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Report Finds NY Immigrants Fear Accessing Public Benefits and Services

Plus: New York lawmakers want to open child care funding to undocumented parents, and families still face impacts of the Muslim travel ban

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In a new report, the Center for Migration Studies of New York finds that fear and other barriers are preventing immigrants from accessing public benefits and services they are eligible for. The study, which was conducted in 2020 and 2021, called the Trump administration’s 2019 public charge rule “a silent monster” hindering immigrants from taking advantage of benefits, as they’re concerned using the benefits will jeopardize their immigration status and open them up to family separation, detention, and deportation. Immigrant groups who the rule did not affect were scared of it regardless and many other immigrants were misinformed about the benefits that counted as a public charge. 

In other local immigration news…

NY Lawmakers Call on Hochul to Increase Child Care Funding in Budget Plan

Forty-seven New York state lawmakers are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to increase the amount of child care funding in her $216 billion budget plan. Legislators want to distribute $5 billion for universal child care that’s available regardless of parents’ employment or immigration status. They write that they are “disappointed by Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget proposals, which fall short of meeting the needs of New York’s children, families, and child care providers.” If the allocation is increased, it would expand access to child care subsidies for parents of infants through school-age children. Spectrum News1

Families Still Facing Consequences of Muslim Travel Ban

Naser Almuganahi, 32, a citizen of the United States and owner of a bodega in Queens, has been in immigration limbo since 2010 when he applied for a visa for his wife, Om Alkheir Alazzar, in Yemen. In 2016, Om finally secured an interview with the U.S. consulate, and was told she would receive a visa soon. But when former President Donald Trump took office the next year and banned several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, from traveling to the U.S., progress stalled. In 2018, Om’s application was denied, putting her among thousands of people still feeling the effects of the travel ban today. HuffPost

Food delivery workers join ride-share drivers to push for more protections

Only a week after New York City food delivery workers celebrated a new law enforcing new labor standards, they have joined forces with ride-share drivers to demand more protections, including better wages, health care, and the right to unionize. Several groups representing about 100,000 app employees announced a new umbrella body, Justice for App Workers, which would press for the new measures. Most app workers in New York City are immigrants, and the coalition also represents members in parts of neighboring regions, and hopes to inspire pockets of movements across the country. AP News.

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