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Funerals for those who died in the Bronx apartment fire have begun, while families and other residents put together a large memorial at the scene the fire took place. The first funeral service was for a 12-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister. Some families are still waiting for funeral homes to deliver their loved ones, while some immigrants are contemplating sending their deceased to the Gambia for burial. Community leaders held a press conference Thursday to demand justice for the immigrant and low-income residents of the building. The identities of those who died have been released, and they range in age from 2 to 50 years old. ABC7NY
In other local immigration news…
Black New Yorkers Bear the Brunt of Structural Fires, City Data Show
Structural fires, like Sunday’s that killed 17 people in a Bronx apartment complex, overwhelmingly take place in community districts where the majority of residents are Black or Hispanic, an analysis of New York City fire incident dispatch data shows. Among the dead in Sunday’s West Bronx blaze were nine children, city officials said, and many of those who died were West African immigrants. In the ten districts with the highest number of recorded fires from May 5, 2020, until May 5, 2021, the majority of the residents in all the districts were Black or Hispanic. Half of these districts had significant immigrant populations that hovered above the city average, data shows. Read more in Documented’s latest report.
Bronx Fire Leads to Lawsuit for $3 Billion in Damages
Immigrant families of the deceased and survivors of the Bronx apartment fire are suing the building’s owners and the city for $2 billion and $1 billion in damages, respectively. New York City Law Department press secretary Nicholas Paolucci has said the claim will be reviewed. The company that purchased the apartment building in 2019, Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, is named in one of the class-action lawsuits and has said it will cooperate fully with agencies as the investigation continues. CNN
Two NJ Bills Seek to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from Compensation Benefits
New Jersey lawmakers have revived a proposal to exclude undocumented immigrants from workers’ compensation benefits for workplace accidents and injuries. Both bills, S.B. 156 and A.B. 693, contain language that has been introduced 22 times in the Senate and Assembly between 2002 and 1998. The issue is fueled by a 1991 court decision which states “illegal aliens” are not eligible for benefits under New Jersey’s temporary disability law. Business Insurance