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New York City Immigrants May Be Eligible to Vote Soon

Plus: Street vendors protest fines as city reopens, advocacy groups claim immigrants are abused at New Jersey jail

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

A bill allowing noncitizens in New York City to vote in local elections seems to finally have legs. Activists have been fighting for noncitizens to vote since 2005 and lawmakers attempted in 2009 and 2013 to make that a reality, but they’ve never had enough political momentum. In June, the latest version of the bill received its 34th co-sponsor, giving it a supermajority on the 51-member council. The legislation would only apply to 900,000 New Yorkers who are permanent residents and have work authorizations. Since the bill has supermajority support, it’s guaranteed a public hearing within 60 days. Activists say they’re working on getting an official day. The Intercept 

In other local immigration news…

Street Vendors Protest Exorbitant Fines as City Reopens

📍 Documented Original
Street vendors have long faced fines due to inconsistent New York City laws determining where they can and cannot vend, as well as violations for vending without one of a limited number of permits. On Thursday, 60 Bronx street vendors, along with organizers and elected officials, marched along the Bronx’s Fordham Road to fight for a moratorium on fines that street vendors receive for operating without a permit or license. The march took place on the same street where Lucio, who sells tacos, was recently fined $2,050 after a year of working without fines at the same spot. The rules and regulations for street vending vary per block, which especially causes confusion for the largely immigrant and non-English speaking street vendor workforce. Read more at Documented.

Advocacy Groups File Complaint About Abuses at New Jersey ICE Jail

📍 Documented Original
Fifteen detained and previously detained immigrants at New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail have filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Liberties  alleging mistreatment and abuse at the facility. The 13-page complaint contains testimony of medical negligence, sexual assault, religious discrimination and retaliation against immigrant detainees for publicly speaking about the conditions inside the jail. Freedom for Immigrants, the Center for Constitutional Rights and UnLocal Inc. — the groups that filed the complaint on behalf of the immigrants — are urging DHS to open an investigation into the conditions and reports of misconduct by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Read more at Documented. 

Corky Lee Remains on Chinatown’s Mind

📍 Documented Original
The legacy of Corky Lee — the photographer, community activist and Queens native — will remain alive with the help of his friends at Pearl River Market. Lee died  suddenly in January due to complications from COVID-19. To show off and celebrate his work, his friends and collaborators created a “homage” to Corky’s philosophy of “photographic justice.” “Corky Lee on My Mind: A Photographic Tribute” opened last month at the Pearl River Market and features depictions of various protests, gatherings and fights over housing in Chinatown from 21 photographers. Some of the photographs contain Lee in the background, perched on a ledge or holding onto a light post with his face overshadowed by his camera. Read more at Documented.

Documented Talks: The Future of Immigration Courts

📍 Documented Event
After four years of the Trump administration upending immigration courts, Documented is about to explore what the new administration will do differently. On Friday, July 23 at 1 p.m., Documented will hold a Zoom discussion about the future of immigration courts with Immigration Judge Amiena Khan, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges, and The Marshall Project Contributing Writer Julia Preston. The two will discuss where the judge’s union stands in the decertification fight, what judges want to see from the Biden administration and what the lasting impacts will stem from the past four years.

Register here for the free Zoom event on Friday, July 23 at 1 p.m.

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