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New York Communities Prepare for Afghan Refugees

Plus: Protesters support evicted Chinatown tenant, New Jersey bans ICE contracts, mentorships for NY immigrant students

Deanna Garcia

Aug 25, 2021

The New York State Capitol. Mazin Sidahmed for Documented.

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

New York is preparing for more special immigrant visa holders from Afghanistan to come to the U.S. New York has welcomed about 150 SIV holders as of July, with most going to Rochester and Albany. Lisa Hoyt, director of refugee services for the Catholic Family Center, where Rochester’s resettlement program operates, received notice on July 27 that the U.S. was looking to evacuate between 750 to 1,500 evacuees with SIVs. The city originally agreed to resettle 52 of them, but that number was increased without additional approvals. Democrat & Chronicle 

In other local immigration news…

Crowd Supports Elder Tenant Against One of Chinatowns Largest Landlords

📍 Documented Original
On July 12, Linchang Wang, 62, called the NYPD when she witnessed people trying to change the lock on her apartment, which was in a building owned by the nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality. Police and building management told Wang everything would be fine, but her lock was still changed. Wang said her rent was paid until July 15. Ed Litvak, director of Marketing & Communications at AAFE, said Wang’s claims are unfounded that the unit was vacated by the tenant in the lease, Wang’s ex-husband. Advocates and tenants gathered in front of AAFE’s Chinatown office recently to protest for Wang. Documented recently published an investigation into AAFE’s questionable renting practices. Read more at Documented. 

New Jersey is 1st East Coast State to Ban Further Contracts with ICE

📍 Documented Original
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill banning new, renewed and extended agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making the state the first state on the east coast and fourth nationwide to ban or limit future contracts with the agency. Local activists, who have been fighting for the bill to be introduced, applauded the news. “This hard-fought victory reflects the resilience and tenacity of our communities — and reaffirms that our vision of a world without detention is within reach,” said Tania Mattos, the policy and northeast monitoring manager with Freedom for Immigrants, in a statement. Still, critics of the bill say it will lead immigrants to be transferred to detention facilities further away from their families and legal representation. Read more at Documented. 

Mentorship Opportunities for Immigrant Youth in New York

📍 Documented Resources
Mentorships can often provide life-changing opportunities for children maneuvering New York’s education system. Mentors coach students, but they also develop a long-term bond that strengthen students’ self-esteem and social skills. According to a Public Private Ventures study, mentees are less likely to use illegal drugs than their peers, and also less likely to skip school or class. In Documented’s WhatsApp Community, parents of first-generation immigrant students requested information about programs that could assist their children’s schooling. We gathered a list of organizations and resources that provide youth mentorship programs in the state, regardless of a child’s immigration status. Read more at Documented.



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