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New York Lawmakers Seek to Make Deportation Threats a Crime

Plus: Queens elected officials don't represent their diverse communities, and more New York immigration news.

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

New York Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-Nassau County) is sponsoring a bill to make it a crime to threaten someone’s immigration status. The measure would protect immigrants from threats of deportation from employers, landlords or abusive partners by adding deportation proceedings to a list of blackmail threats criminalized by law. In 2019, New York City officials increased fines and guidelines to block people from threatening to call immigration authorities as a blackmail tactic. It’s illegal to extort someone with the threat of criminal charges under New York state law, but threatening immigration status isn’t covered. New York Daily News 

In other local immigration news…

Emergency Rental Assistance Program: How to Apply

📍 Documented Original
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides relief of up to 12 months of past due rent and up to three months of additional aid, is starting to accept applications in New York. According to the recent census in the Household Pulse Survey, 43 percent of respondents in New York are either very likely or somewhat likely to leave their home in two months because of eviction. Of those respondents, 12 percent were Latino, 38 percent Black, 43 percent Asian and 6 percent White. Immigrants who are New York residents are eligible to apply regardless of their status as long as they meet the criteria and can provide the required documentation. Read more at Documented.

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.

Queens Elected Officials Don’t Fully Represent Foreign-Born Population

According to recent census data, nearly half of Queens’ population is foreign born. But despite this diversity, eight of the borough’s 13 city council members are white. A 2019 analysis also showed Latinos were underrepresented by 25 percent or more in three Queens community boards, while Asian Americans were underrepresented in 10 community boards. That representation improved this April when 110 new members were elected to community boards, 25 percent of them Latino, 25 percent Black and 26 percent Asian American. Experts say noncitizen populations are underrepresented in Queens government because political outreach often doesn’t focus on those populations. City & State New York 

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