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one of the most violent detention facilities on Rikers Island. The case was eventually dismissed. How did Jelani, now 26, end up at Rikers for so long? The Manhattan District Attorney portrayed him as a known member of a violent gang, based on his likes and group photos on social media. Jelani had liked posts related to a local “crew,” which, according to the NYPD, is an association of young men that is looser than an established gang and is linked to a particular city block or
n 2012, Jelani Henry was arrested on two counts of attempted murder in New York City. The evidence was thin at best: While he was a “tall lightskinned black male,” matching a witness description, there were contradictory statements from witnesses and one failed to pick him out of a lineup. Despite the dearth of evidence and Jelani’s lack of criminal record, he was denied bail and incarcerated for 19 months, including a 9-month stint in solitary confinement, at
Jamaica’s Minister Williams Speaks about the Currency Slide ...see page 2
continued on page 5
100+ Civil Rights Groups Oppose Brett Kavanaugh... see page 4
ICE Arrests 65 during Operation Cross Check in New York City and Long Island
EW YORK: Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 65 people during a 5day period, ending July 20 in New York City and on Long Island. During the operation, ICE’s ERO arrested 65 individuals for violating U.S. immigration laws. Of those arrested, 64 had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. Of those arrested, 29 individuals were previously released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer. Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as sexual offenses, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors. rnal nt’s Jou a r g i m The Im ers Our lead d for who stoo Justice Unity &
streets. The rhetoric is copious, blurring the lines of fact versus fiction. But despite all the criticism, our officers continue to work daily with professionalism and integrity, enforcing the law as set forth by Congress.”
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Smart ners homeow t-time and firs yers homebu read this paper!
Hon. Garvey: Activist & Visionary ...see page 11
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African Voice of Rising Trump er nd U
Caribbean Star: Judge Ingrid Joseph ...see page 10
Arrests include: In Brooklyn, a 41-year-old, Mexican national, previously removed from the U.S. on six separate occasions, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions for aggravated identity theft, criminal mischief, DWI, petit larceny, resisting arrest, and illegal reentry after removal; In the Bronx, a 48-year-old previous-
“In this operation 64 of the 65 arrested had already been removed from this country, and the majority have either criminal convictions or pending criminal charges,” said Thomas R. Decker, Field Office Director for ERO New York. “The fact is that ICE in New York continues to enforce immigration laws as they have always done, targeting criminal aliens and removing them from our
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Bill Howard: A Life-long Legacy to Our Community ...see page 8
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Anguilla 845 Third Avenue New York, N.Y. 10022 Tel: 212-745-0200
Antigua & Barbuda 305 East 47th Street, Suite 6A New York, N.Y. 10020 Tel: 212-541-4117 The Bahamas 231 East 46th Street New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-421-6420 Barbados 820 Second Avenue, 5th Floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-551-4325 Belize 675 Third Avenue, Suite 1911 New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-593-0999 Dominica 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400H New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-949-0853 Dominican Republic 1500 Broadway, Suite 410 New York, N.Y. 10036 Tel: 212-599-8478 Grenada 685 Third Avenue, Suite 1101 New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-599-0301 Guyana 308 West 38th Street New York, N.Y. 10018 Tel: 212-947-5119 Haiti 815 Second Avenue,6th Floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-697-9767 Jamaica 767 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-935-9000 Martinique 444 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor New York, N.Y. 10022 Tel: 212-838-6887 Montserrat 845 Third Avenue New York, N.Y. 10022 Tel: 212-745-0200 Panama 1212 Avenue of the Americas, 20th Floor New York, N.Y. 10036 Tel: 212-840-2450 St. Kitts & Nevis 414 East 75th Street, 5th Floor New York, N.Y. 10021 Tel: 212-535-5521 St. Lucia 800 Second Avenue, 9th Floor New York, N.Y. 10007 Tel: 212-697-9360 St. Maarten 675 Third Avenue, Suite 1807 New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 800-786-2278 St. Vincent & The Grenadines 801 Second Avenue, 21st Floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Tel: 212-687-4981 Trinidad & Tobago 125 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor New York, N.Y. 10038 Tel: 212-682-7272 For more Consulate information go to www.cawnyc.com/directory
Former Barbados Government Minister Indicted in U.S. for Laundering Bribe Money
EW YORK: Former Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development in Barbados, Donville Inniss, has been indicted in the United States for allegedly laundering just over US$36,000 in bribes he received from an unnamed insurance company in his home country. The three-count indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, charging Inniss, a member of the former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government which was ousted in the May general elections, with conspiracy to launder money and money laundering. The charges stem from his acceptance of bribes from a Barbadian insurance company in 2015 and 2016 when he was a public official. The 52-year-old Inniss, who was a legal permanent resident of the United States residing in Tampa, Florida and Barbados
Photo taken of Donville Inniss when he was booked after his arrest. (Photo credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)
during the time of the charged conspiracy, was arrested and arraigned before US Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed in the Middle District of Florida at the federal courthouse in Tampa, a statement from the US
Department of Justice said. He was released on a US$50,000 bond. According to the indictment, between August 2015 and April 2016, Inniss engaged in a scheme to accept US$36,536.73 in bribes from high-level executives of an insurance company headquartered in Barbados and launder that money through the United States. “As charged in the indictment, Inniss abused his position of trust as a government official by taking bribes from a Barbadian company, then laundered the illicit funds through a bank and a dental company located in the Eastern District of New York,” stated United States Attorney Attorney, Richard Donoghue. “The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable corrupt government officials here or abroad who use the U.S. financial system to facilitate their criminal conduct.”l
Increased Demand for U.S. Dollar Causes Further Slide in Jamaican Currency
INGSTON, Jamaica: An increase in local demand for the United States (US) dollar in recent weeks has resulted in further depreciation in the value of the Jamaican dollar against the U.S. currency. It now costs about J$133 to get US$1. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, said that more companies are looking at their debt structures and purchasing US dollars to service these debts, as interest rates in the local market decrease. “They are looking at their debt structure because a lot of companies have U.S.-dollar debt on their books. As rates converge in the local market, it is advantageous for them to change out those U.S. dollar loans into Jamaican dollar
Minister Fayval Williams
loans which is excellent,” she said. Williams explained that this move reduces a company’s risks to foreign exchange exposure, “but in executing
these transactions, what actually happens is that the companies have to go into the market to buy the U.S. dollars to repay the loans, and that causes increased demand.” She said another factor driving the slide in the value of the Jamaica dollar is the significant increase in imports this year, compared to 2017. “The economy is growing. We need to import more in terms of inputs for the production process. When we look at the data, we see that mineral fuels and transport equipment, chemicals, manufactured goods and food are leading the increase in imports,” Williams said. She said she anticipates the foreign exchange market will “work its way out.”l
ExxonMobil Says There’s More Oil Offshore Guyana than It First Thought
EORGETOWN, Guyana: There appears to be more oil offshore Guyana than oil giant ExxonMobil had originally estimated. It announced that it has now been confirmed that the 6.6 million-acre Stabroek Block which it controls, has the equivalent of more than four billion barrels, up from the 3.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels previously estimated. “Confidence and investor interest in Guyana will continue to grow as a result of this most recent and exciting announcement by ExxonMobil,” Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said. ExxonMobil said it increased its estimate of the discovered recoverable resources and has advanced its evaluation to support a third phase of development and consideration of two additional phases.
The oil giant has made eight discoveries in Guyana’s waters to date – Liza, Payara, Liza Deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora and Longtail. “Guyana’s first development, Liza Phase 1, will use a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day, starting by early 2020,” it said in a statement. “Liza Phase 2, which is targeted for sanctioning by the end of this year, will use an FPSO vessel designed to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day and is expected to be produced by mid-2022.” It was also noted that the Liza-5 well successfully tested the northern portion of the Liza field and, along with the giant Payara field, will support the third phase of development in Guyana. “The Payara development will target sanctioning in 2019, and will use an
Minister Raphael Trotman
FPSO vessel designed to produce approximately 180,000 barrels of oil per day, as early as 2023,” said ExxonMobil’s Senior Vice President Neil Chapman. ExxonMobil said the collective discoveries on the Stabroek Block to date have established the potential for up to five FPSOs producing over 750,000 barrels per day by 2025. “There is potential for additional production from significant undrilled targets and plans for rapid exploration and appraisal drilling, including at the Ranger discovery,” it said.l
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How Beneficial was the CARICOM Leaders’ Meeting?
BY SIR RONALD SANDERS
INGSTON, Jamaica: The Washington-based publication, Latin American Advisor, sought responses from me, and others considered knowledgeable on Caribbean affairs, to three questions regarding the recently held CARICOM heads of government meeting in Jamaica. I provide more detailed answers to the three questions here than I did to the Washington publication. The first question was: What were the main accomplishments of the meeting? Undoubtedly, the main achievement was a renewed commitment to making the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective. After years of ‘pausing’ the implementation of the many national actions required to advance the single market, new life has been breathed into the process. Significantly, the new Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who has taken over lead responsibility for the CSME from her predecessor, Freundel Stuart, will hold monthly meetings with officials of the CARICOM Secretariat. This oversight will allow regular monitoring of progress and allow Ms Mottley to consult directly with her colleague heads of government on removing bottlenecks to implementation which has long been a hindrance to advancing the economic integration process. Additionally, a special meeting of the Heads of Government will be held in November to focus exclusively on the CSME. There is a now a large body of reports from various sources, including the private sector which can inform the meeting of leaders. There are many contentious issues to be faced. Overcoming the challenges will not be easy, but the willingness to dedicate a meeting to deal exclusively with the matter is a positive sign. The second question posed by the Latin American Advisor was: what resulted from the presence of non-CARICOM heads of state, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, at the meeting? Cuba and CARICOM countries have had a strong co-operative relationship since 1972 when four independent nations of CARICOM defied the U.S. embargo to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. Relations with Cuba were dominated by the leadership of the Castro brothers – Fidel
and Raul – for the 46 years that followed. Therefore, it was important that CARICOM leaders and the new Cuban President had the opportunity to get the measure of each other and to understand whether there would be any divergence of policies by either side. As it turned out, the meeting underscored the solidarity of Cuba and CARICOM, including CARICOM’s support for the lifting of the U.S. economic and financial embargo against Cuba. Leaders also agreed to increase trade and deepen economic relations. With regard to Chile, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has continued showing the interest in the Caribbean displayed by his predecessor in office, Michelle Bachelet. It was agreed that the CARICOM-Chile joint commission would be convened in Barbados to further cooperation on a range of issues of mutual interest, including a multidimensional approach to measuring poverty. Chile is also interested in a free trade agreement with CARICOM which would be difficult but should not prevent agreement on a partial scope scheme. CARICOM needs to diversify its trading arrangements to break its vulnerability to a narrow group of countries. Chile has shown a willingness to help champion arguments for a change in rules that disqualify Caribbean countries from access to concessional financing from international financial institutions. In this context, President Piñera’s encounter with CARICOM heads was a very important development. The final question was: what are the most critical issues currently facing the Caribbean and do the region’s leaders have the right plans to tackle them? The critical issues for the Caribbean are: unemployment, the damaging effects of climate change, high debt that limits their fiscal capacity for spending on social welfare and infrastructure; and an international environment that is unhelpful to their plight. Over the last decade, in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis that originated in the U.S. and that spread globally, efforts to tackle these issues have largely been pursued at a national level. Regional collaboration was eased to one side as beggarthy-neighbour policies were implemented. There will long be a debate on whether the failure to implement regional responses contributed to retarding growth in
Caribbean countries and increasing their dependence on countries outside the region, and therefore, compromising their individual and collective independence. In any event, many heads of government have privately indicated that the July meeting was one of the best in the last five years. New energy and interest were displayed, and significantly, while there was some argument that the ‘E’ in ‘CSME’ should be abandoned because realistically, it’s unlikely to be accomplished in the foreseeable future, many leaders insisted on its retention as a legitimate aspiration of the Caribbean people and, therefore, a necessary goal of Caribbean governments. The ‘E’ in ‘CSME’ embraces the creation of a single ‘economy’, going beyond a single market. It would include a single currency, a single Central Bank, common financial legislation and regulation, restrictions on governments from printing money, limitations on incurring debt and constraints on careless spending of foreign reserves. It would also remove the need to change currencies to travel around the Caribbean and to pay for goods and services. Indeed, what the ‘E’ in CSME would do is to replicate across CARICOM, the successful project by the countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in establishing a single currency and deeper and supportive integration arrangements that have saved their individual states from greater economic hardship and facilitated the movement of Caribbean people within their own region. Steps are being taken to stay on the path to a single economy. They are baby steps such as completing work on a financial services agreement and an integrated capital market. But they are, nonetheless, important steps, and they indicate that the meeting of heads of government, rather than being sidetracked by narrow national interests, appeared to have moved – albeit not leapt – to a more regional approach to dealing with the issues confronting them regionally and collectively. It is important to note that, by its own choice, the Bahamas is not part of the CSME arrangements and many of the observations in this commentary do not apply to it.l
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100+ Civil, Human Rights Groups Urge Senate to Oppose Brett Kavanaugh
he Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 100 national, state, and local organizations recently wrote a letter to the Senate urging them to oppose the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. “The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of our laws and Constitution, and its rulings dramatically impact our rights and freedoms. Every Supreme Court vacancy is significant, but the stakes could not be higher in deciding who will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy – who served as the deciding vote in nearly all the momentous cases of the past dozen years. Critical civil and human rights issues hang in the balance, including access to health care for millions of Americans, the ability of women to control their own bodies, voting rights, labor rights, economic security, rights of immigrants and persons with disabilities, LGBTQ equality, equal opportunity and affirmative action, environmental protections, and whether the judiciary will serve as a constitutional check on a reckless president,” the groups write in the letter. “Many of our organizations opposed Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit, and our fears and concerns have been realized. Judge Kavanaugh has not served as a neutral and fair-minded jurist.
He has served as a conservative ideologue who lacks the impartiality and independence necessary to sit on the highest court in the land.” The letter continued, “Judge Kavanaugh’s 12-year record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, as well as his known writings, speeches, and legal career, demonstrate that if he were confirmed to the Supreme Court, he would be the fifth and decisive vote to undermine many of our core rights and legal protections. In case after case, he has ruled against individuals and the environment in favor of corporations, the wealthy, and the powerful. He has advanced extreme legal theories to overturn longstanding precedent to diminish the power of federal agencies to help people. And he has demonstrated an
expansive view of presidential power that includes his belief that presidents should not be subject to civil suits or criminal investigations while in office despite what misconduct may have occurred. Moreover, Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was the product of a deeply flawed and biased process in which President Trump outsourced his constitutional duties to two right-wing special interest groups: the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation. These extremist organizations pre-approved candidates, including Judge Kavanaugh, based on the dangerous and unprecedented litmus tests that President Trump put forward as a presidential candidate. In a 2016 presidential debate, he said that his Supreme Court appointees would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. He said: “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that is really what will happen. That will happen automatically in my opinion. Because I am putting pro-life justices on the Court.” He also indicated he had a litmus test on the Affordable Care Act, stating in a February 2016 interview: “We’re going to have a very strong test… I’m disappointed in Roberts because he gave us Obamacare, he had two chances to end Obamacare, he should have ended it by every single measurement and he didn’t do it, so that was a very disap-
pointing one.” Judge Kavanaugh has passed these litmus tests, or he wouldn’t have been nominated. If confirmed, he would vote to undermine women’s control over their own bodies and sabotage accessible health coverage for millions of people, disproportionately impacting women, people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income families.” The letter emphasizes concerns about Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as a lifetime Supreme Court justice in the following areas: Access to Health Care Women’s Reproductive Freedom Voting Rights Employment Discrimination Workers’ Rights Immigrant Justice Presidential Power Environmental Protections Gun Safety Criminal Justice Money in Politics Church-State Separation in Education Ideological Jobs and Affiliations Ties to Judge Kozinski
The letter can be read in its entirety at www.civil rights.org l
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A Facebook Like/ continued from page 1
housing development. Jelani also appeared in photos with neighborhood kids, some of whom were crew members. Jelani’s experience is not unique. The NYPD’s sustained use of social media as evidence in “gang takedowns” and sweeping conspiracy indictments led to a New York City Council hearing on the issue last month, after a call from 30 advocacy and community groups. At the hearing, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea testified that just “like public places,” “public social media platforms are patrolled” by the NYPD. Social media activity can land you on the gang database, he explained, either because the NYPD determines that you have admitted to gang membership on social media, or — along with other indicators like wearing certain colors — your social media posts involve other gang members. But these capacious criteria for inclusion may mean that many individuals end up on the database simply because they live and grow up in a certain neighborhood. And inclusion on the gang database has grave civil liberties implications. It decreases the likelihood of release on bail, as in Jelani’s case. Further, gang prosecutions often involve sweeping conspiracy charges, which have long sentences and are easier for prosecutors to prove, since only evidence of an agreement, and not another crime, is required. Inclusion on the gang database can have serious immigration consequences as
well: While Shea testified that the gang database is not shared with federal immigration officials, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has participated in NYPD-run “gang takedowns.” And removal from the gang database remains an opaque process, with individuals suffering consequences long after ending any gang-related activity. NYPD’s monitoring of social media raises additional complicated issues, many of which went unaddressed at the hearing. First, posts, comments, photographs, and other interactions on social media do not always have an obvious interpretation. Does a Facebook “like,” for instance, mean a user is expressing approval of a post’s content, disapproval but delight that an issue is being discussed, a simple thumbs-up for a friend, or something else? In Jelani’s case, he explained that he liked posts to avoid being noticed or called out by his peers; his online engagement was part of his safety strategy, just like not walking alone at night. In his mind, such activity in no way represented approval or showed that he participated in violence. Moreover, NYPD’s gang database, and presumably the social media patrols that come with it, disproportionately target communities of color. As Chief Shea testified, while New York City is at least 45% white, 65% of those on the database are black, 24% are white Hispanic, and 10% black Hispanic. Confusing matters, Shea then stated that 95% of the individuals on the database were people of color, without clarifying how the department mixes the categories. Regardless, this means that the vast majority of those on
the database are people of color. This racial skew evokes the department’s practice of stop-and-frisk, where about 83% of stops from 2004 to 2012 involved blacks or Hispanics. This kind of discriminatory application goes against the values found in the Handschu Agreement, court-ordered guidelines that limit how the NYPD can investigate political activities. These guidelines require that NYPD investigations “not intrude upon rights of expression or association in a manner that discriminates on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity.” The NYPD’s social media patrols and surveillance also implicate the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. As the Supreme Court has recognized, social media is the “modern public square” and “perhaps the most powerful mechanism available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.” The Court observed that social media users can “debate religion and politics,” “look for work [or] advertise for employees,” or “petition their elected representatives.” Knowing your online activity is monitored may shape what you say online or make you less likely to use social media altogether, undermining participation in a wide range of social and political activities; indeed, it is no surprise that Jelani Henry now mostly avoids such platforms. Notably, the NYPD’s social media surveillance also violates Facebook’s own policies. A 2012 NYPD Operations Order permits NYPD officers to create and use online aliases — essentially undercover accounts — with supervisor approval. The New York Times reported that NYPD
officers have impersonated fictitious female teenagers, sending friend requests to youth as a way to view content that is available only to a user’s “friends.” This practice violates Facebook’s policies, which forbid the creation of such accounts; as Facebook itself has told the federal government, it has no exception for law enforcement activities. In light of these concerns, the NYPD must be more transparent about when and how it patrols and monitors social media in its gang-related work. Indeed, the Handschu guidelines already require some disclosure when social media posts are relied on as part of a political investigation. The department should release statistics about how many people it follows on social media; how long someone is typically followed; the outcome of audits overseeing these contacts; a representative sample of the reasons for placing youth into the gang databases based on social media data; and whether (as suggested by anecdotal evidence) officers or detectives ask youth or other individuals for social media passwords. Without this critical transparency, there will be no way to assess the NYPD’s use of social media to surveil New Yorkers, to limit misuse, and to hold the department accountable.l The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary defend – our country’s systems of democracy and justice. Reprinted with kind permission.
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ICE Arrests in NY/
ly removed Jamaican national, who has convictions for cocaine possession, and weapons possession; In Corona, a 31-year-old previously removed Mexican national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, wanted in his home country for fraud; In the Bronx, a 42-year-old previously removed Jamaican national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions for menacing, and possession of marijuana for sale: greater than four pounds; In Staten Island, a 56-year-old previously removed Colombian national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions for cocaine trafficking; In Brooklyn, a 31-year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, who has convictions for forcible touching: forcibly touch other person’s sexual/intimate parts, and petit larceny; In Brooklyn, a 49-year-old previously removed Jamaican national, who has convictions for aggravated identity theft, and passport fraud; In the Bronx, a 35 year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, twice released from New York City Department of Correction custody with an active detainer who has a conviction for sexual abuse 3rd degree: subject another person to sexual contact without consent; Criminal histories of those arrested during the operation are as follows:
continued from page 1
Aggravated Identity Theft, Assault, Attempted Assault, Cocaine Possession, Cocaine Trafficking, Criminal Mischief, Disorderly Conduct, DWI, Forcible Touching, Illegal Entry into the U.S, Illegal Reentry after Removal, Menacing, Passport Fraud, Petit Larceny, Possession of Marihuana, Resisting Arrest, Sexual Abuse, and Weapons Possession. 6 are being prosecuted criminally in U.S. District Court 3 were referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution 48 of those arrested have criminal convictions, or have criminal charges pending (31 convicted + 17 pending charges)
The arrestees include nationals from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Ukraine. ERO deportation officers made arrests throughout New York City and Long Island, specifically in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.
Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted, are detained in ICE custody, and will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Any individual that returns to the United States illegally after being deported, is subject to immediate removal from the country. ERO deportation officers arrested 29 individuals during this operation that were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. ICE places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission. In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat. ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighbor-
hoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community. Ultimately, efforts by local NYC politicians have shielded removable criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and created another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect. Despite the severe challenges that local policies have created for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all local law enforcement and elected officials. ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. These operations involve existing, established Fugitive Operations Teams.l
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Do You Count in the 2020 Census?
mmigrant communities and people of color are expected to be severely undercounted in the 2020 Census, officials say. African-Americans are often referred to as the “hard-to-count” population because they have been historically undercounted for decades, according to a report by the Leadership Conference Education Fund. More than 10 years ago – researchers say the 2010 Census undercounted the African-American population by about 800,000. Dr. John Flateau, a Public Administration and Political Science Professor at Medgar Evers College, who heads the campus’ U.S. Census Information Center told Caribbean American Weekly that an undercount will negatively affect disenfranchised communities of color. “If we’re under counted we’re not going to receive our fair share,” Flateau said. “That count is used by the government as part of a number of formulas to see how many resources and services will be allocated to local communities.” The U.S. Census, which relies mostly on the self-reporting of household populations is critical in determining the number of representatives in U.S. government. Also, the census is important in the equitable distribution of public educational
programs, health care, law enforcement and other public funds. “That count is used to define political power and representation throughout the nation,” Flateau said. “Our U.S. Constitution actually mandates that the census is used to decide how many members each state has in our national state legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives.” Flateau continued, “In 2010, based on New York’s count we received 27 seats… there are already projections that if there is another undercount we will lose one or two more seats in the United States’ Congress.” He added that “As our numbers shrink our leverage on a national stage politically is shrinking as well.” The report by the Leadership Conference Education Fund adds that nearly 7 percent of young African-American children were overlooked by the 2010 Census, approximately twice the rate for young nonHispanic White children. A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, states that children under the age of five are at risk of being undercounted in the 2020
Census. “It will have a devastating impact,” Flateau said. “Not only are children undercounted but typically communities of color are undercounted, low-income persons are undercounted and immigrants undercounted. We have all that mixed within the African diaspora community.” Flateau added, “If they’re undercounted that means we will receive less dollars for things like head start programs, childcare and Title I, which is extra funding in our elementary schools in poor areas and freelunch programs. If our numbers are lower than they should be, then we will be allocated less resources…all of these programs in our communities are going to shrink if we have another undercount.” Unlike prior years that used a writtenonly form, for the first time the 2020 Census will largely be available online. The U.S. Census Bureau is urging people to fill out the survey through mobile, computer and other digital devices. Households that do not respond online will also receive a follow-up survey in the mail. In late March, the Trump adminis-
tration announced that the 2020 Census will also ask a question about citizenship. Experts say, however, a question about citizenship might deter people from responding to the survey. In a statement sent to Caribbean American Weekly, Steven Choi, the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition denounced this initiative. “A citizenship question on the U.S. Census is toxic to New York’s four million immigrants, and all New Yorkers, who stand to lose millions of dollars in federal aid and political power in Congress,” Choi said. Several organizations are now challenging this proposal in court. In late March, the NAACP filed a lawsuit in Maryland District Court suing the Trump administration for an attempt at failing to count minorities in the 2020 Census, stating that this will underfund communities of color. Five months later, the Trump administration attempted to dismiss the New York State’s Attorney General’s Office lawsuit against the addition of the citizenship question. “Someone who is now ask to reveal their citizenship status…that question may have an extremely chilling effect in demotivating people to participate and share information with the government,” Flateau said.l
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Bill Howard's Passing: A Life-long Legacy to our Community
resident of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, (WIADACA) known as the Labor Day Parade, was found dead in his Brooklyn hom on Sunday, August 5, 2018. He was 75 years of age. News of his death has shaken the political and non-profit world and will lead to an outpouring of tributes of his legacy. William E. Howard, Jr., son of the late William R. Howard, found Howard passed away in his sleep. Coroner's report indicated he died of natural causes. The body was found not long after 5 a.m. "We are all devastated," Howard's family said in a statement through a spokesman. "We loved Bill dearly and will miss him terribly. We would ask that our privacy is respected as we grieve during this very difficult time." William R. Howard grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was a lifelong friend of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Howard served on the Board of Trustees for the City University of New York. He managed Shirley Chisholm's personal finances, as well as the finances for her political campaigns.
The Late Bill Howard, the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and his family
Howard was 23-years old in 1965 when then New York State Legislator Chisholm and her mentor and campaign manager, the late Wesley McD Holder, asked Howard to be her campaign finance manager. "I met four presidents through Mrs. Chisholm; both Bushes [George H. W. and George W], President Jimmy Carter and President Clinton, Robert Kennedy,
ord l d n
La r o F
the entire U.S. Supreme Court, anyone who was anybody in Washington, D.C., came by to shake Chisholm's hand." "That changed my life entirely," said Howard, who would go on to a celebrated career in business and government, including a stint as a deputy trustee in the Justice Department. He worked in a decades-long job as vice president for finance with the Equitable Life
Assurance Society, where he was involved with making multi-million-dollar loans to various municipalities, corporations and individuals. Howard also served on the Board of Brooklyn's Jewish Hospital [later merged with Interfaith Hospital Center], where he chaired the finance committee, and once was president of the nursing school. In addition, he was a City University of New York board member from 1983 to 1995. Howard served as First Vice President of the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute for Children and also participated in the former President Barack Obama's Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in tribute to Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in Washington, DC. The Caribbean American Weekly family extends our deepest sympathies to Howardâ€™s families, friends, WIDACAâ€™s Board and all whose lives he touched. Funeral arrangements are forthcoming. Please feel free to contact Barbara Bullard firstname.lastname@example.org or Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte email@example.com
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Representing landlords in eviction proceedings: Non-multiple dwellings Tuesday, September 18 @6pm
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Estate Planning Tips for Young Families
• The age and health of the guardian; and • The physical location and geographic stability of the guardian. This a tough decision that may take some compromise to come to a consensus with your spouse. Be honest and respectful when talking it over and remember that your main focus should be on the best interests of your children.
ome days with young children at home seem like a 24-hour blitz of packing lunches, changing diapers and cleaning up messes. Finding the time for a hot shower is challenging, let alone planning the future of your estate. But one of the primary responsibilities of being a parent is making sure you have basic protections for your child in the event something should happen to you. A will can provide security to your family because it names a guardian for your minor children instead of leaving the decision up to your local courts. Fortunately, with the help of an estate planning
attorney, building an effective will is a straightforward process that will not take too much time out of your day. Choose a Guardian When creating a will, one of the first questions your attorney will have is who would be the legal guardian for your children in the event of your death. It’s important to choose a friend or family member who is both responsible and able to care for your children. Other factors to consider, according to The Program for Early Parent Support, a nonprofit organization providing educational services to parents across the nation: • Your personal parenting philosophy and that of any prospective guardian;
Consider Your Child’s Financial Needs The last thing you want to happen to your children’s inheritance is for it to be placed in a locked account controlled by the court. That’s why including a children’s trust in your will is so important to the financial future of your family. If your child is a minor, you can name a trustee who will be responsible for managing the funds that will be used to raise your child. These funds include your child’s education, healthcare costs and general support expenses. The trustee issue is an important decision — one that should be talked through with both an estate planning attorney and the members of your family who will be impacted. l
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Meet Civil Court Judge Ingrid Joseph
he Caribbean is blessed with many shining stars. One such star is Judge Ingrid Joseph who spoke with our Editor-in-Chief. Here is an abbreviated version of the radio interview. The full podcast can be heard at www.cawnyc.com. CAW: Who is Judge Ingrid Joseph? JUDGE INGRID: Judge Ingrid Joseph is 5 foot 1, youngest daughter of three sisters. Three girls and two boys. An immigrant from Guyana, a graduate of Prospect Heights High School and John Jay School of Criminal Justice and New York Law School. CAW – So, you have been a civil court judge for about 10 years. Tell us about that experience? JUDGE INGRID: I was lucky to run at the same time that our first AfricanAmerican President was running. It was a fabulous experience. That I will treasure forever and I’m part of history because I was at the bottom of the ballot.
Running for election is hard work and because I ran county wide that meant that I had to have people from ever single community in Kings County vote for me. Luckily, I ran unopposed nobody else was running at the time. And I had no primary, so I was elected in the November general election. And I started my service in 2009.
CAW: Tell us a bit about being a Civil Court Judge. JUDGE INGRID: I’ve had experiences in several different courts. I have served as a family court judge and I was involved in custody and visitation decisions. I would have hearings and I would make a determination about where a child would be sent. I also was appointed as an acting supreme court justice which means that I could do cases that were done in the supreme court. And in that capacity I was involved in foreclosures. CAW: You have given us some insight on what your job has been over the years. You mentioned that you’re an immigrant
Judge Joseph with students from the P.S. 308 Clara Cardwell debate team which she volunteered to coach
from Guyana and as a fellow immigrant I am so proud to be speaking with you and to know you made history. Given the current climate for immigrants right now, what would be your words of inspiration and encouragement?
CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCACY TRAINING 5-WEEK PROGRAM
WHETHER IT’S SOCIAL JUSTICE OR CIVIL RIGHTS, WE MUST END RACIAL PROFILING & DISCRIMINATION!
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Class 1: Introduction: A Brief history of Civil Rights Law and How it has Evolved Case Studies: Trayvon Martin, FL and Abner Louima, NY Discussion I
Class 11: The 50-H Hearing Case Studies: Trayvon Martin, FL and Abner Louima, NY Discussion II
Session 3 - Sept 26
Presentation about the NYC Comptroller’s Office & Figeroux & Associates Civil Rights Lawsuits
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Presentation about the CCHR & Consumer Affairs
Presentation about the NYPD & CCRB
Class IV Case Studies: Trayvon Martin, FL and Abner Louima, NY Discussion IV
Class V Your Civil Rights Trial - With and Without an Attorney * Affordable Housing vs. Low Income Housing * How do I qualify? * Closing Remarks
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* My Civil Rights was Violated, Who Can I Sue? * Filing a Notice of Claim against a City, Town, or Municipal Agency in NY. * Statute of Limitations * Settlement: Verdict search: Can I settle
* Suing the City of New York: Library Resources to Support a Notice of Claim and 50-H Hearing * Bill of Particulars * Settlement: Verdict search: Can I settle now?
Class 111 Case Studies: Trayvon Martin, FL and Abner Louima, NY Discussion III
* The Complaint I * Settlement: Verdict search: Can I settle now?
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JUDGE INGRID: We came to the United States with the understanding that you can make a better life. Whether or not you’re born in the south or you’re coming from south America the importance of education has not changed. The importance of discipline and hard work hasn’t changed and you can still use those tools to move from wherever you are to where you want to be. As part of my work in the community, I go to schools, I speak to the kids I try to encourage them. I try to show them that I knew what I wanted to achieve and I had to have a sense of tunnel vision in order to accomplish what I wanted. CAW: How would you describe yourself as a judge and why should one vote for you again? JUDGE INGRID: As a judge I am a fairly calm person. I am not a yeller. My courtrooms are run in a disciplined, but calm manner. I think it’s important that we know what our judges are doing. As judges we are part of the third branch of government yet we are not given the thoughtfulness when electing judges. We are regulated to the bottom of the page and people sometimes treat us as an afterthought. We hear cases about your student loans, we hear cases that effect you on a daily basis. While we are considered the forgotten branch or the branch that people tend to give the least amount of thought to I think we are as important or more important to the community on a day-to-day basis. I’m hoping that based on my experience, my commitment to the law and my integrity that everybody who is listening to my voice at this time whose are eligible to vote or who can vote will vote for me if I have a primary on September 13 otherwise they can vote for me in the general election on November 6. CAW: If someone wants to support your campaign how do they go about doing that? JUDGE INGRID: We have a committee called Friends of Ingrid Joseph. The telephone number is 718-968-8662. l
Hon. Marcus Garvey: Activist & Visionary
BY CAW STAFF WRITERS
n August 17, a year ago, Jamaica honored the country’s first national hero Marcus Garvey. Hundreds of people crowded National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica with a floral tribute to commemorate his 130th birthday, according to the National Jamaican Information Service (NJIS). Some of the country’s top politicians like Gov. General Patrick Allen and the Mayor of Kingston, Sen. Delroy Williams attended the ceremony. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said Garvey is a fierce advocate for social justice and education. Grange added that for Garvey, education was a tool to improve the lives of communities of color. “He taught us that the way to achieve black power and black prosperity was through education and not bullets,” Grange said. “Marcus Garvey lived a life with a mission. He inspired black people to set high goals for themselves, and would have been proud to see the achievers of today.” According to NJIS, Garvey held educational programs at the Liberty Hall in Kingston. This is one of the first black-
determined, bold, and strong, refusing to yield even to superior forces if he believed he was right." His father was known to have a large library, where young Garvey learned to read. At age 14, Marcus became a printer's apprentice. In 1903, he traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, Marcus MosiahGarvey and soon became involved in union activities. In 1907, he took part in an unsuccessful printer's strike and the experience kindled in him a passion for politiowned meeting halls in Jamaica that cal activism. Three years later, he travserved as the center of activities for the eled throughout Central America workKingston division of the Universal ing as a newspaper editor and writing Negro Improvement Association about the exploitation of migrant work(UNIA). ers in the plantations. He later traveled to Andrew Brodber, Interim Director of London where he attended Birkbeck Arts Development and Training at the College (University of London) and Jamaica Cultural Development worked for the African Times and Orient Commission (JCDC), also recalled Review, which advocated Pan-African Garvey’s “unwavering crusade” to nationalism. empower black people. Marcus Garvey died in London in 1940 Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the last of after several strokes. Due to travel 11 children born to Marcus Garvey, Sr. restrictions during World War II, his and Sarah Jane Richards in St. Ann’s body was interred in London. In 1964, Bay, Jamaica on August 17, 1887. His his remains were exhumed and taken to father was a stone mason, and his mother Jamaica, where the government proa domestic worker and farmer. Garvey, claimed him Jamaica's first national hero Sr. was a great influence on Marcus, who and re-interred him at a shrine in the once described him as "severe, firm, National Heroes Park. But his memory
and influence remain. His message of pride and dignity inspired many in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. In tribute to his many contributions, Garvey's bust has been displayed in the Organization of American States' Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C. The country of Ghana has named its shipping line the Black Star Line and its national soccer team the Black Stars, in honor of Garvey. As an activist, Garvey was all too aware of the poverty and the disenfranchised conditions of black people across the globe. When Garvey returned to Jamaica he once again protested against injustice and urged for the government to improve their struggles. Seven years later, Garvey started the UNIA in Jamaica, which is now an international organization supporting the Caribbean Diaspora. He advanced a Pan-African philosophy which inspired a global mass movement, known as Garveyism. Garveyism would eventually inspire others, from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafarian movement. Garvey was one of the first recipients of the Order of the National Hero in 1969. We remember, celebrate and honor, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a true activist and visionary.
Summer Health Special INSIDE:
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Solutions for Saving Money on Healthcare Costs Keeping Your Blood Pressure In Check
The Healthy Eating Pattern Made Simple Anxiety and Depression
Shea Butter: A New and Exotic Cosmetic Ingredient
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LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS
Simple Relationship Advice: Helping Couples Stay Connected BY JENNINE ESTES, MFT
ove isn't the only thing a relationship needs to stay alive. It needs attention, emotional security, and effective communication. Without all of these factors, you may lose the closeness and trust with your partner that is essential to your success. Here are some quick tips for successfully staying connected to your partner: 1. Stay connected to your partner by sexting or leaving love notes. Keeping in touch throughout the day will keep you on each other’s mind and you’ll be excited to see one another at the end of the day! Love notes also let your spouse know you are thinking about them despite a busy schedule or other things going on in your life. 2. Make your relationship a PRIORITY! Don’t leave it last on the “to-do” list. Don’t take your partner for granted! You have to work on your relationship in order for it to thrive. If you just assume that your partner knows you love them, they may drift away. Actively think about how to improve your relationship and spend more time alone together. 3. Get educated on how to have healthy communication. Education leads to change. It can be hard to have healthy communication if one or both people in the relationship don’t have an easy time expressing emotions. Counselors are one good resource — by sitting down with an impartial person, you can each learn how to own your responsibility for good communication. 4. Reach out to your partner when you’re feeling down, depressed, doubtful, or afraid. Your partner should be your first resource when you feel down. This lets them know that you trust them with your vulnerability, and keeps them in the loop about where your head is at.
5. Give HUGS daily … and maybe even hourly when you are around one another. Hugs are a simple act that show you care! 6.T hank your partner for the little things. Little things add up! Don’t ever assume your partner knows how much you appreciate them or something they have done. Tell them, so it’s clear! Everyone wants to feel validated and appreciated. 7. Teach your partner that you are a safe place. Listen to your partner and validate their feelings. Show them you are a good sounding board and will give honest feedback that is not judgmental or hurtful. A good relationship is always a work in progress. Practice these tips for the lifetime of your relationship to keep it healthy and strong.l Jennine Estes is a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. She writes relationship and self growth advice for her column, Relationships in the Raw and is the creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653.
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iabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body isn’t able to pull glucose out of the blood, which is how the body gets energy into the cells. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. The body doesn’t produce insulin, which is needed to get glucose out of the bloodstream. It can be treated with insulin therapy. Only about 5 percent of diabetics have Type 1 diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, the far more common form of the condition, the body produces insulin but doesn’t use it properly, so glucose builds up in the blood. This means your cells don’t get enough energy, and in the long term, high blood glucose levels can damage the eyes, kidneys, heart or nerves. While doctors can’t point to a single factor that leads to Type 2 diabetes, they have identified a number of risk factors, including being overweight or obese, not being physically active, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. There also are non-lifestyle factors. As people age, there is an increased risk for diabetes. African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian-Americans have a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. People with immediate family members who have Type 2 diabetes are at greater risk as well. Type 2 diabetes isn’t always noticeable. The symptoms make come on slowly and often don’t offer a perfect match. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that more than 7 million people who have diabetes are undiagnosed. Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include frequent urination and feeling hungry and thirsty, blurred vision, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, weight loss and tingling, pain or numbness in hands and feet. Often people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose levels through non-medical means like balanced, healthy eating and physical exercise. However, Type 2 diabetes often gets worse over time, so many people need medication; your doctor may prescribe oral medications or insulin. Pregnant women with high blood glucose levels during their pregnancy have a condition known as gestational diabetes, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates affects almost 10 percent of pregnant women. Doctors believe hormones from the placenta block the action of the mother’s insulin. It may also occur when the mother’s body can’t make all the insulin it needs. Pregnant women should be tested, as gestational diabetes can be treated fairly easily.l nSpouse’s signature not needed nFast and inexpensive
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Common Sense Solutions for Saving Money on Your Healthcare Costs BY PETER CICCONE
n the world of healthcare, the only constant thing there seems to be, is change. The last five years have completely changed the landscape of our national healthcare, and the next five years do not seem to be slowing down that rate of change. Aside from the constant changes, the fact that our costs seem to rise no matter what happens, is the only other thing that we can all agree doesn’t seem to change. I could go into great detail as to why there have been so many changes, but my purpose for writing this piece is to shed some light on ways on how to deal with so many changes. The first rule to follow is to decide what healthcare coverage is right for you and your family. The most important things to consider are your age and general health, as well as the age and general health of anyone else for whom you may be providing coverage. Broadly speaking, younger, healthier people need less coverage than do older people. Nonetheless, having coverage in case of an emergency is always a good idea. However, there are plans that do exist which are designed to provide coverage for an unforeseen accident. These plans have low monthly costs and high deductibles but just in case something
awful happens, will provide funding should someone end up in a hospital and incur a huge medical expense. Look to customize your coverage for your particular situation as much as possible. Most employers offer several plans with a variety of coverage types. For people who are buying their health coverage on the public exchange, there are many opportunities to personalize your coverage as well. Nifty names like “the Cadillac plan,” are often associated with the plans which provide the most amount of coverage. Leave the names alone and consider your needs and the needs of the people you wish to protect. The second rule is to treat your healthcare purchases like you would anything
else that you purchase. Which pharmacy has the best prices? Which doctor gives the best service? A few years ago, I needed dental work and the dentist actually said, “If you make the appointment today, I can offer you this price.” I was stunned because I never heard or thought of a doctor or dentist offering a price break on their work. Then I thought about it for a moment and considered the fact that he was running a business and my dental work would provide income to his business. Consider this when making your own healthcare purchases and that is simply that your purchases are providing income to someone’s business. The third rule is more of an observation than a rule, but in short, it’s to take charge of your healthcare needs. I started this article by remarking on the pace of change that we have witnessed regarding healthcare coverage over the last five years. If anyone tells you that they know where the market is going to end up, have a good laugh because they are making it up. Personally, I think that it will eventually end up back in the consumer’s hands. In other words, back in your hands. So, take advantage of things that exist that help to offset medical costs. My company provides a prescription discount card, the NYRX Card, which helps to reduce the cost of the prescriptions which are not covered under someone’s
plan. Some employers offer HSAs — Health Savings Accounts—these plans provide a person with the ability to save money for medical purposes, but saves the money in that person’s name, unlike insurance which does not save the money. With regards to an HSA, the money is yours and is transferable from one company to the next. More importantly, if you never spend the money on medical costs, it’s yours. And most importantly, stay healthy. Eat well, exercise and take care of yourself. If you don’t look out for you, no one else will either. What’s that old expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” I don’t know if that’s true, but the point is to live healthy. If I can offer you any advice on deciding which coverage works best for you, that would be: Do not be overwhelmed nor even intimidated when purchasing health insurance for you and your family. Again, simply approach it the way you would any other purchase that you have ever made. The same way you approached buying your car, home or even your clothing. It’s just another purchase that needs to work best for you. Good luck.l
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Keeping Your Blood Pressure In Check
aking your blood pressure is one of the first tasks your doctor does when you arrive for any appointment. It can be a cause for concern for many people; high blood pressure, or hypertension, can increase a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death for Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) talks about what you need to know about blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. The systolic blood pressure, the number that comes first, measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats. The second number, diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the vessels when the heart is resting between beats. A normal blood pressure is 120/80. When it reaches 140/90, that is considered high blood pressure. The risks of high blood pressure About a third of American adults have high blood pressure. There are no symptoms, so getting it checked regularly (if not at the doctor’s office, many pharmacies have blood pressure machines) is likely the only way to know if you’re at risk. Hypertension can harden your arteries, which means less oxygen-carrying
Causes of high blood pressure Most adults with hypertension don’t have an identifiable cause, according to the Mayo Clinic. This type, called primary hypertension, tends to develop gradually over time, with risk factors like age, genetics, being overweight, not eating a healthy diet or using tobacco. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition like kidney problems, genetic defects, certain medications or thyroid problems, and it tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than primary hypertension.
blood is getting to your heart and brain. This can lead to chest pain, heart failure or heart attack, or burst arteries to the
brain, causing a stroke. Untreated high blood pressure can also contribute to chronic kidney disease.
Preventing or treating high blood pressure There are a number of non-medical options to control hypertension. A healthy diet that is low in salt, fat and cholesterol, and full of fresh fruits and vegetables can help to keep your blood pressure low. Physical activity can help as well. If you’re not exercising at all right now, ease into it with short, brisk walks a few times a day five days a week. There also are medications that treat high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about what treatment regimen is best for you.l
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The Healthy Eating Pattern Made Simple BY DR GORDON SCHECTMAN
id you know that a healthy eating pattern plus physical exercise can add 10 years to your life, plus add energy and vitality to your activities!! In fact, you may already be eating many of the right foods. Because your food choices are entirely up to you and are within your control, you always have the option to “choose healthy.”The change to a healthier lifestyle is always within your grasp! The key to a quick transition to a better diet is simple: replace Western style unhealthy foods with their healthy counterparts. Do this in three phases, from start (phase 1) to finish (phase 3). 1)Food Category 1: Minimize foods that hurt your health a.Such as cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream, cream, beverages rich in sugar and/or fat, and non-nutritive sweeteners b.Phase 1: limit to 5 exposures* per day or less. c.Phase 2: limit to 3 exposures per day or less. d.Phase 3: limit to 1 exposure per day or less. *Exposure=approximately 100 calories, or 8 oz. beverage that use non-nutritive sweeteners. 2)Food Category 2: Maximize healthy fruits and vegetables a.Such as leafy greens, broccoli, cucumbers,
collard greens, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus, onions, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, berries, apples, pears, oranges, melons, grapefruit. However, avoid fruit or vegetable juices. b.Phase 1: increase number of servings to 3 or more servings daily c.Phase 2: increase number of servings to 5 or more servings daily d.Phase 3: increase number of servings to 7 or more daily. *Serving size one cup, cooked (or raw for fruits) 3)Food Category 3: Minimize foods that have little nutritional value a.These are foods that are primarily simple carbohydrates, sugars or saturated fats. This category also includes refined or processed food products. Included are white potatoes, white rice, coconut oil, white bread, pizza, meat products, most breakfast cereals, and many savory snacks. b.Phase 1: limit to 5 exposures* per day or less. c.Phase 2: limit to 3 exposures per day or less. d.Phase 3: limit to 1 exposure per day or less. *Exposure=approximately 100 calories. 4)Food Category 4: Maximize healthy grains a.Included are whole grain breads, cereals
and pasta [more than 50% of flour should be from whole grains]. Also include quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal, brown or wild rice. b.Phase 1: at least 3 servings* daily, replacing less preferable starches. c.Phase 2: at least 5 servings daily, replacing less preferable starches. d.Phase 3: eliminate all less preferable refined and processed starches (such as refined breads and pasta) *Serving size= 1 cup cooked or 4 oz. equivalents. 5)Food Category 5: Choose protein sources wisely a.Poultry and fish are superior to red meat, while dairy products vary widely in nutritional content, with yogurt and cottage cheese being the most wholesome. Vegetable protein sources are underrated and are healthy, metabolism friendly and environment sustaining. b.Phase 1: Minimize red meat to several servings monthly or less. c.Phase 2: Begin transition to plant-based sources of protein i.Consume fish, poultry and eggs in moderation — limit to seven servings weekly or less. ii.Substitute plant-based protein sources such as quinoa, legumes (including lentils, beans, tofu and edamame), whole grain bread and wheat germ, oatmeal, almonds, chia and hemp seeds. Enjoy 5 servings or more weekly.
d.Phase 3: Continue transition to plantbased sources of protein i.Optimize dairy products — substitute cottage cheese and yogurt for milk and highly processed cheeses. Limit dairy products to seven servings weekly or less. ii.Increase plant-based protein meals to 7 or more servings weekly. Important Tips for Healthy Eating: 1)Prepare an all-you-can-eat list. Include carrots, celery, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, string beans, and most of the vegetable choices from Food Category 2. 2)Compile a healthy snack list to eat in moderation: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, fruit, hummus, whole grain crackers, popcorn (without oil). 3)Conduct personal experiments to improve health: Identify a new superfood each month and try it out! If enjoyable, add to your diet at least several times monthly. [Choose foods such as kale, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, tofu, edamame, flaxseed, bulgur, buckwheat, wheat berries, lentils, black beans and chick peas]. In summary, be mindful about what you put into your mouth. Make every calorie count! You will find that a policy of “I eat healthy foods only” will make you a much more disciplined eater and much more in control of your food intake. Start now— make this brief guide your first step in what will be a successful journey!!l
Anxiety and Depression
t’s not just feeling sad, anxious, worried or stressed. Depression and anxiety are serious mental illnesses that require the same level of treatment and care that a physical illness does. A quarter of the U.S. population suffers from either anxiety or depression, according to the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) Anxiety About 18 percent of adults and 8 percent of children and teens suffer from an anxiety disorder, mak-ing it the most common mental health concern in the country. There is not one disease; the spectrum of anxiety disorders share a persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that should not be threatening. Other symptoms could include: • Feeling tense or jumpy. • Restlessness or irritability. • Feelings of dread or apprehension. • Anticipating the worst and signs of dangers. • Pounding or racing heart, shortness of breath. • Sweating, twitches, shaking. • Headaches, fatigue, insomnia. • Upset stomach or frequent urination. Anxiety disorders can be caused by genetics or stressful or traumatic life
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events. It can be hard to diagnose because the physical symptoms of anxiety often look like heart disease or other conditions. Treatment can include therapy, prescription medication and treatments like relaxation or stress-management techniques. Depression Almost 7 percent of the U.S. population has depression, according to NAMI. Depression looks different depending on the person, which can make it hard to diagnose. Common symptoms are: • Changes in sleep patterns and appetite. • Difficulty concentrating. • Loss of energy or interest in activities. • Hopelessness. • Physical aches and pains. •Thoughts of suicide or suicidal ideation. • Fatigue.
• Feelings of guilt or low self-worth. Science also hasn’t found a determinant cause for depression. It can be brought on by a life event, such as a crisis or a physical illness, but often it’s not triggered by anything. Early life trauma, genetics and drug and alcohol abuse can cause actual changes in the brain, which can lead to depression. While treatment for depression often is as unique as the symptoms, most people do find relief either on their own or by combining different strategies. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy and medications like antidepressants and mood stabilizers are often prescribed. Exercise can help with prevention and mild symptoms.l
e’re outdoors more, enjoying nature and the sun and waterways and eating picnic food that may or may not have been cooked or stored properly. While it can be a lot of fun, it can also lead to various illnesses and conditions that can sideline your or your family for a weekend. Take steps to keep yourself healthy this summer. Bug bites More people outside means more infections from insect bites, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported has increased at surprising rates in recent years. In 2016, almost 100,000 disease cases came from infected mos-quitoes, ticks and fleas — triple the rates of a decade ago. Some of that could be attributed to new illnesses or diseases that have traveled from other countries. To avoid infection while still enjoying the outdoors, always use insect repellent; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors; treat boots, pants, socks and tents with permethrin; appropriately treat and frequently check pets for fleas and ticks; and take steps to keep your yard and surrounding areas free from pests. Sun protection It sounds simple, but protecting your skin from sun damage can drastically decrease your risk of skin cancer. According to the CDC, nearly 5 million Americans are treated for skin cancer annually. While most skin cancer is very treatable, it still costs upwards of $8 billion each year — and most of the damage could be prevented through proper care. The CDC recommends sunscreen of at least SPF 15 with frequent reapplication, covering all of their exposed skin (that includes the hairline, top of the head, ears, top of the feet and anywhere else the sun could hit). Wear a hat with a brim and take frequent breaks in the shade to stave off sunburn. Food poisoning It’s the season of picnics, barbecues and potlucks — lots of opportunities to make or eat food in less than ideal conditions, which can lead to food-borne illnesses. One of the biggest culprits is mayonnaise-based foods like potato salad that spent too long out of the fridge and spoiled. Make sure to keep foods at the proper temperatures and keep raw meat away from vegetables and fruit salads. Cook foods to the right temperatures and don’t let anything sit out too long. Wash your hands and cooking surfaces often.l
Shea Butter: A New and Exotic Cosmetic Ingredient BY VICTORIA ONWUCHEKWA, Ph.D
he pervasive trend to the natural look and to natural sources for raw materials has made a commercial impact on most consumer products including cosmetics. Presently, certain oils traditionally used for edible purposes are being used to an increasing extent in the formulation of cosmetics. Many oils and fats extracted from fruit and vegetable seeds possess very desirable physical properties for use as topical cosmetics. They are light and of low viscosity, characteristics which render them less occlusive than hydrocarbon oils. They have excellent carrying and penetrating properties and may also provide nourishment and essential fatty acid to the skin. The reliability of these bases has been further enhanced by the availability of very effective antioxidants to protect the vegetable oils against atmospheric oxidation. All these and also the significant trend to natural products has made the use of liquid oils and fat from fruits and seeds in the manufacture of cosmetic products increase dramatically. As formulators become aware of the reliability of these bases it is anticipated that the demand will increase still further. It is logical then to expect than manufacturers will search new sources. A potential source of cosmetic oil is the seed of the Shea fruit-Shea Butter. Shea Butter or Karite Butter is a plant fat extracted from the fruit of a tree widely distributed in Central Africa, and West Africa. The Shea Tree (Butyrospermum Parkii) grows par-
ticularly in silicate clay soil. From its berries of almonds, one extracts a slightly greenish butter. There are several varieties of Shea Butter. The Mangifolia variety from the North of Ivory Coast and Ghana stands out, by its exceptional amount of unsaponifiable material contained in its butter. Shea Butter is a fat that is greatly appreciated by the locals. It is logical population in Africa who use it for food and for body care. It is wellknown to pharmacology and nutritional chemists in Europe where it has been used to replace cocoa butter to enhance food texture and also as a component in chocolates. The toxicity of Shea Butter is
nil. For some years now, the cosmeticians’ interest has been attracted to this plant material to which the Africans attribute so many virtues. A number of studies show that Shea Butter possesses particular properties of softness and oiliness as well as high cleansing and softening power. From its high content of unsaponifiability Shea Butter draws its traditional medicinal properties of protection of skin against weather and sun activation of wound healing and elimination of superficial irritations. Dr. Mital, a pharmacist in Nigeria, has researched Shea Butter (in the 70s) extensively for use as a drug base (ointment and suppository) and has found that Shea Butter melts at body temperature and has excellent penetrating ability and carries medicaments more effective then any of the other based tested like cocoa butter or petroleum jelly. Shea Butter causes no irritation whatsoever. A large number of medical applications have been found for Shea Butter which include cutaneous dryness, dermatitis and dermatomes, eczema, solar erythemias, burns, and gingivitis. From the formulating cosmeticians’ point of view, Shea Butter lends itself to all possible preparations with a remarkable flexibility of application. In 1980 and 1981, Dr. Victoria Onwuchekwa researched Shea Butter extensively for use as a cosmetic base comparing it with other known emollients like cocoa butter. She concluded that Shea Butter, apart from its emollient properties, has more humectants properties than cocoa butter and exhibited remarkable stability in and without emulsion. Right now Shea Butter is the newest
and most exciting new ingredient in the cosmetic industry. It is a softener, smoothener, excellent massage balm, UV protectant, and relieves rheumatism, muscle aches, burns, light wounds, and removes stretch marks by improving elasticity of the skin. It naturally contains vitamin F, provitamins, small amounts of B2, and E, all of which will nourish the skin. Shea Butter is defiantly in. At Chic Afrique Cosmetics in Philadelphia, formulating chemist, Victoria Onwuchekwa has designed a line of cosmetics and skin care products to enhance the remarkable properties of Shea Butter. It has prospective and emollient properties showcased by our body balms like Okuma™, Aki™, Adun!™, Lofinda™, Oyin™, and Oba™. It has rejuvenating and healing properties with formulations like lya Ogay Anti-aging butter and Karite healing salve. Its moisturizing and hydrating properties are magnified by our extensive collection of moisturizing souffles and body milks. All Chic Afrique herbal products are 100% natural and organic. They also contain a higher than average percent of Shea Butter so as to enable the formulations to be effective. It is anticipated than the demand for Shea Butter will only increase in leaps and bounds as others become privy to this open secret. Already mainstream cosmetic companies are incorporating approved quantities of Shea Butter into their products. Companies like Avon, Oil of Olay, Mary Kay, and many more. They are all on this bandwagon because Shea Butter works! Chic Afrique is one of the few companies where products are still painstakingly made and packaged by hand. Individual attention is paid to each jar. In this time of modern technology this is a significant and important fact. Thus while the world benefits and basks in the many attributes of Shea Butter the African farmer should also share in the fruit of his labor.l
MA KE A N IMPA CT IN B R O O KLYN
Submission Deadline: August 31, 2018 The Brooklyn Hepatitis C Task Force invites artist of all ages to submit Hepatitis C awareness artwork. Hepatitis C is a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. It can lead to liver cancer and liver failure. Hepatitis C primarily affects people who are born between 1945 and 1965 (Baby Boomers), people who injects drugs and people who were previously incarcerated. It is important for everyone to get a hepatitis C test because there is a CURE!
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: r0QFOUPBMM#SPPLMZO3FTJEFOUT rArt entries should reflect: 1) A Hepatitis C testing message 2) Community response to Hepatitis C treatment and/or cure 3) Community impact rAll entries must be original in concept, 11x17â€? size, and submitted in jpg or pdf format at 300 dpi to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning graphic will be upgraded for quality reproduction. Any questions about the competition or submission process, contact Suzanne at (718) 483-9637.
Top Tips to Get Mortgage Pre-Approval Fast
hen buying a house in a market that favors sellers, buyers must be able to move quickly. Mortgage pre-approval is critical int his process.. Here are some tips buyers can use to get approved fast.
1. Estimate Purchase Costs Buyers need to know what their target purchase price is. This could speed up the pre-approval process, according to Realtor.com. If buyers have been saving for a down payment, they should also tell the lender the amount they plan to put down on the home. Again, this helps speed up the pre-approval process and ensures greater accuracy. 2. Check the Credit Lenders will check a buyer’s credit score before offering mortgage pre-approval. Checking their own credit first and making improvements if needed could help buyers speed up the approval
terms on the mortgage the bank offers.
process. Buyers who have credit problems may want to reach out to their lender first to see what they can do to improve their credit situation. Lenders know what strong credit looks like and may help buyers make changes that improve the credit score quickly. Knowing credit ratings before asking for mortgage pre-approval also helps buyers know what to expect from their mortgage offer. The better the credit, the better the
3. Get the Paperwork Ready If the lender has to ask for a piece of paperwork after starting the approval process, a buyer will face delays. Organizing all paperwork and delivering it with the pre-approval application should help. Start with proof of income that will be used to qualify for the mortgage including 30 days of pay stubs and the previous two years of tax returns with W-2s or 1099s. Buyers should then gather two months of savings and checking account documents. Finally, anything connected to retirement, assets, or 401(k) funds needs to be included. If the buyer has any funds deposited that were from regular paychecks or do not show in the employment and payment records, they may need to have a written explanation. 4. Present Everything Clearly to the Lender Buyers who bring everything they need to
How to Stage Your Home to Appeal to Young Families
oung families often look for many different things in a home than older couples with teenagers or those with an empty nest may look at. Many real estate agents will tell their clients to stage a home so that it appeals to those who are most likely going to be interested in buying it. For sellers who have a family home in a safe, kid-friendly community, staging a home to appeal to young families is a great idea and can be accomplished with a few easy steps. Clean Up the Back and Front Yards Young families may spend as much time focusing on the interior of the home as the exterior of the home. While a real estate agent may have made suggestions for sprucing up curb appeal in general, making the area kidsafe and friendly is also a smart idea. Remove any dangerous areas that may be concerning to parents of young kids, and define play areas in the backyard or show off how much space there is for kids to run and play.
Define Family Areas Inside the home, spend ample time staging family or communal areas, such as the family room, game room and kitchen. Adding a few kid-friendly features to stage these areas can go a long way toward appealing to young families, and one idea is to add kid-sized sitting chairs in the family room. Parents should be able to envision themselves as well as their kids living in the space when an area has been properly staged. Make the Space Safe and Tidy Young parents are finely attuned to the dangers all around them, and some may instantly and actively seek out danger areas in the homes they tour. This can distract
them from focusing on the many wonderful benefits and attributes of the home itself, so removing these distractions is imperative. Remove sharp objects, glass tabletops, small choking hazards and more throughout the home so that parents with young children can feel more at home in the space. While other basic staging steps should also be taken when preparing to list a home on the market, these are steps that can help a seller create a family-friendly ambiance that appeals to home buyers who have young children or who may be planning to have children soon. For those who need more information about selling their home or who want personalized staging advice, contact your friendly real estate agent for a consultation. We are happy to help and share our insight and experience to help you with the selling process. Schedule an appointment today. Call 888-670-6791. n
Smart homeowners and first-time homebuyers read this paper! the lender in an organized fashion should get their pre-approval letters quickly. Sometimes lenders can deliver the letter the same day that they receive the information. That said, buyers with complications, like unusual employment structures or credit problems, may face delays. Most lenders are able to deliver an answer within a few days, even with complex applications. Mortgage pre-approval is a critical tool in the negotiation tool box for home buyers. Doing a little homework and preparation first can help buyers get approval fast, even in a competitive market. With approval, the chances of a successful offer increase significantly. Contact our mortgage professionals at 888-670-6791.n
INSIDE: 3 Tips for Getting the Best Out of Your House Hunting...................2
How to Avoid Legal Trouble When Renting to Immigrants & Non-Citizens...............................3 Home Ownership & Real Estate Development...............................4
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3 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Your Time House Hunting 2
EQUITY SMART REALTY
n the ideal home-buying scenario, you'd have plenty of time to find the perfect home. However, this is not always possible. Maybe you are relocating for a job and have to buy a house from across the country. If this is the case, you might have to limit the time that you spend house hunting. Here are some tips to help you make your search as productive as possible:
#1 Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval Before attending open houses and searching for a home, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will help you identify the exact price range that you should be shopping for. It will also let home sellers know that you are a serious buyer. If you are competing with other buyers, a seller will be more likely to take your offer seriously if they know that you can afford the home. Sometimes you'll hear the terms pre-qualification and pre-approval thrown around interchangeably. However, these two terms are very different. A pre-approval is much more valuable when it comes to buying a home. Although you will have to provide a lot more information for a full pre-approval, this qualification will provide you with a specific loan amount that you are approved
for. A pre-qualification is just an estimate of the amount that you can afford based on your income and other factors. It is not as personalized or customized for your specific situation as a pre-approval. #2 Find a Good Real Estate Agent Find a good real estate agent who is knowledgeable of the area where you want to buy your house. Ideally, they have lived in the area for a long time and know the community. A good local agent can bring invaluable knowledge to the table about the city.
They will probably be familiar with the homes in the area. They might even know about homes that aren't on the market yet but will be soon. This knowledge can be invaluable when you are in a time crunch and want to get the most out of your house hunting time. #3 Make a List of Your Must-have Amenities You don't want to spend time looking at homes that won't meet your needs. There
are probably some things that you'd like to have in a house, as well as things that you must have. So, if you're in a time crunch, the first thing you should do is make a must-have list. Make a second list of things that you'd like to have but that are not required. Don't bother looking at homes that lack the qualities on your must-have list. We are happy to help and share our insight and experience to help you with the buying process. Schedule an appointment today. Call 888-670-6791. n
How to Avoid Legal Trouble When Renting to Immigrants and Non-Citizens KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
BY TATYANA BELLAMY-WALKER
ousing discrimination can take on many forms. According to the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot project bias against non-citizens. Recently, in a one-hour live webinar, Douglas D. Chasick, the president of the Fair Housing Institute, instructed owners of multifamily housing properties, managers of multifamily properties, leasing agents and attorneys and other rental property advisors on ways to avoid violating U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and fair housing rules. Chasick also advised how to avoid lawsuits from applicants and residents who claim you discriminated against them on the basis of national origin, the challenges of implementing a policy restricting residency to U.S. citizens and dealing with complaints arising from cultural differences among residents. With more than a million undocumented immigrants living in New York City, thousands live in apartments and may face discrimination. Local legislation, however, can protect undocumented tenants. According to New York City’s Human Rights
Law, it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their actual or perceived immigration status. This includes threatening to deport tenants or report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), retaliating against non-citizens by refusing to make repairs to their apartments and requiring tenants to provide proof of citizenship or documentation detailing their immigration status. A couple in Massachusetts is all too familiar with how these laws pan out. When a landlord asked the wife of a prospective tenant, “Where are you from?” it sparked a $60,000 rental discrimination lawsuit. The Boston Fair Housing Commission issued $10,000 in emotional damages,
$44,000 in attorney’s fees and costs and a $7,500 civil penalty against the broker. “While the fine was eventually reduced it was not by much,” Chasick said. “[the landlord] casually said where are you from? And [the prospective tenant] said “Venezuela.” The prospect and her husband went on to find an apartment a month later — the prospect found the question about her national origin insulting and upsetting. When landlords are renting to undocumented immigrants there are some protocols to follow. It is important not to single out applicants who may appear “undocumented” or foreign-born. For example, if an application does not call for a prospect’s driver’s license — do not in-
quire about a driver’s license from someone perceived to be undocumented. Also, you cannot ask for extra information, unless you ask all applicants for this information. It is recommended to keep records of screening information for all tenants and prospective renters if a lawsuit or fined is pinned to a landlord. For undocumented immigrants, it is usually difficult to run credit history and background checks. Experts at Landlord Forums.com recommend looking at the last twelve months of bank statements to see their payment history. A County’s Sheriff’s Office is a good place to look up criminal records, especially because it is public information. Also, it is less likely that undocumented immigrants will be late on their payments because at court hearings they may risk deportation. If an undocumented tenant is having an issue with a landlord, they should call the New York State Office of New American’s hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or file an online complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.To file a discrimination lawsuit, call the Law Offices of Figeroux & Associates at 718-222-3155 to set up an appointment.n
Home Ownership and Real Estate Development
BY TATYANA BELLAMY-WALKER
or New American households, buying your first home can be the pathway to stability. Many Caribbean immigrants first came to the U.S. during the early 1900s, bought brownstones in largely white neighborhoods in Harlem and Brooklyn, then anchored dozens of generations in the U.S. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), nearly 31 percent or 3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., own homes. Jamaican immigrants have one of the highest rates of home ownership in the U.S., according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Before buying your first home, there are some steps to take to ensure financial stability. Some of the most successful real estate moguls are people of color such as NBA basketball legend turned philanthropist, Magic Johnson and NFL Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith. Real estate experts advise homebuyers to first determine if they’re ready to buy a home. Do you have enough money for a down payment? Can you afford the monthly mortgage payments? How much
are your debts? What is your credit score? And can you fix your own leaks? The difference between renters and buyers sometimes lies in the responsibility to solve their own issues. It might be a good idea to list the risks associated with buying a home, especially one that is older such as toxic mold, asbestos, and roofing issues. Buying a home is a long-term financial investment. How a prospective buyer maneuvers these issues can ultimately impact the worth of the property. Before buying a property, research your mortgage options. According to the Home Buying Institute, there are fixed-rate mortgage loans, which have the same payment for the entire term, and adjustable-rate mortgages, which have an interest rate that changes from time to time. Experts at the Home Buying Institute recommend using fixed-loans for a longer stay, while an adjustable rate is more often used for a shortterm housing. The neighborhood of a prospective property can also make or break the value of a home. Homes with higher property value often have quality schools, lower crime rates as well as a nearby park. While affordable neighborhoods in New York City are often hard to find there are a few that
are perfect for a first-time home buyer. In Brooklyn, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Kensington are safe, affordable and family-friendly areas. Whereas in Manhattan, the Lower East Side is sometimes the pick for young professionals who want a place booming with contemporary shops and culture. In addition, schedule time to go to an open house, where you can assess the property, see your potential neighbors and ask questions. Also, feel free to negotiate the price, but avoid a bidding war. It’s important to maintain a budget and compromise only when necessary. If a home has been on the market for a long time and the seller is not budging — experts recommend using a more creative approach. Can they make repairs before closing? Can you keep the washer and dryer? Developing a knack for real estate means thinking of ways to keep a competitive edge in the industry and remaining savvy. A dream home is not easy to come by, but it can be attainable through the right steps. We are happy to help and share our insight and experience to help you with the buying process. Schedule an appointment today. Call 888-670-6791. n
Call Equity Smart Realty at 888-670-6791 for a FREE consultation.
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Government Uses Separated Children as Leverage to Coerce Parents Into Signing for Deportation BY KATIE SHEPHARD
mong the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without knowing whether or when they would see their children again, many parents may have unintentionally waived their right to seek asylum in a desperate attempt to speed up the reunification process. These life-or-death decisions are being made in a vacuum. Without access to an
attorney to consult about the process or their rights, the only information available to many comes from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, detention facility guards, and rumors among detainees. Detainees without enough money on their phone cards are unable to call their children, let alone other family members, social workers, or lawyers who can shed light on their ability to both reunify with their child and fight their cases. In ICE detention facilities very few detained immigrants–less than 14 per-
It Is Legal to Seek Asylum
continued on page 3
BY ROYCE MURRAY
place where they face persecution on account of one of several protected grounds. Most everyone can apply for asylum, and where narrow exceptions apply, those individuals can apply for other forms of protection including withholding of removal or relief for those at risk of torture. For those able to reach the U.S. border, many have been unlawfully turned away by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials who have told migrants that ports of entry are closed or that the U.S. no longer welcomes asylum seekers, at least from certain countries, among other justifi-
s thousands of asylum-seeking parents were separated from their children in recent months, the Trump administration actively portrayed them as law breakers who must be prosecuted and punished for coming to the United States. Left out of the narrative is one well-established fact: it is legal to seek asylum. The Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs our nation’s immigration law, makes clear that anyone arriving at the U.S. border or within the United States is permitted to apply for protection. U.S. law embraces both international and domestic legal obligations not to return any person to a
Rising Voice of African Immigrants Under Trump BY JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
frican Communities Together (ACT) is using their voice as a tool for change. Khadim Niang, a civic organizer for ACT, the grassroots activist group told The Immigrant’s Journal, the Trump administration is keeping Africans in limbo through a series of anti-immigration policies. “The administration was threatening to terminate the Liberian Deferred Enforced
continued on page 2
Departure (DED),” Niang said. “Each year Presidents Obama and Bush extended that program; the Trump administration threatened to terminate it.” Dozens of Liberian residents from across the U.S. joined ACT to petition Congress to renew the program, a designation that can only be authorized by the President. Due to the advocacy of the organization — Liberian immigrants were granted to stay in the U.S. until next March, thereafter the program will be ter-
Niang continued on page 3
Supreme Court Ruling to Change Deportation Proceedings of Immigrants
new Supreme Court ruling is offering undocumented immigrants more time to secure residency in the U.S. According to court documents, in an 81 vote, a high court ruled that a “Notice to Appear” that lacks time and date information isn’t sufficient to trigger the “stop-time rule.” According to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the stop-time rule states that continuous residence ends when an undocumented person commits a crime or is served a Notice to Appear placing them in removal proceedings. Recently, the case Pereira v. Sessions, challenged a federal law stating that undocumented immigrants can avoid deportation if they live in the U.S. for 10 continuous years. Nearly 10 years ago, Wescley Fonseca Pereira came to the U.S. from Brazil on a temporary visitor visa and six months later his visa expired. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) served Pereira with a Notice to Appear, but did not give a set time and date. A year later, Pereira was ordered to leave in late October, however, the notice was not sent to his Post Office Box, but his street address in Martha’s Vineyard. Since Pereira missed the hearing, the courts ordered that he be removed from the country. But he was never deported. Five years later, court records show that Pereira was arrested for a motor vehicle violation and detained by DHS. Pereira's attorney, David Zimmer, claimed that the Notice to Appear was defective and says the continuous residency clock had not “stopped. ”In June, the Supreme Court sided with Pereira. “If the government serves a non-citizen with a document that is labeled “notice to appear,” but the document fails to specify either the time or place of the removal proceeding, does it trigger the stop-time rule? The answer is as obvious as it seems: No. A notice that does not inform a non-citizen when and where to appear for removal proceeding is not a “Notice to Appear under section [239(a)].” To schedule an appointment to discuss your immigration matter, call the Law Offices of Figeroux & Associates at 718222-3155. Remember, the lawyer you hire, does make a difference!l
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USCIS Is Redefining Who Qualifies for Asylum in This New Guidance BY JOSHUA BREISBLATT
n its latest attack on asylum seekers, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new guidance to asylum officers that will make it much harder for victims of domestic violence and gang violence to obtain asylum. The guidance follows a strongly worded opinion known as “Matter of AB” issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently. In order to establish eligibility for asylum, an applicant must have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of a protected ground: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Membership in a particular social group is not defined in the law or regulations. It is instead shaped by case law, which is where asylum claims relating to domestic and gang violence have developed over time. However, the guidance issued by USCIS to all employees attempts to severely undercut those claims, noting:
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In general… claims based on membership in a putative particular social group defined by the members’ vulnerability to harm of domestic violence or gang violence committed by non-government actors will not establish the basis for asylum, refugee status, or a credible or reasonable fear of persecution. The new guidance from USCIS was issued on July 11, 2018 to comply with Matter of A-B-, where the Attorney General overturned a case decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in 2016. The case involved a woman from El Salvador who was granted asylum based on severe domestic violence she experienced. In his decision, Sessions targeted and overturned the BIA caselaw on which the A-B- case had successfully relied: Matter of A-R-C-G-. That 2014 case had clarified years of uncertainty to firmly establish that survivors of domestic violence can be eligible for asylum under U.S. law. It is too soon to know how strictly this guidance will be implemented and whether asylum claims based on domestic violence or fear of gangs will continue to be viable based on specific or different articulations of a victim’s fear of persecution. Overall, this guidance is part of an overall effort by the Trump administration to place a series of obstacles in the path of asylum seekers. Many have been turned away at the border when they attempted to seek refuge at ports of entry. When they instead attempted to enter between ports of entry, many faced prosecution for illegal entry. At the end of the day, this decision and implementing guidance will inevitably result in many asylum seekers—including children—being returned to lifethreatening conditions in their country of origin. The United States’ proud legacy of being a safe haven for the persecuted is actively under attack. We must correct course or risk no longer being seen as that shining city on a hill.l Scan this code to schedule a FREE Initial Consultation
2 It Is Legal to Seek Asylum/continued from page 1 cations. Faced with no alternatives, many asylum seekers present themselves to Border Patrol between the ports of entry in order to seek protection. Following the Attorney General’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting everyone apprehended between the ports of entry, many asylum-seeking parents were separated from their children for months so they could be prosecuted for entry-related crimes before being given a chance to ask for protection. Confusion is triggered, however, by the existence of federal criminal offenses for unlawful entry (a misdemeanor) or unlawful reentry to the United States after having been deported or ordered removed (a felony). While there are many concerns with entry-related prosecutions, it is particularly problematic when asylum seekers are prosecuted while trying to seek protection. People fleeing life or death situations cannot often wait in their home countries to secure a visa or even use their true identity documents to depart their country and travel onward. Moreover, there is no way to apply for asylum from outside of the United States; overseas refugee processing is only available to select populations in specific locations and in very small numbers. Only 1,500 refugees may be admitted from all of Latin America and the Caribbean in fiscal year 2018; a mere 126 refugees from that region had been admitted as of June 2018. To be clear, asylum seekers have a right to apply for asylum, not to be granted asylum. Once an individual tells a DHS official after being stopped at the border that they are afraid, they must be processed and referred to asylum officers who assesses their claims. Enforcement officers, such as CBP officers or Border Patrol agents, are not allowed to make these determinations. The Refugee Convention also makes clear that countries are precluded from penalizing individuals requesting protection from persecution or torture in their country of origin. Indeed, in 2015 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General noted that the prosecution of those “who express fear of persecution or return to their home countries” was “inconsistent with and may violate U.S. treaty obligations.” The United States must stop its criminalization of asylum seekers. Rather than treating them as law breakers, our country must adhere to its legal obligations to afford protections to those in harm’s way.l
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IMMIGRATION MATTERS Gov’t Coercing Parents/ continued from page 1
cent–are represented by counsel, leaving many unaware of their rights and more vulnerable to misinformation. Although the federallyfunded Legal Orientation Program provides information to some immigration detainees, it is only operational in 38 of the over 200 detention facilities nationwide and reaches a smaller subset of those who are held in each location. The issue of ICE coercion is longstanding; for years, legal services providers and advocates have reported that their clients have been asked to sign documents they do not understand. Oftentimes, the detainee is unable to read the documents, because they are illiterate or the documents are in English or another language they do not speak. Individuals are also told that a failure to sign the documents may lead to an adverse consequence, such as prolonged detention. Many are not even provided with copies of the forms they sign. News reports have captured some high-profile incidents of coercion. In January 2017, some travelers from predominantly Muslim countries reported that immigration agents informed them they had to sign documents forfeiting their right
to enter the United States. More recently, in June 2018, Iraqi nationals facing deportation reported that immigration agents attempted to pressure them into signing documents that would ensure their deportation, “despite fears that they will be tortured or killed there.” The power balance in ICE detention facilities is lopsided and the opportunity for coercion is acute. The government – playing the role of both jailer and deporter – holds all the keys, including the discretion to release immigrants from detention. Meanwhile, immigrants held in detention may find themselves in an ICE facility hundreds of miles from loved ones and the nearest metropolitan area in which they might hope to locate pro bono legal services. Without access to an attorney, the risk of coercion and misinformation among detainees is real. Children must not be used as leverage in this process. For separated families now at risk of deportation, each case must be reassessed to ensure that their rights were not inadvertently waived and that no one will be deported to harm’s way. l
Rising Voice/continued from page 1 minated, according to the Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration. “We were calling for the administration to extend the Liberian DED program and not force people back home to Liberia,” Niang said. “People, who have been living here for twenty-something years. They have houses, they have families, they pay taxes and this administration was telling them they had to leave the country.” According to a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Securitymemo obtained by The Immigrant’s Journal, the president’s plan to cut-off Liberian immigrants from the DED program is part of a 12-month wind-down period that will allow the Liberian government to reintegrate nationals into the community. “Through consultation with appropriate executive departments and agencies and my advisors, I have been informed that conditions in Liberia have improved,” according to the memo. “Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance.” The memo continued, “Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts, which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals. The 2014 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease caused a tragic loss of life and economic damage to the country, but Liberia has made tremendous progress in its ability to diagnose and contain future outbreaks of the disease. Accordingly, I find that conditions in Liberia no longer warrant a further extension of DED.” Niang explains that Liberian refugees are escaping their hometowns for safety in the U.S. as a result of internal corruption, high rates of youth unemployment and lack of economic opportunities often lead to more violence. “People think it’s easy to leave everything behind. There are reasons why people are leaving,” Niang said. “We
need people to be more comforting and compassionate.” In a statement, ACT denounced this plan, stating, “Terminating DED for Liberia, now or in a year, is the wrong decision. These Liberian Americans have lived in and contributed to the U.S. for decades— they deserve a chance to do so permanently.” Despite, the national anti-immigrant rhetoric under President Trump, ACT is also advocating for undocumented workers at a local level. When Guinea immigrant Mouctar Diallo was run over by a truck at work — the agency allegedly attempted to cover-up the death stating that he was a “crazy homeless person.” ACT led a demonstration on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Courthouse urging the city to revoke the agency’s license. “We as an African organization are not going to sit back and stay quiet,” Niang said. “There are not many resources to help African immigrants.” There is also a surge in organizations that are allegedly “exploiting” immigrants, Niang says. Libre Nexus, an organization claiming to help immigrants pay for their bail in detention centers is requesting a payment of $420 per month in exchange for their freedom, according to a Washington Post investigation. It’s stories like this – where immigrants are exploited — that Niang knows all too well. “We are all communities of color that are under attack by this administration,” He added. “The people will not be silenced.” l
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When a Facebook Like Lands You in Jail ... Jamaica’s Minister Williams Speaks about the Currency Slide ... ICE Arrests 65 during Operation C...
Published on Aug 11, 2018
When a Facebook Like Lands You in Jail ... Jamaica’s Minister Williams Speaks about the Currency Slide ... ICE Arrests 65 during Operation C...