Welcome to Adhikaar’s Fall newsletter! We’re excited to share recent highlights from our immigration justice programs. From fighting to secure green cards for all, to campaigning for TPS redesignation of 40,000 Nepalis, and providing immigration case support to our at-risk members, we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure the voices and experiences of the Nepali-speaking community are at the forefront of campaigns and legislative agendas to advance immigration justice.
Things are moving fast on the immigration front, especially on the fight for citizenship through the budget reconciliation process in DC. Stay tuned for another immigration newsletter in December. In the meantime, please check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for real time updates and calls to action and consider making a donation to Adhikaar to support this transformative work.
Thank you for taking the time to support and uplift our work. Your donation helps Adhikaar meet the challenges of today and work to build a system that works for all of us.
Immigration Program Highlights
Fight for Greencards for All
We are pushing for a direct pathway to citizenship for TPS holders and all undocumented folks through the Build Back Better bill. Our members are on the streets, telling their stories and meeting with members of Congress to ensure our fight for citizenship moves forward.
- In September, a hundred members from New York, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and Texas joined nearly 5,000 people at the Welcome Back Congress rally with #WeAreHome in Washington DC to demand congressional action to pass citizenship. Our member leader Nita KC spoke about being a TPS holder and Care worker, alongside other brave essential immigrant workers, congressional champions like Senators Schumer, Padilla, Menendez, and so many others.
- Earlier in September along with our coalition, Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), Adhikaar led a three-day online, letter and phone-in call to action. More than 220+ members engaged online, sent letters, and called their elected officials to push Congress to include TPS holders in budget reconciliation and vote against any amendments that could further harm immigrant communities.
- Over 55 Adhikaar members and team participated in a rally in July organized by #WeAreHome and #FreedomTogether coalitions in NYC. Our TPS member leader and intern Neeraj Gautam shared his story and called on electeds to support permanent residency for all TPS holders.
Ramos/Bhattarai v Mayorkas Lawsuit
In a huge win for our federal lawsuit Ramos/Bhattarai v Mayorkas, the legal team successfully negotiated a 15 month auto-extension for more than 10,000 current Nepali TPS holders in this country. The litigation has prevented the mass deportation of TPS holders and we are grateful to our member leaders Keshav Bhattarai and Sajjan Pandey (lead plaintiffs on the case), as well as the countless other member leaders for sharing their stories and pushing for protection.
TPS Redesignation for 40,000+ Nepalis in the U.S.
In July we kicked off a Nepal TPS redesignation mini-campaign to fight for TPS protections for an additional 40,000 Nepalis in the U.S., who are currently not eligible for TPS. With the leadership of New York electeds Representative Nydia Velázquez and Senator Chuck Schumer, we submitted a “Dear Colleagues” letter, to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed on by 44 members of Congress urging DHS Secretary Mayorkas and State Secretary Blinken to provide an 18-month redesignation of TPS for Nepal. The Dear Colleagues letter was co-led by Representative Judy Chu (CA), Representative Grace Meng (NY), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA), and Senator Van Hollen (MD). We also ran a petition that gathered thousands of signatures, led an organizational support letter with 100+ sign ons, and hosted an event on Clubhouse app where over 70 people from around the country joined.
In August, Adhikaar’s team met with DHS and the State Department with various country condition experts and TPS advocates to provide arguments for redesignation, and formally submitted the petition, Dear Colleagues letter and organizational sign on. We are waiting on a decision from DHS, and hope that they’ll do the right thing and redesignage Nepal for TPS.
Other Immigration Program Highlights
- We reached out to community members about the NY state Excluded Worker Fund for folks who were impacted by the pandemic and were left out of the federal unemployment benefits. We also hired a Fund Excluded Worker Service Fellow, Manindra Bajracharya. He phone-banked over 100+ members who were excluded from federal COVID relief and screened their eligibility for the Excluded Worker Fund application.
- We continue to hold weekly membership meetings with at least 40 TPS members. We provide real-time updates on legislation and campaigns, and use the space to get campaign direction and feedback from member leaders to bring back to policy tables. The majority of the members join virtually from NY, CA, TX, but also include members from other states.
Immigration Casework Program Highlights
At Adhikaar, we understand that for our immigrant worker membership, it’s not enough to just run campaigns. We also need to find ways to protect and provide for them through services like case work. Last quarter we:
- Helped a member win $5000 on immigration bond case,
- Provided intake for a labor trafficking survivor and supported her with legal services,
- Started doing in-person intakes while continuing virtual (in total we provided intake for 50+ new cases),
- Supported 13 members in getting IDNYC with support from the Office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards,
- Helped our Domestic worker members win a settlement of $30,000 and another member recover $900, through wage claim,
- Provided and connected two Nepali homeless individuals to the city resources, and
- Supported a member with a FOIA request to troubleshoot their pending immigration case
This is a snapshot of Adhikaar’s work in fighting for the dignity and immigrant rights of our community. To learn more about our immigration justice efforts, visit our website and social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
Join us in ensuring Congress delivers on its promise of citizenship for all.
- Virtual immigration updates on Facebook, Thursday, 12/02,
- “Know-Your-Rights” training at Adhikaar, supported through the grants from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, on Sunday, 12/05.
- Youth-led discussion on the intersections of identity and culture in America on Sunday, 12/05.
Stay tuned for the next part of the newsletter on our Domestic Worker, Nail Salon, Youth and Health programs.