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Bill Letting Noncitizens Vote in NYC Poised for Passage

Plus: Vaccination rates lag in NY’s Haitian neighborhoods, and detained immigrants transferred from New Jersey to upstate New York

Advocates, local officials and community members pop off confetti during a rally celebrating gaining a super majority in the City Council for the Our City, Our Vote Legislation at Corona Plaza on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

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The New York City Council is expected to approve a bill which would allow more than 800,000 noncitizen New Yorkers to vote in municipal elections and for local ballot initiatives. If the legislation is approved as expected on December 9, it would make New York City the largest municipality in the nation to permit noncitizens to vote in local elections. Green card holders or those have the legal right to work in the United States would be eligible to vote under the bill. “It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, a council member who sponsored the bill. The New York Times

In other local immigration news…

Vaccination Rates Lag in NY’s Haitian Neighborhoods

COVID-19 vaccination rates in the majority of New York City’s Haitian neighborhoods fall behind rates in the rest of the city, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Advocates are looking to help get more individuals vaccinated in advance of the holiday season, to avoid increased viral spread through large gatherings. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and then you have to figure out what people want, why are they so afraid of having this,” said Melinda Placide, a development and special projects associate with Haitian Americans United for Progress. Haitian Times

Detained Immigrants Transferred from New Jersey to Upstate New York

After Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, opted to no longer hold immigrants, detainees were transferred more than 350 miles away to Batavia, New York, on Nov. 12. New Jersey immigrant advocates condemned the transfers, and said Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the discretion to release people instead of transferring them further away. Advocates “argue the transfer further isolates the detained immigrants as it will be extremely difficult for people to visit them,” the Times Union reported. The facility in Batavia, called the Buffalo Service Processing Center, is currently holding 301 detained immigrants. Documented has also reported on these transfers. The Times Union

Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio is a Report for America Corps Member who covers immigration for Documented, where she focuses on immigration courts and detention.

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