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NYC Pastor Fights U.S. Immigration Authorities to Expose Reckless Surveillance Operation

Plus: Russians support Ukrainians in Brighton Beach’s ‘Little Odessa,' and what immigrants can receive an O-1 visa

Fisayo Okare

Mar 07, 2022

The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan. Max Siegelbaum for Documented

Kaji Dousa, a prominent New York City pastor, has been embroiled in a quiet drama unfolding at the intersection of faith, surveillance, and the U.S. border. Dousa was one of at least 51 U.S. citizens who were targeted and tracked by their own government for their proximity to asylum seekers in late 2018 and early 2019. Now, Dousa is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against DHS, ICE, CBP, and certain officials of the agencies, alleging that they violated her constitutional rights by placing her on a secret blacklist, revoking her expedited border-crossing privileges, and calling on Mexican law enforcement to detain her. The pastor and her lawyers say they have unearthed substantial evidence of reckless intelligence sharing between authorities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico divide. The Intercept

In other local immigration news…

O-1 Visa: individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement

📍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 an O-1 Visa, which is issued to an immigrant who comes to the U.S. with exceptional skills in arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. To prove this, they must also have sustained national or international acclaim. Applicants who have demonstrated high achievements in the motion picture or television industries can also qualify for O-1 visas. In order to qualify, a petitioner will need a job offer from an American company. The company or an agent of the company who must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, via U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Read more about the O-1 Visa on Documented

Russians Support Ukrainians in Brighton Beach’s ‘Little Odessa’

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has aroused complicated emotions, many Ukrainians in Little Odessa — a neighborhood full of Ukrainians in Brooklyn’s Russian-dominated Brighton Beach — say the community has come together to support them. “There is no tension,” said Yelena Makhnin, the executive director of the Brighton Beach Improvement District. “If you’re human you should be Ukrainian today.” In the days after the war broke out, Makhnin said she couldn’t sleep as she heard from friends caught up in the conflict, and leaned on her Russian husband for support. Russia’s invasion has sent vibrations through Brighton Beach, a neighborhood where natives of Russia and former Soviet Union countries have been living communally and without conflict for decades. Reuters

Fisayo Okare

Fisayo writes Documented’s "Early Arrival" newsletter and "Our City" column. She is an MSc. graduate of Columbia Journalism School, New York, and earned her BSc. degree in Mass Comm. from Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

@fisvyo

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