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Bergen County Detainees Ask NJ Senators to Demand Their Release

Plus: Bushwick supermarkets hope to end food deserts, and an interactive art display examines ICE's impacts

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On Friday, 14 of 20 immigrant detainees who remain at New Jersey’s Bergen County jail sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D) and Cory Booker (D) calling on them to push Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the detainees’ release. In the letter, the detainees stated they weren’t a priority for detention under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new guidance for arrests, which call for DHS to detain those who are a public threat. Most of the immigrants at the jail have come in contact with the legal system in the past and all have fully served their times. If it wasn’t for ICE and immigration policies, these immigrant detainees would’ve been released by now. 

“The New Jersey immigrants currently detained at BCJ do not meet these enforcement and removal priorities,” the letter states. “We have not been strangers to abuse and mistreatment inside of ICE detention.” Deanna Garcia for Documented.

In other local immigration news…

New Bushwick Supermarkets Could Help Address Food Inequality

Three new supermarkets are coming to Bushwick to provide fresh food to residents who can’t usually afford it. Roughly 21,000 Bushwick residents struggle to access healthy food options and are considered food insecure. This population often suffers from heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and other ailments that a healthy diet can help prevent. Maria Hernandez, a street vendor who is also undocumented, said she isn’t able to access specific aid from the city or the state to obtain healthy food. But the Bushwick resident of 22 years does shop at a supermarket that, like these new shops, is part of the FRESH program that places grocery stores in food deserts. Univision 

Brooklyn’s NO I.C.E. BOX Discusses Immigration and Human Rights

Sajjad Musa and Roger Cortes’ NO I.C.E. BOX resembles ice vending machines, which are commonly found in bodegas throughout the city. But instead of being filled with frozen goods, the art piece will be placed in front of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Fort Greene starting next spring. The interactive piece uses its design to analyze the impacts Immigration and Customs Enforcement has on immigrant communities. A Kickstarter fundraiser for the project raised $20,302 and once it’s fully built, the extra funds will be donated to Make the Road. It will be displayed elsewhere after its start at the museum. BKReader

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