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Immigrant Students and Parents Want Improved Communication for Next School Year

Plus: Pro bono lawyers for migrant minors are in short supply, Queens launches immigration assistance office.

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

Marleny De La Cruz and her husband lost their jobs a few months into the pandemic. She looked at this as an opportunity to help their 10-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter with remote learning. But De La Cruz only spoke Spanish, which made it extremely difficult for her to communicate with her children’s school. It wasn’t until this spring that her daughter’s high school provided her with a translator for teacher phone calls. Now with children headed back into the classroom this fall, advocates, families and educators say immigrant families and the 140,000 students learning English need extra communication, additional one-on-one academic support and more socio-emotional services. Chalkbeat New York

In other local immigration news…

Pro Bono Lawyers Dwindling as Unaccompanied Minors Need More Help

📍 Documented Original
The Safe Passage Project used to be able to successfully pair a pro bono attorney with an unaccompanied migrant child within 30 days, attorney Alexandra Rizio said. But now, it’s taking about two months to provide them with legal representation. According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, about 3,582 unaccompanied migrant children were released to sponsors in New York state from October to May of the 2021 fiscal year. ORR data shows New York has the fourth highest number of unaccompanied children released from federal custody. Data also shows it’s more likely a judge will issue a removal order to a minor if they don’t have legal representation. Read more at Documented.

Women-Led Photography Exhibit Embraces Immigration and Social Issues

We, Women: The Power of We, a display of 17 projects created by women and gender nonconforming artists throughout the U.S., is coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The exhibit analyzes several issues, including immigration, education, race, criminal justice reform, and more. The project supplies funding and mentorship to visual artists who put together photography and community engagement projects that reevaluate social and political issues. Sol Aramendi, one of the artists, worked with New York City’s immigrant communities to document their daily lives, work and mutual aid circles. Brooklyn Reader 

Immigrant Welcome Center Launched in Queens

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. celebrated the opening of Queens Borough Hall’s new Immigrant Welcome Center on June 15. He said over one-third of New York City’s three million immigrants live in Queens, with close to 50 percent of the borough’s 2.4 million residents being foreign born. Immigrants contacting or visiting Queens Borough Hall will be linked with multilingual services, including legal assistance and referrals to community-based organizations and city services. The Immigrant Welcome Center will be staffed by a full-time coordinator and Richards’ director of Immigrant Affairs, both of whom are immigrants and fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, will assist in case management. Caribbean Life

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