued doing their jobs. Workers in Washington state’s Yakima Valley apple processing warehouses led strikes last May and June, which helped them win the right to form workers’ committees, get better personal protective equipment and receive higher wages. And back in November, dairy farmers won a Washington State Supreme Court case that made employers pay for overtime. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill codifying the decision on May 11. Washington is the only state to have overtime protection for farmworkers. High Country News 

Minnesota Teacher Honored for Understanding Her Immigrant Students

Eugenia Popa migrated from Bucharest in 1995 and now who works with ESL students at St. Paul, Minnesota’s Harding High School. Harding is one of two schools in the city with programs that support students with limited education. Among Popa’s students is Abbas Fahim, whose family migrated from Afghanistan in 2016. He struggled with the unfamiliar language and culture of the U.S. Even though he said he’s had good teachers at the school, he believes Popa stands out. “She understands I am an immigrant like she was,” Fahim said. Popa is one of nine finalists for 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Sahan Journal 

Nevada Organizers Help Get Latinos Vaccinated

When Blanca Macias was asked to show identification and proof of health insurance to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Las Vegas, she realized this was preventing the Latino community from receiving the vaccine. While getting the shot in March, she also noticed an older man, who appeared discouraged, speaking in Spanish and trying to get more information on the vaccine. No one helped him. This experience led Macias, the director of operations for the immigrant rights organization Make The Road Nevada, to team up her organization with Immunization Nevada to get Latinos vaccinated. This coming weekend, the groups are hosting a vaccination clinic at Walmart to provide 300 Pfizer shots. NBC News 

Haitian and Immigrant Advocates Say Fight For Citizenship Isn’t Over

Haitian and immigrant advocates are celebrating the Biden administration’s decision to let tens of thousands of Haitian migrants temporarily live and work in the U.S. while avoiding deportation through the Temporary Protection Status program. But they say their fight isn’t over. Advocates are now focusing on getting a pathway to citizenship for Haitians and other undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and to eliminate expulsions under the public health rule known as Title 42. Guerline Jozef, an immigrant advocate with Haitian Bridge Alliance, said Title 42 can’t be “used as a trap to return people to Mexico or deport and expel them to countries like Haiti.” Miami Herald

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