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New Jersey Migrant Sisters Crossed U.S. Border Alone

Plus: New York City immigrant parents demand diverse school curriculum, and backlog grows as immigration courts stay closed.

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

Brenda, 13, and Rosa, 15, left Honduras with their mother after their coffee farm was destroyed by two storms last fall. The sisters said they planned on reuniting with their father and brother in New Jersey. But their plans changed when they arrived at the border in spring. Because migrants were being quickly expelled under a public health rule if they crossed as families, Brenda and Rosa’s mother decided it would be best for them to cross the Rio Grande without her. The girls were terrified, but crossed the border and recently made it to their father in New Jersey. CBS News 

In other local immigration news…

Immigrant Parents Demand Culturally Diverse Curriculum in Schools

A group of organizations gathered last week at the New York City Department of Education’s Lower Manhattan headquarters to demand a more culturally diverse curriculum in the city’s public schools. Activists from the NYC Coalition for Education Justice said the DOE has pledged to revise its curriculum, including buying or creating textbooks with more diverse authors, books and themes for its immigrant students. The coalition says about only 15 percent of NYC public school students are white, while 84 percent of the authors taught to students are white, showing the need for a curriculum that includes “a different view of the world.” City Limits (The article was originally written and published in Spanish for El Diario.) 

NYC Immigration Court Stays Closed, Adding to Backlog

Teenager Juan fled violence in Guatemala in 2017, hoping to live in Westchester County with his mother and two siblings. But when he and his family were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Juan says a gang beat his mother and threatened by his father with a machete, allegedly in front of police. Attorney Bertha Rodriguez is handling more than 1,000 cases similar to Juan’s in Westchester County, where there are about 61,000 undocumented immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. But those cases are only piling up while Manhattan’s immigration court remains closed because of the pandemic. News12 the Bronx 

Documented Talks: “Immigration Matters,” Strategies for a Future Immigration System

📍 Documented Event
Documented and the NYC chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network will host a discussion Wednesday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m about two specific elements of the book “Immigration Matters: Movements, Visions, and Strategies for a Progressive Future,” by Ruth Milkman, Deepak Bhargava, Penny Lewis. The book outlines what a more open immigration system would look like. Felipe De La Hoz, an investigative and explanatory reporter focusing on U.S. immigration, will moderate the virtual event. The panelists include Amaha Kassa, founder and Executive Director of African Communities Together, Peter L. Markowitz, Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the founding faculty member and co-director of its Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic, and Ruth Milkman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies

Register here for the free Zoom event on Wednesday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m.

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