This summary about border patrol agents seizing Venezuelan passports was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.
Many Venezuelans who arrived in New York City in recent months are living day by day, more worried about shelter and meals than their legal status. But they may soon find themselves in desperate need of documents needed to gain a foothold in the U.S. with no way of obtaining them.
Immigration procedures, work permits, and social services often require passports and national identification documents. But the Border Patrol confiscated many Venezuelans’ passports en masse at the border, and the Venezuelan consulates in the U.S. have been closed since 2019.
When migrants realize they need identification documents, “They ask us: what do I do? And then we stay in a cycle because we don’t know where to tell them to go. There is nowhere to go,” Niurka Meléndez, founder of Venezuelan and Immigrants Aid told Rosario Marina, our reporter in today’s story.
- Learn more: The Venezuelan Consulate in New York is falling apart
A CBP spokesperson told Documented that identification documents must be returned to migrants. But in practice, many migrants have said they never see those documents again. Nonprofit organizations consider it inhumane and are trying to litigate.
With an absent consulate, Venezuelans have organized on social media to guide hundreds of Venezuelan people living abroad through the process of renewing their passports.
Read the full report on Documented.
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STORIES WE ARE FOLLOWING
Spectrum workers sue after union settles strike without consulting them: As previously reported, IBEW Local Union 3 settled to end one of the longest strikes in U.S. history without workers’ input. Now workers are suing their own union for $100 million in damages.
- More to come as Documented’s Labor Reporter, Amir Khafagy continues to follow the story.
NYC to close Randall’s Island tent shelter next week, moving all residents to Manhattan hotel: The City will shut down its short-lived project, which cost it at least $650k. Residents will be moved to the 600-room Watson Hotel. — City Limits
Around the U.S.
Massachusetts votes to let undocumented immigrants get driver’s licenses: Republicans wanted a law allowing undocumented people to get driver’s licenses to be repealed and pushed it to a ballot measure, but voters opted to keep it. — AP News
Bilingual California poet honors migrants living and dead: At 15, León Salvatierra migrated from Nicaragua to escape becoming a child soldier. His new book honors migrants, critiques consumerism, and takes on other topics. — LA Times
Army Rangers killed a baby’s parents, and a Marine took her into America. Her Afghan family says she was kidnapped: A Marine used adoption as a legal avenue to evacuate an injured baby, even after Afghan officials insisted they look for the baby’s family first. — New York Times
DHS will maintain TPS for 6 nations through 2024: Some Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Nepalis, Haitians, and Sudanese can access the protections. — Read more in the notice from the Federal Register
Biden directs pregnant migrant minors to be sheltered in states that allow abortions: The directive will also enable girls who request abortion services to be transferred to states that allow the procedure if they are in a state that bans it. — Reuters
Campaign pressures Congress to protect Dreamers: DACA supporters are traveling to Washington, D.C. to convince legislators to protect the program as the midterms granted Republicans less power than expected — Bloomberg Government