Andrew Yang with Congressman Ritchie Torres, near the New York City Hall.
A. YANG PRESS OFFICE / Courtesy
NY.– New York City has nearly a million residents who do not have a bank account or do not have access to banking services. This is a disadvantage that the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, Andrew Yang, next to Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres, have been proposed to solve.
Yang and Torres argue that large banks that allow immigrant and low-income communities to open bank accounts using IDNYC, the identification document issued by the city of New York.
According to both political leaders, New Yorkers who do not have access to banking services rely heavily on services such as check cashing, prepaid cards or money transfers. These services are outdated and expensive, often costing New Yorkers without a bank account up to $ 3,000 in fees a year.
Yang promised that, as mayor, he will use the city’s depository power as a lever to hold banks accountable to our immigrant communities, refusing to bank with financial institutions that do not allow undocumented New Yorkers to open a bank account.
He also promised to expand IDNYC to serve as a gateway to a myriad of city services, such as cash aid and access to a New York City ‘People’s Bank’.
“It is outrageous that, in the financial capital of the world, nearly a million immigrants and low-income New Yorkers are excluded from the banking system,” said the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City. “As mayor, I promise to use the tens of billions of dollars the city deposits in big banks each year as leverage to demand that those banks open their doors to immigrants, often undocumented, living in the Big Apple.” .
The candidate who made his nomination official last week said that as the vision of a ‘Popular Bank’ in New York City progresses on his vision, it is convenient to ensure that no New Yorker is left behind.
“We will ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, are reminded that they belong in our neighborhoods, as part of our economy and as the very fabric of what makes our city great,” Yang added,
Meanwhile, the new congressman Ritchie Torres stressed that to achieve the goal of New York being seen as an inclusive and equitable city, it must be ensured that all New Yorkers, regardless of their income or immigration status, have access to financial services that they need to prosper.
“We need to build on the amazing success of the IDNYC program, which has enabled immigrants, especially, to develop a deeper sense of belonging as New Yorkers. However, the largest banks in New York City continue to refuse to accept IDNYC as a valid source of identification, excluding the most vulnerable – the poor and the undocumented – from our financial system. “
Torres, a former councilman for District 15 in the Bronx, one of New York City’s most economically depressed areas, said he has joined Yang in pushing for banks to open their doors to the most vulnerable.
“We need to put money in the pockets of the poor rather than allow predatory financial institutions to take it from them. There is no place for financial discrimination in the financial capital of the world, ”Torres stressed.
Vice President Biden promised deep immigration reform.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
A coalition of advocates for undocumented immigrants and their families called on the president-elect Joe biden help them in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and stop the persecution for their deportation.
“I am here today to personally ask Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises and to act immediately when he takes office next week to protect families like mine who have been persecuted and terrorized simply for daring to exist on this’ earth. of freedoms’ ”, expressed Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented activist who has been living in a sanctuary at Denver’s First Unitarian Society since 2015.
She joined a group that traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, to ask the Democrat for a meeting, even though she and other applicants were in danger of being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE).
“I hope that the people, and especially the president-elect, understand the seriousness of the suffering we face and that led me to take risks today.”Vizguerra explained.
Among the organizers of the Familia coalition are the Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, Never Again Action, RAICES, Immigrant Justice Network, among others.
They demanded a moratorium on all deportations, as well as administrative relief for all undocumented, a group targeted by President Donald Trump, they charged.
“From your first week in office to your last, Donald trump it has mercilessly attacked immigrants, systematically undermined our rights and unleashed a torrent of abuses against us, ”he said. Nancy meza of RAICES.
The group was supported by religious groups leading the same fight and provided hospitality at Grace United Methodist Church.
“Our scriptures remind us that we should treat the stranger among us as one of our own,” said the Reverend Edwin Estevez, Grace’s senior pastor.
The president-elect Biden has promised that one of his priorities will be immigration reform, which would include a citizenship plan for the undocumented, in addition to redirecting ICE’s actions, to focus on the arrest of immigrants with criminal records.
More than 1,000 unaccompanied children received legal guidance while in detention.
PAUL RATJE / AFP via Getty Images
The Immigrant and Refugee Services division of CharitiesCatholic She is proud of the help and hope given to newcomers to the United States in this difficult year. Our work continues — the work of the agency’s staff, its volunteers, partners, and the communities we serve — as together we strive to build a more just and compassionate society.
Impact of Immigrant and Refugee Services in 2020
21,559 vulnerable immigrants and refugees were provided with integration, legal or resettlement assistance.
22,106 immigrants attended face-to-face or virtual information / orientation sessions, workshops and trainings.
75,051 calls or emails for help and referrals were responded to quickly with accurate information and in multiple languages.
9,791 unaccompanied children and adults received expert immigration legal advice and were protected from possible exploitation.
1,163 newcomers learned English and civics.
4,465 adults and children were provided with legal representation.
581 people who are the breadwinners of their families were helped to obtain authorization to work.
1,911 individuals were reunited with their families, granted permanent status, received citizenship, obtained protection, or were able to secure legal status.
1,129 unaccompanied children received legal guidance while in detention.
611 refugees and asylees were provided with employment and resettlement support.
For immigration assistance please call our New American Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
– Attorney C. Mario Russell is the director of the Department of Immigrants and Refugees of Catholic Charities
The only thing that actually felt normal this holiday season was a video chat with my family on Christmas day. I logged on to a Facebook video call from New York City while my mom and brother called in from California. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews joined from more states across the US, the UK, Canada, Qatar, and the Philippines.
The platforms we’ve used to keep this tradition going have changed over the past few decades. Way before Zoom became the lifeline for staying connected during the pandemic, immigrant families like mine have had to rely on whatever technology was available to stay in touch. Finding ways to reach out over long distances is nothing new, it’s what we do in a diaspora.
This year, I found myself glued to the screen all Christmas morning marveling at how much taller my nieces, nephews, and god kids have gotten since the last time I saw them in person — which in most cases, has been years. I’ve mostly watched them grow up on screens.
Before there were apps like Skype, it was even harder for us to connect. My dad moved to California from Manila not long after I was born to set up a life for us in America. Before my mom and I joined him, the only way my dad could see our faces was in photographs that my mom sent him.
“Daddy, just want to show you my complete set of teeth… and my dimple…” my mom scrawled on the back of a photo of two and a half-year-old me. Another copy of that picture would end up in my very first passport.
Once the three of us, plus my American-born brother, were all stateside, there were expensive, hurried calls with relatives in the Philippines on our landline. Those calls triggered another frantic game of telephone. You needed to corral the household so that each person could have a moment on the call. “Hurry, tell so-and-so to pick up the phone,” whoever was holding the receiver yelled out. “It’s long distance!”
Skype was a game-changer when it started offering free video calling in 2006. I remember logging on from the desktop computer in my parents’ bedroom when I was visiting home from college. There, I’d see my grandma in the Philippines squinting to make out our faces in the blurry webcam picture. Before then, just hearing her voice was an expensive luxury. Suddenly, it was free — and I could look her in the eye while we chatted for as long as we wanted. By 2009, I had my own Skype account separate from my parents, and it seemed like all my cousins, aunts, and uncles did, too.
Now, I have an entire folder of apps on my phone that my family uses for free, long distance calls. There are so many platforms to choose from that each of our calls tends to start with the question of whether we’re using the right app: will switching over to Viber or Facebook offer a better signal or be easier for elders on the call to use?
Those calls have seamlessly melded into in-person events, too. My mom’s side of the family has held a reunion on New Year’s Day every year since before my mom was born. We’re a big family (my mom alone has eight siblings), so this is a big production. My mom rarely gets to attend in person, but she calls in every year. The last time I attended the reunion, in the Philippines in 2014, my mom was still in California. I called her from my laptop and set her up on a table with a good view of the party. Other relatives abroad made their rounds on cellphones passed around by guests.
For the first time in more than 60 years, the reunion didn’t take place in person this year. I still found comfort in talking with my family over another video chat on New Year’s Day, but it doesn’t make me miss them any less. The heartache is still there when the holidays are over. It will be there when the pandemic ends. Going home isn’t always as easy as taking a plane ride when you’re an immigrant. There’s lots of red tape and luck involved when it comes to crossing borders. And there still isn’t an app that will let me reach out and kiss my mom on the cheek, or pick up my nieces and nephews before they get too old for me to do that.
For me, sacrificing physical togetherness for the promise of more security in the future was part of growing up. And while technology can’t fully bridge the distance between family members, it has made that separation easier to bear.
Video calls are now a standard way to connect with other family members who’ve fanned out around the world in search of a future with bigger possibilities. A staple of our family calls is help with finding work abroad and making a home for yourself in a new place. I’ve often heard it said that the Philippines’ biggest export is its own people. Its economy relies on over 2 million overseas workers, including a lot in health care, whose remittances make up about a tenth of the country’s GDP. The small archipelago nation is the world’s leading supplier of nurses — including my mom, lots of other relatives, and the nurse in the UK who administered the world’s very first authorized vaccine against COVID-19.
Searching for opportunities far from home, however, has come with costs. We’re perpetually missing our loved ones. There’s a shortage of health care workers in the Philippines, and a disproportionately high number of Filipino Americans working on the frontlines of the pandemic have died from COVID-19.
A lot of people around the world sacrificed time with family and turned to virtual celebrations this holiday season to stop the spread of COVID-19. For that, I’m thankful, because it keeps my mom and other family members who work in health care safer. There are other immigrant essential workers who are more exposed to the virus and who have for years held up industries that take care of the sick and elderly and that bring food to our tables — perhaps at the expense of being with their family and friends during the holidays. A video call will never be as fulfilling as sitting in the same room with the people we love. But it’s more than what some of us have had in the past or have access to even now.
The photos my mom sent my dad of me while we were still living in the Philippines are now neatly bound in a photo album. They’re a reminder that resourcefulness in immigrant communities has been about more than finding ways to get ahead. We’ve found ways to stay connected.
On January 11, 2018, Edgar solano, a Hispanic immigrant residing in California, had to go to a bus stop to return from work after his car broke down.
While standing in line at the terminal Greyhound In the town of Indio, in the Coachella Valley, he was approached by plainclothes federal agents, asked some questions, and shortly thereafter handcuffed and taken to an immigration detention center.
Solano was placed under deportation proceedings and in that bitterness almost three years passed, until this week, when a Los Angeles immigration court concluded that the Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) who arrested him in 2018 based on “his Latino appearance” and thus proceeded illegally.
The court, which ordered the deportation proceedings against Solano to end, said in its ruling that, before he was detained, the officers “only knew his name, his place of residence and his appearance”, but that “they did not they are appropriate factors to establish the requirement of reasonable suspicion ”.
The ruling was issued by the Executive Office for the Review of Immigration Cases, the body where the decisions of the immigration courts are appealed, and a body dependent on the Department of Justice.
“A reasonable CBP officer should have known that he or she was violating the Fourth Amendment [de la Constitución, que protege a las personas contra detenciones arbitrarias] by stopping him solely on the basis of his Latino appearance, “reads the ruling, obtained by NBC News.
[Fue “violada” por un guardia de prisión que le dijo que nadie le creería por ser inmigrante. Terminó deportada]
CBP has not commented on the ruling or responded to NBC News requests for comment on the case.
More than two months in a detention center
On the day of his arrest, Solano, who resides in Los Angeles, was doing repair work in Indio. Because his car was not running, he decided to take the 9:25 p.m. Greyhound bus. Back to Los Angeles from Indio. The bus was more than an hour late.
When he finally arrived, Solano was in line to board when two plainclothes men approached him and asked for his name and address.
Solano answered them, but the men, who did not identify themselves, asked him to show identification, according to court documents. He replied that he preferred not to, because if he was late he would miss the last bus of the night to return home.
One of the men ordered him to get out of line, took his arm and led him to an unidentified van, While the other man indicated to the bus that he could leave without him, according to Solano’s lawyers.
According to the Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)Only when he was taken to the van with handcuffs on did the men identify themselves as immigration agents. By then, agents had already violated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and other regulations, the ACLU said.
A series of court rulings in the past have held that immigration officers cannot detain a person without reasonable suspicion based on facts, and the courts have found consensus that suspicion cannot be based simply on ethnicity.
When questioned by agents that night in Indio, Solano admitted that he had no documents authorizing his presence in the United States. He was arrested and spent more than two months in a detention center before obtaining a bail hearing, which his family paid for.
[Este menor fue deportado sin poder pedir asilo. Ahora un juez pone en duda expulsiones así durante la pandemia]
ACLU attorney Eva Bitrán, who represented him along with the Lucas & Barba LLP law firm, said this Friday: “As the Court correctly concluded, Mr. Solano’s arrest based on racial profiling was an outrageous violation of his constitutional rights ”.
“We know, however, that such arrests are common practice. We hope today’s decision serves as a warning to federal immigration officials that their illegal practices will not prevail, ”he continued.
The ACLU told Noticias Telemundo that Solano has decided not to comment to the media about his process.
After the massive shutdown in March, nail salons across New York City have struggled to recover.
There was a rapid increase in demand after the lockdown was lifted in July, but then appointments started to decline. Now, many of those companies are at breaking point, a drastic blow to businesses that are a financial engine for immigrant women.
Some nail salons have had Difficulty persuading clients that they are safe to return. Others, particularly those located in the business districts of Manhattan, they have not seen the clients common return because they fled the city and / or are working from home.
With 26 years of salon experience and two decades of financial savings invested in his personal business, Juyoung Lee (53) is barely staying afloat at “Beverly Nail Studio,” his salon in Flushing, Queens.
“Even though it was laborious before, I could always make the payments. But now, regardless of how hard I work, I don’t earn money, “he told The New York Times.
Visits to nail salons within the state are down by more than 50%, and gross sales are down by more than 40%, according to an October survey of 161 salon owners conducted by the Nail Industry Federation of New York (NIFNY).
The New York Nail Salon Workers Association (NYNSWA), An advocacy group affiliated with the Workers United union said that less than half of the 594 employees surveyed had returned to work in August. In New York City, there were 4,240 nail salons in 2016, according to the Census Bureau: 3% of nail salons nationwide are in Brooklyn and 2% are in Queens.
“Labor pressure is mainly the immigrant staff living day to day, supporting children and, in many cases, sick and elderly family members in their own nations, ”commented Luis Gómez, director of the affiliation. “Add in the recession and the fallout from the pandemic at the best of times, and we anticipate that many employees will fall further into poverty ”.
The halls were authorized to reopen in July with a capacity of 50% and attending by appointment. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of beauty and scientific analysis of the Mount Sinai Hospital In Manhattan, if everyone wears masks and customers are properly socially distancing, they are “Considerably safer than eating” in a restaurant.
But many business leaders fear that salons will not be able to regain the full trust of customers until a vaccine is widely used.
81% of the staff in nail salons nationwide are young women, and 79% are foreign-born, according to a 2018 report by UCLA Labor Center, in California.
“There is a subset of women who have been in the nail salon business for many years, no matter what,” said Prarthana Gurung, a campaign supervisor at Adhikaar, a Nepalese workplace that serves nearly 1,300 employees. of salons in New York City.
Hannah Lee, 60, came from South Korea, worked for years in Queens and Manhattan and saved enough to place her son in college and pay the rent on time. Now receive only a few tips, usually nothing at all. His salary plummeted from $ 1,000 per week to $ 300. She is behind on her lease and barely able to pay for her food, she said.
In Jackson Heights (Queens), the mexican Mariwvey Ramírez, 38, a single mother, returned to work not long ago after being suspended for the second time at the Rego Park salon where she worked due to neighborhood closures.
Because she is undocumented, she is not eligible to collect unemployment. She is now employed only part-time and her salary went from $ 700 a week to $ 400.
The only positive side has been that now that you have free time, you have signed up to study English, in part to expand her job options, but largely to advance the salon business as soon as the pandemic subsides.
Nail salons in New York City have seen a steep decline in customers since reopening in July. Many are now on the verge of collapse – a drastic hit for an industry that is a lifeline for immigrant women. https://t.co/Ai7oIYR685
The government of President Donald Trump designated Luke Bellochi as first defender of the rights of detained immigrants, which should be in charge of investigating the numerous complaints from migrants held in detention centers and activist groups.
According to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Bellocci has been Human Rights Defender at the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and prior to that he was an assistant in charge of legislative affairs at the Border Patrol. He also held a position in the Department of Transportation.
Related: They wanted to remove my belly, “says a survivor of medical abuse at an ICE center in Georgia
In his LinkedIn profile he defines himself as a “specialist in policy and crisis management in the public and private sectors”. He is a member of the National Association of Republican Lawyers.
The new position
The FY2020 budget law created the Immigration Detention Ombudsman Office that will deal with DHS “matters arising in detention facilities” and will be independent of the immigration agencies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The appointment to this new position comes after 21 people died in ICE custody last fiscal year, a record number in the past decade, and was Report unnecessary gynecological procedures to detained women in immigration detention centers, prompting requests for investigation by federal congressmen.
At the beginning of the year the acting undersecretary of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli, commissioned the establishment of that office to Julie Kirchner, former leader of FAIR, a group that advocates for the restriction of immigration.
The BuzzFeed platform He reported then that Cuccinelli had also asked Tracy Short, a former ICE chief who has signed instructions for the agency to stop granting relief to certain migrants facing deportation, for help in setting up the office.
Within Trump’s policy that, since the beginning of 2019, detains undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation, instead of releasing them until a court hearing, ICE had more than 40,000 men, women and children in its custody in February initially in detention centers across the country.
Related: ICE implements rule that will affect any undocumented immigrant
Since then the figure has dropped to around 19,000 people, held in centers where lawyers and civil rights groups have denounced overcrowding and lack of medical care amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Congress approved $ 10 million for the Office of the Ombudsman for the purpose of dealing with inappropriate treatment of detainees at ICE sites, and to conduct inspections and give recommendations to improve the conditions of detainees.
One of the radio commentators most listened to by the conservative public announced that he has terminal cancer.
Rush Limbaugh, one of the voices that most supports the policies of President Donald TrumpHe said on his show that he suffers from stage four lung cancer.
“The exams show progression of the cancer,” Limbaugh said on his show. “It is not dramatic, but we are in the wrong direction.”
The commenter has been transparent about his illness since he was diagnosed. A few months ago he said that the cancer had shrunk and that it was controllable. This Monday Limbaugh spoke more frankly about the possibility of dying.
“It’s hard to realize that the days when I don’t think I’m on the death row are over,” Limbaugh said. “Now, we all are, that’s the point. We all know that we will die at some point, but when you have a terminal illness diagnosis that has a time frame, then that makes a difference in psychological and even physical awareness of it. “
He Limbaugh’s show has been on the air for nearly 30 years. Trump was on the show two weeks ago.
The message of the organizations is strongly focused on families with mixed immigration status, so that they understand the power of raising their voice in the Presidential Elections
The student of Ecuadorian origin, Evelyn Bueno is the first in her family to be able to vote in a presidential election.
Evelyn Bueno / Courtesy
With only hours to complete the agonizing effort of the 2020 Census last week, community-based coalitions repowered all their machinery to now focus on boosting the Latino vote of the youngest in the neighborhoods of the Big Apple, with the presidential election just two weeks away.
The calculation of organizations that defend the rights of immigrants in New York City is very clear: in 15 days the most important elections in recent history will be held and although in theory thousands of undocumented people could be out of this accountIn practice, within the so-called mixed families, every day more voters are added that can define these challenging elections.
“Every 30 seconds a Latino turns 18, according to our investigations. And those young people now of voting age, from a very young age are seeing their parents sacrifice themselves in this country. They also suffer how they are treated for their immigration status “, said Yesenia Mata, director of the organization La Colmena de Staten Island, who drives the initiative “My vote is our vote.”
The activist assured that in these next few days they will accelerate, in multiple ways, the expansion of the message so that thousands of Hispanic working class people understand that they can have within their reach “the power to transform the country through voting.”
🗳 Today we are officially launching, “My Vote, Our Vote” – our voting outreach campaign to turn out Latinx voters on Staten Island. We will be in the airwaves, social media, & in our neighborhoods to ensure the voices of our immigrant & Latinx community are heard this election! pic.twitter.com/fIPqUM8r1v
“We have observed that in every corner of the city the cases of parents who cannot afford to pay are multiplying, but their children born in this country do have that right. This is an indicator that the undocumented do have a voice. to transform this state of fear, xenophobia and racism, where our people suffer, but also our economy, ”said Mata.
The central message of the campaign that started this Monday on the different social platforms is that many immigrant parents have made an effort to give their children a promising future in this country, and now it is the children who have the power to decide for their parents by voting in these next elections.
Much of the young New Yorkers who are part of this campaign have siblings or cousins who are beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Such is the case of New Yorker Evelyn Bueno, 18, who studies in Queens collegue to be a teacher and It is the first of a family of Ecuadorian immigrants you have the option to pay.
“What motivates me to be part of this initiative is that finally I am the voice of my family group. My sister is 21 years old and is covered by DACA. I want us to get ahead. Many times we young people think that voting is not worth it. I am currently the only one in my family who has this opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it ”, she commented.
Looking for a “polite vote”
La Colmena’s initiative is not the only one. The New York Immigrant Coalition (NYCI), the Hispanic Health Network and the Latino Commission Against AIDS promote the ‘Together, Together we are stronger ’” that through their different networks and community contacts try to encourage participation in this electoral process.
“After having closed a very complicated census that will give many challenges in responding to the health problems of the most vulnerable, we are in a civic race to get an educated vote, that it be a step towards economic, migratory and inclusion relief for those who suffer most ”, argued Guillermo Chacón, director of Hispanic Health Network.
The strategy of ‘Together, Together we are stronger’ is to integrate in the short way of two weeks of the electoral campaign and a few days before the beginning of the early voting period, other ethnic groups of youth such as African Americans They share the same challenges of overcoming poverty and discrimination.
“These are various groups that have been under attack and have responded in a divided way. Through our community contacts and social media campaigns, a key means of communication, we are trying to educate for the vote. One of the lessons of 2020 is the need to integrate”Said the activist.
Also the organization Make the Road New York (MRNY) has oiled its machinery to promote this week the massification of messages on the importance of voting.
“We have already driven more than 100,000 calls and we have sent more than 50,000 text messages to immigrant, Latino and black voters, focusing especially on places like Long Island. And we will continue to lead these efforts because we know that we need to go out and vote for a dignified future for our people, ”he reported. Antonio Alarcón, Coordinator of Civic Participation 2020 of MRNY.
The immigrant vote
32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the November elections nationwide, surpassing the number of eligible black voters for the first time, shows a report from the Pew Research Center.
16.7 million people in this country live with at least one undocumented relative.
12% of immigrants were eligible to vote in 2000.
23% of immigrants are now eligible to vote, representing 10% of the nation’s electorate, according to the same research.