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Students and Advocates Demand LexisNexis End ICE Contract

Plus: Bergen County ends ICE detentions, New York's excluded workers fund runs dry, and the state's first farmworker union forms

Deanna Garcia

Oct 08, 2021

Law offices in Astoria neighborhood along Steinway Street.

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About 30 law school students and immigrant advocates gathered in front of the LexisNexis office in Midtown East on Thursday to protest the legal research firm’s $16.8 million contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Demonstrators are asking for an end to ICE contracts and urging New York University  and other law schools to sever their own agreements with the agency over its contracts. Law school students were among protestors demanding that schools offer alternative methods for legal research.

Activists and students held signs that read, “Lexis must stop finding ICE,” and “Lexis surveils all of us.” Jamie Him Hon Wong, an NYU law student, spoke to the crowd and recounted her own family’s experiences with ICE. Her father, an immigrant from China, was picked up by ICE at a naturalization ceremony when she was a teenager. “This is about people,” Wong said loudly while two large American flags hung overhead nearby. “About communities and families.” Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio for Documented.

In other local immigration news…

Bergen County Will No Longer Detain Immigrants for ICE

📍 Documented Original
Bergen County will no longer detain immigrants at its county jail, making it the last New Jersey county that once held immigrants to stop the practice. Hudson County said no immigrant detainees will be housed at the facility starting Nov. 1, and Essex County hasn’t housed immigrant detainees since late August. Bergen County will meanwhile start a new shared service contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. County Sheriff Anthony Cureton said the jail will only house federal inmates awaiting trial or federal prisoners who are already sentenced but are awaiting placement into a Bureau of Prisons facility. Read more at Documented.

NY’s Excluded Workers Fund is Almost Out of Money

📍 Documented Original
Over 200 community members, immigrant advocates and elected officials gathered at Washington Square Park to demand Gov. Kathy Hochul allocate more funds to the Excluded Workers Fund program, which is quickly depleting. So far, 114,247 out of 328,683 submitted applications have been approved, and more than $1.3 billion out of the $2.1 billion fund already used. On Sept. 24, the EWF portal’s banner stated that it “cannot guarantee that funds will be available for any claims submitted after 9/24,” though an additional 86,000 applications were submitted as of Oct. 5. ​​Read more at Documented. 

First Farmworker Union Forms in New York State 

📍 Documented Original
Late last month, twelve workers at Long Island’s Pindar Vineyards became the first agricultural workers to create part of a labor union in New York. The New York State Public Employment Relations Board certified Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW to represent these workers. Farmworkers have fought for years to gain the legal power to unionize in the state. In 2019, the state passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which provided agricultural and farm workers the right to collectively bargain and gave them workers’ compensation. According to the New York Farm bureau, New York farms employ roughly 55,000 individuals. Read more at Documented. 



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