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Essex County No Longer Housing ICE Detainees

Plus: Albany mother pleads for her children's safety in Kabul, and Queens organizes to help Haiti after earthquake

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Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo confirmed on Tuesday that the New Jersey county’s correctional facility was no longer housing Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees within its facility. The announcement came a few days after Essex agreed to hold Union County inmates at its jail. Essex is expected to receive about $11.3 million in revenue from its agreement with Union. “Essex County may have been a good partner to ICE, but not to the communities they are supposed to represent,” said New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice spokeswoman Hera Mir, who added it was still unclear if the county has ended its contract with ICE. NJ.com 

In other local immigration news…

Documented Wins Best News Documentary Award

📍 Documented Award
We are pleased to announce that Documented, Latino USA and Type Investigations won an Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary for “At the Mercy of the Courts,” an audio investigation into the courtrooms of the U.S. immigration system under former President Donald Trump. For three months, Documented’s co-founders Max Siegelbaum and Mazin Sidahmed sent a team of reporters to cover New York City’s immigration courts and observe how the Trump administration upended them. The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring phenomenal achievements in electronic journalism through the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Read more at Documented.  

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Albany Mom Pleads for the Safety of her Children in Kabul

Suneeta, an Afghani refugee, is pleading for her children’s safety after the Taliban took over Kabul. The permanent Albany resident has four children who live alone in Kabul and have been attempting to go to New York. Suneeta’s children are approved for “humanitarian parole,” but the embassy isn’t conducting visa services at the moment. Her husband, who was a U.S. interpreter, disappeared in 2013 and is presumed to be dead. After his disappearance, she fled to Pakistan with her children. But her brother-in-law kidnapped her children and she couldn’t get them back, since Afghani women don’t have custody of their children when their father dies. She has been working with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants since 2018 to get her children back. News 10 

Queens Wants to Assist Haiti with Recent Earthquake

Haitian Americans United for Progress, a Queens-based organization, and New York Assemblymember Clyde Vanel (D-Queens) are searching for ways to help Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit it over the weekend. Vanel, who is of Haitian descent, is partnering with other elected officials to start a donation drive for the Haitian relief effort. Haitian immigrants make up 3% of the city’s population and are its second largest group of immigrants. According to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, there are 84,334 Haitian immigrants in NYC, with about 31,000 in Queens and 45,705 in Brooklyn. Queens Chronicle 

“I Know What Pandemic Means” Featured at Rooftop Films 

📍 Documented Film
As a part of NYC Homecoming Week, Rooftop Films is showing free outdoor screenings in all five boroughs from August 14 to 22. Documented and Waterwell’s documentary, “Yo sé qué es pandemia” or “I Know What Pandemic Means,” will be included in the weeklong event. The documentary features compelling stories about New York City Latin American communities’ experiences during the pandemic. Documented wanted to highlight individual stories from our readers while also telling the bigger story of the city through a pandemic. “I Know What Pandemic Means” will air Friday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Hall of Science in Queens. Click here to RSVP for the free event. 

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