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Fund Excluded Workers Coalition Focuses on Outreach to Those in Need

Plus: Clemency process for avoiding deportation still unclear, and the dangers undocumented construction workers face

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

Over the past year, more than 200 New York advocacy groups created the Fund Excluded Workers coalition to help get relief for workers, especially undocumented immigrants, who were excluded from pandemic aid programs. The Department of Labor opened an online application for New York State’s Excluded Workers Fund earlier this month. FEW activists held workshops to help workers understand eligibility requirements, prepare documents and apply to the program. Workers can receive up to $15,600 from the program to assist them with overdue bills and other needs. QNS

Read Documented’s guide for how to apply for the Excluded Worker’s Fund here.

In other local immigration news…

Cuomo Saved This Woman From Deportation, But the Process is Still a Mystery

📍 Documented Original
Catherine Valdez came to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic at five years old. In 2002, when she was 16 and hanging out with friends, a person from the group attempted robbery. Valdez claimed she was not involved, but she was charged since she was there. When Valdez applied for citizenship in 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested and threatened to deport her, leading her to live the past three years in fear. A week before former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned, he pardoned five immigrants facing deportation, including Valdez. Still, immigration advocates worry the pardon process lacks transparency. Read more at Documented. 

An Undocumented Construction Worker Fell to His Death. Developers Denied It

📍 Documented Original Series Part One
This is the first story of three from A Public Death series by Documented’s Isaac Rauch Immigration Policy Reporting Fellow, Maurizio Guerrero.
Eric Mendoza was a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who died while working on the rooftop of One Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights on April 10, 2019. He was replacing the bricks of a column that enclosed a rooftop water tower when he fell 13 stories onto a concrete courtyard. It’s unclear, from public information, if Mendoza slipped, lost his balance or was hit by a brick. Yet it’s clear that his death was preventable. Mendoza is one of hundreds of young individuals who emigrate from impoverished communities to work hazardous construction jobs. Mendoza worked as nonunion laborer earning around $10 per hour as he worked long days without proper safety equipment. Read more at Documented.

Indian Work Visa Holders View Budget Reconciliation as Their Way to Permanent Residency

Hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals with U.S. work visas are looking at the federal budget deadline next month as their “one ticket” to receive a green card after facing years of backlogs. New Jersey has one of the largest Indian communities in the nation, and they could benefit from immigration measures Democrats want to include in the next budget. The green card backlog has become a dilemma for professional workers who made a life in the U.S. on H-1B work visas. They’ve become vulnerable due to federal limits on how many people from certain countries can receive new green cards. New Jersey Herald

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