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Immigration Attorneys Afraid New Jersey Detainees Will Be Transferred Far Away

Plus: New Jersey's ICE detention ban is up to the governor, and a Haitian American judge is elected in Queens.

Deanna Garcia

Jun 28, 2021

Advocates protest outside the Bergen County Jail. Photo: Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

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If and when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signs a bill banning Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in the state, advocates hope it will lead ICE to release detainees to their families. But elsewhere, the Biden administration is in the process of transferring detainees to different detention facilities across the U.S. Immigration attorneys are afraid that if New Jersey detention facilities close, ICE will just transfer local immigrants further away from their families and attorneys. Three detainees who were recently transferred out of New Jersey said they were woken up at 4 a.m. and told they were being moved to another location. They said ICE wouldn’t tell them where they were going for “security reasons.” Gothamist 

In other local immigration news…

Will New Jersey Terminate ICE Contracts? It’s Up to Governor Murphy.

📍 Documented Original
New Jersey’s Senate and Assembly passed a bill that blocks state agencies and private jails from making or renewing contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain immigrants. Immigration advocates see this as a step forward, and they’re now pushing Murphy to sign this bill into law as soon as possible. According to Amy Torres, executive director at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, activists have been especially fighting to pass this bill since ICE began discussing expanding detention capacity in New Jersey and New York last fall. Read more at Documented.

Haitian-American Judge Elected in Queens

Cassandra Aimee Johnson has won the Democratic primary for Queens County Civil Court. According to the Board of Elections, the lifelong Queens resident beat her opponent, Devian Shondel Daniels, in the primary with 80 percent of the votes. Johnson earned her undergraduate and law degrees at St. John’s University and has practiced law in New York and Connecticut since 2007. Legal professionals believe having judges who are evenhanded, culturally competent and who have an understanding immigration on certain offenses could be a benefit for New York City’s Haitian community. The Haitian Times 

New York Undocumented Workers Fund Inspires Other States

New York City immigrants held a 23-day hunger strike that led to the approval of a $2.1 Excluded Workers Fund for workers who didn’t receive unemployment benefits and federal stimulus checks. For over a decade, Make the Road New York and its allies have been fighting against policies that refuse immigrant workers municipal identification, drivers licenses, protections from wage theft and gender discrimination. The fund is inspiring other states to fight for immigrant communities. Ángeles Solis, Make the Road New York lead organizer, said proposals to fund excluded workers are being considered in Washington D.C., Iowa, Minnesota, California, Oregon and Washington. OpenDemocracy



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