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NYC Immigration Courts Reopen After Over a Year

Plus: Lin-Manuel Miranda's immigration donations, what's happening to transferred New Jersey detainees, and more.

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After over a year of being closed, New York City’s immigration courts are officially reopened. While the courts were closed, only those in detention had remote hearings. Non-detainees will now get their day in court at Broadway, Varick or Federal Plaza, though they face a long backlog first. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, on average, people in the state have been waiting 1,002 days for their cases to be called. This is above the national average of 938 days. There are more than 1.3 million pending cases throughout the U.S., with close to 150,000 of those coming from New York. Gothamist

In other local immigration news…

Attorney Shares What’s Happening with New Jersey ICE Immigrant Transfers

Ever since New Jersey decided to terminate immigration detention, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been transferring immigrant detainees out of the state’s Essex, Hudson and Bergen County jails at higher rates. Detainees aren’t being told why they’re being transferred or where they’re being transferred to. Instead, they’re being woken up between two and five in the morning to be transferred as far as Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada. Jordan Weiner, a pro-bono detention lawyer who represents two clients from Essex who were transferred to Plymouth County Correctional Facility, explained how he wasn’t able to speak with his clients for long periods of time and described what happened during their transfers. The Indypendent

Brooklyn Exhibit Displays How Residents Survived During Pandemic 

The Los Sures Comida Food Pantry team wanted to learn how individuals from South Williamsburg, known as Los Sures (the south) to its primarily Latino residents, handled the pandemic. They discovered that 70 percent of those residents said they were “not OK” when asked about their mental health. This inspired the team to create a museum with artwork from the community revealing what they went through this past year. “Sobre/vivir: Superando La Pandemia en Los Sures” is held at El Museo Los Sures in Brooklyn, and holds items that helped residents live through the pandemic. Epicenter NYC 

Lin-Manuel Miranda Donates to Immigrant Organizations

Actor and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda announced donations to several organizations that serve immigrants on Wednesday. He said immigration is a passion and foundational element of his work. Miranda’s latest film, “In the Heights,” focuses on Caribbean and Latin American immigrants living in New York City. Meanwhile, “Hamilton is sort of the proto-immigration story,” he said. The Miranda Family Fund provided $225,000 in grants to immigrant rights groups and policy reform advocates throughout the U.S. that were recommended by family friends in the immigration field. “I think I am in awe of people who can make an impossible leap to leave everything they know behind and start a new life here,” Miranda said. The Associated Press

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