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New York Still Needs $3 Billion to Replenish Excluded Workers Fund

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

A new report from Immigration Research Initiative estimates that 177,000 people qualify for New York’s Excluded Workers Fund but still have not received a payment, as the fund was exhausted long before all qualified New Yorkers had a chance to apply. “This program ran out of funds for a really positive reason: it succeeded in getting the funds to workers who needed it,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of Immigration Research Initiative. “As a result, more is needed this year to make good on New York’s promise to the many workers who qualify,” added Cyierra Roldan, deputy director of Immigration Research Initiative. Workers received $15,600 in payments from the Excluded Workers Fund. “That makes New York the first state to come near matching for excluded workers what others who were unemployed got in unemployment compensation,” Kallick noted. Immigration Research Initiative 

In other local immigration news…

Immigrant Rights Leaders, Legislators to Discuss Inhumane Conditions in ICE Jails

Today in Albany at 9:30 a.m., immigrant rights leaders and state legislators will hold a roundtable to discuss the inhumane conditions that immigrants are subjected to at Orange County Correctional Facility and other New York jails contracting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The leaders will also demand the passage of four bills meant to provide immigrants with legal representation and end New York’s contracts with ICE.

New York City Council Hears Testimonies on Alleged ICE Detainee Abuse

📍Documented Original
The New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration held a hearing on Monday that examined the conditions at Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen. More than two dozen advocates from various groups including the Bronx Defenders, the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law, and the Envision Freedom Fund, spoke at the hearing. They detailed what they called a lack of appropriate medical care at the facility, COVID-19 outbreaks, and mistreatment from officials towards detained immigrants. These allegations were previously detailed in a Feb. 17 complaint. Multiple immigrants who were previously detained at Orange County also testified, as did representatives of immigrants currently detained at the jail.

“Many people who suffer from illnesses do not receive adequate care or do not receive treatment,” Felipe Cortes, who was detained at Orange County for a year and was released in Dec. 2021, said in Spanish. “This is something that I, myself, lived through.”

Councilmember Shahana Hanif, who led the hearing, said she was “appalled” and “in shock.” “I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that OCJ doesn’t get away with this,” she said. Representatives from the Orange County jail were invited to testify at the hearing, but declined to show, Councilwoman Hanif said. 

Kenneth T. Jones, undersheriff at the Orange County Sheriff’s office, denied many of the allegations, City Limits reported. “All of these accusations have been repeatedly made by activists at one time or another over the past 2 years and each of them proven to be false,” he said. 

Activists also used the hearing as an opportunity to push for the Dignity not Detention Act, a bill currently pending before New York State Senate and Assembly committees. If passed, the bill would bar state and local governments from entering into agreements to house individuals in immigration detention facilities. Documented’s Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio reports.

How the Office of Refugee Resettlement Works

📍Documented Original
The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement works closely with local ethnic and religious organizations to connect refugees with critical resources, such as legal representation, housing, education, and other tools needed to integrate with American society. After the failed military intervention in Vietnam in 1975, the United States was faced with resettling hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians displaced by the war. Congress formed a Refugee Task Force to help resettle 131,000 refugees in the span of a few months. The need for a permanent office to handle resettlement led to the formation of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in 1980. Read more on Documented

TVPRA: How U.S. Law Protects Child Victims of Human Trafficking

📍Documented Original
The latest addition to Documented’s Glossary — a resource guide full of information on the U.S. immigration system — is a detailed examination of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. It dives into how the law protects child victims of human trafficking. TVPRA includes provisions that govern the rights of unaccompanied alien children who enter the United States. It outlines key legal procedures for how the government deals with unaccompanied children from contiguous and noncontiguous countries. Read more about the legal protection on Documented
Editor’s note: The link to this glossary resource was unpublished in Friday’s Early Arrival. It is now available for readers to access.

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