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The Department of Health and Human Services is repurposing one of its emergency shelters in Michigan to house unaccompanied Afghan minors. According to the department, there are 201 unaccompanied Afghan minors in HHS care. HHS established over a dozen emergency shelters earlier this year to care for unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, but many closed due when crossings slowed. The Starr Commonwealth campus in Albion, Michigan, will remain open and will care specifically for Afghan minors. There are currently 63 minors at the site now. CNN
In other national immigration news…
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Immigrant Workers at Low-Paying Jobs Face Most Business Discrimination
Noncitizens whose jobs are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act have the right to be paid a minimum wage and overtime after 40 hours. But it’s not unusual for employers to deny immigrant workers those rights, leaving noncitizens afraid to fight back. The U.S. Department of Labor typically welcomes complaints from all employees, regardless of immigration status. According to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Labor Department and U.S. Census Bureau data, industries with higher percentages of foreign-born workers see higher rates of wage theft. The Center for Public Integrity
Complaint Alleges ICE Tortured African Asylum Seekers
Three Cameroonian men filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties about the mistreatment they faced from Immigrant and Customs Enforcement’s use of The WRAP, a restraint device used during deportation. The complaint claims that what happened to the men and others who were afraid to come forward falls under the definition of torture. The complaint also questions if the punishment was motivated by racism since only Black asylum seekers from African countries have revealed their experiences so far. The San Diego Union-Tribune
Minnesota Gov. Asks to Stop Deportation of Woman Seeking Pardon
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) asked ICE officials to “administratively close” deportation proceedings for Amreya Shefa, a woman who he says will be in danger if she returns to Ethiopia. Shefa was convicted of manslaughter for fatally stabbing her husband in what she said was self-defense after held her prisoner in her own home and raped her repeatedly. She sought a pardon, which Walz supported, but it wasn’t granted. “She will be vulnerable to the practice of retaliatory killing at the hands of her late husband’s family, who have made credible threats against her life,” Walz wrote in a letter to Timothy Perry, chief of staff for ICE in Washington, D.C. The Associated Press
Minneapolis’ Immigrant-Owned Businesses Continue to Struggle
Business owners along Lake Street in Minneapolis are still facing damage from property destruction and the pandemic. Roughly three-quarters of these businesses are owned by people of color — mostly East African, Latino and Asian immigrants. Even though federal, state and local governments, as well as foundations and private donors, have supplied aid, these funds haven’t been enough to cover $500 million worth of property damage these immigrants suffered in 2020. Ngan Hoang, a Vietnamese refugee, has owned Cali Nails for 27 years and is three months behind on rent for her business. Her store usually pulled in between $125,000 and $150,000 per year, but dropped to between $25,000 and $30,000 last year. Sahan Journal
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