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Angel Pilataxi, a construction worker and immigrant, fell to his death last Friday, Feb. 11, at a construction site. The apartment building at 124 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights is owned by billionaire and Florida Panthers NHL team owner Vincent Viola. City Council Member Lincoln Restler and the Worker Justice Project, which organizes low-wage immigrant earners fighting to improve working conditions in construction and other sectors — are organizing a $20,000 fundraiser for Pilataxi’s family. Pilataxi was originally from Ecuador, was the primary breadwinner of his family, and raised six kids — now ages 12 to 33 — in New Jersey. He worked in construction for decades.
In other local immigration news…
Bronx fire survivors slowly piece their lives back together
Nearly a month after the deadly Bronx fire that killed 17 people, survivors are still trying to piece their lives together. Immigrants have an extra layer of difficulties to face as they try to rebuild their lives, such as the threat of deportation or ongoing asylum cases, said Haddy Gassama, policy advocacy director at UndocuBlack Network. The former Twin Parks residents still in temporary hotels are facing uncertainty around their housing situation, while other informal residents — including undocumented immigrants — have fallen through the cracks. Now, advocates say it’s time to hold city and state government agencies accountable for failing to address the subpar housing conditions that caused and exacerbated the fire. Continue reading on Documented.
NALEO to announce projected Latino voter turnout in NY, nationwide
As the 2022 midterm elections draw closer, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund is hosting a virtual press call on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. ET to announce its projections for Latino voter turnout. The votes of Latinos are expected to play a significant role in determining the outcome of the midterms, given that they are the second largest population group in the U.S. For more than 20 years, NALEO Educational Fund has tracked and analyzed Latino voting in national midterm and general elections. The findings, historical context, and methodology used in the report will be discussed on the call.
ICYMI: Two years later, ICE asserts it was ‘reasonable’ to maim unarmed tourist
More than two years after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Henry Santana shot Erick Diaz-Cruz, an unarmed tourist, at his family’s home in Brooklyn, court documents show Santana’s defense wrote that “such force was reasonable, necessary and justified.” Diaz-Cruz’s family is still seeking justice, as Santana denied many of the allegations brought against him. The case remains on hold as authorities continue their investigation. “My son’s life, and all of our lives, are no longer the same,” Carmen Cruz, Diaz-Cruz’s mother, said in Spanish in a recent interview. Documented gives an exclusive update on the case after digging through court filings and a recount of the incident. Read more on Documented.