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More than 7,000 New Yorkers applied for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program within four hours of its launch, causing several technical issues, New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance said. ERAP will send money directly to landlords whose low- to middle-income tenants showed they couldn’t pay rent because of the pandemic. To inform immigrant tenants and undocumented residents about the program, six of the city’s largest nonprofit legal service providers and tenant rights’ groups created a Know Your Rights campaign and housing helpline. Attorney Ju-Bum Cha of the MinKwon Center said immigrants were most likely to need to provide documents to access the funds. City Limits
In other local immigration news…
NY Lawmakers Pass Legislation Protecting Immigrants from Blackmail
The New York state Senate passed legislation Thursday that will protect immigrant New Yorkers from threats of revealing their immigration status for blackmail. Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) and State Sen. Anna M. Kaplan’s (D-North Hills) bill would enhance the laws barring extortion and coercion to include making threats to report an individual’s immigration status or bring about deportation proceedings. “By passing this long-overdue measure, we’re updating the laws on extortion and coercion to ensure that immigrant New Yorkers aren’t left vulnerable to such vile threats,” Kaplan said. Similar measures have been enacted in California, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia. The New York State Senate
South Asian City Council Candidates Support Cab Drivers
The new generation of South Asian candidates running for New York City council aren’t hiding their support for taxi drivers amid their medallion crisis. Candidates running for city council include a taxi driver and a driver organizer running in Brooklyn and two daughters of taxi drivers in Queens. The resale price for taxi-medallion permits once peaked over $1 million, but plummeted when Uber and other car services started to take over. Cab drivers, who are largely immigrants, saw their business shrink and debt grow — a problem that only compounded when the pandemic hit. The City and The Fuller Project