In a move that could put a wedge between the Board of Freeholders and the Hudson County executive, immigration activists want the county to stop doing business with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the wake of President Trump’s executive order and the rise of the sanctuary city movement. Last July, the county renewed its agreement with the federal government to serve as a detention center for undocumented immigrants collected by ICE and awaiting hearings. Immigration activists are pushing to have the county – which serves as one of four detention centers in the state –stop hosting these immigrants. In a speech that appears to be a reaction to the activists’ push, County Executive Tom DeGise in his State of the County Address issued on Feb. 16 defended the county’s agreement with ICE. Click here for more.Union City has become the second municipality in Hudson County (after Jersey City) to designate itself a sanctuary city in the wake of Donald Trump’s executive order pressuring municipalities to report undocumented immigrants. The Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution establishing the city as a sanctuary at its Feb. 7 meeting. The mayor of Jersey City had signed an order to become the first on Friday, Feb. 3. Although there is technically no legal definition of a “sanctuary city” certain towns have gone on the record in the last few decades as saying they won’t ask their police to cooperate with federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in detaining undocumented persons, unless they are involved in serious crime. Click here for more. × Meika Roberson, resident and chief medical officer of Hoboken University Medical Center, saw a local need for sexual assault training, particularly in this city of young bar patrons. “I thought, ‘What can we do to help the community better understand how sexual assault can occur, and how can we work together to proactively help prevent it?’,” said Roberson. She found out that education programs have been implemented in cities across the country to establish “safe bars” and educate tavern employees on how to see telltale signs of a potential sexual assault. She decided to try to implement a similar program here. “Raising the Bar: Hoboken Bar-Bystander Training,” a community awareness and accountability program aimed at curtailing violence and sexual assault, began with a meeting in December 2016. Click here for more.
Under a new student-led nonprofit aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality in South Asia, expectant mothers would receive a free box full of newborn essentials like baby clothes, diapers, and wipes, as well as health-related items such as a clean delivery kit and oral rehydration salts. The caveat: Women would only get the box—which doubles as a portable basket in which babies can sleep or play—if they agree to a prenatal checkup.The “Barakat Bundle” project (“Barakat” means “blessing” in several languages), based on a similar box developed in Finland decades earlier, has had an award-winning start. In April, Barakat Bundle took home the $25,000 prize for runner-up in the social enterprise track at the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition, and was also chosen crowd favorite. Barakat Bundle is also a 2015 finalist at MassChallenge, one of the world’s largest accelerator programs for startups.Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health doctoral student Karima Ladhani, S.M. ’13, developed the project last spring in Harvard Chan Professor Gordon Bloom’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab for US & Global Health course. Distributed at first only to those with financial need, the box is now offered to all expectant mothers and is credited with helping reduce infant mortality in Finland from 65 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1938 to 2 deaths per 1,000 in 2013. Read Full Story