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NJ Gov. Begins Afghan Refugee Assistance Task Force

Plus: New York immigrants start getting Excluded Worker grants, advocates want action from Hochul to welcome Afghan refugees

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On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 256 to establish a task force to handle Afghan refugee assistance. The task force will be moderated by New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Brigadier General Dr. Lisa Hou. It will coordinate the state’s efforts to properly prepare for and respond to the arrival of Afghan refugees and Special Immigration Visa holders. “Our newly established task force will make efforts to welcome refugees and their families to their new lives in the United States and New Jersey,” Murphy said. Deanna Garcia for Documented.

In other local immigration news…

NY Immigrants Receive Grants from Excluded Workers Fund

Documented heard about many obstacles New York immigrants faced as they tried to apply for the Excluded Workers Fund. But despite difficulties, some applications are beginning to be approved. Wilmer recently learned he would receive $15,600 from the program. He said he couldn’t believe it when he got the confirmation email. Wilmer insisted that immigrants who need help filling out the application should not go to notaries and accountants. Instead, they should reach out to local organizations, watch videos on YouTube or to even reach out to him. Wilmer plans on using the money to cover all the struggles he and his wife endured during the pandemic. Listen to the audio here. Deanna Garcia for Documented.

Advocates Fight for Afghan Refugees to Resettle in New York

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said helping Afghans refugees resettle in the state is a high priority of her new administration. Now, immigration advocates are calling on her to take action to match her words. They explained on a Zoom call led by the New York Immigration Coalition that the federal government is depending on a lesser-known humanitarian parole process as it rushes to bring Afghans to the U.S. “Bringing them here isn’t enough,” said Karen Andolina Scott with Journey’s End Refugee Services, calling on the administration to also ensure immigrants “have access to citizenship down the road, access to benefits, access to health care.” PIX11 News 

City Council Gives $1M to Mexican Studies Institute

Moises Quintero, who immigrated from Mexico at four years old, was accepted into three graduate programs in prestigious colleges after receiving an undergraduate education thanks to CUNY’s Mexican Studies Scholarship Fund. The scholarship provides about $7,000 to not only Mexican American students, but any CUNY student who does academically well. For the Mexican Studies Institute’s 10th anniversary coming in February, the New York City Council gave the scholarship fund an early birthday present of $1 million. José Higuera López, the institute’s deputy director, said will use the funds to increase the enrollment of Mexican and Mexican American students at CUNY, promote Mexican and Mexican American studies and partner with community organizations to empower Mexican immigrants. The Riverdale Press 

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