Informing Nepali Speakers About IDNYC

Neaplese community leader Shailesh Shrestha with City Council member Danny Dromm at a meeting to inform the community about IDNYC in early February. (Photo via Shrestha's TV show)

Neaplese community leader Shailesh Shrestha with City Council member Daniel Dromm at a meeting to inform the community about IDNYC in early February. (Photo via Shrestha’s TV show)

Nepali-speaking groups are stepping up efforts to educate the community about IDNYC and alleviate fears stemming from living without documents, reports Cristina Schreil for Queens Chronicle. Leaders estimate that more than 50,000 undocumented Nepali-speakers – coming from Tibet, Nepal, India and Bhutan – reside in Jackson Heights, Woodside, Astoria, Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Corona.

Shailesh Shrestha, a Nepal native who launched a YouTube television series called “Sampreshan Whitehimal,” or “The Interpretation” — which spotlights the Queens community’s issues such as workers’ rights, immigration and healthcare — said many outside the community do not realize the fear these immigrants feel.

“They are surviving somehow in the dark side, in the shadow,” Shrestha said. “[There are] two types of intimidation they are facing: one from the government’s side and the other from our own community.”

He explained threats of exposing lack of legal residency are common among community members. Shrestha added that as many residents either have expired passports, a lack of documentation after traveling from their home country — on a dangerous route that typically goes through Mexico — or old citizenship cards they don’t know how to get updated or translated, it’s difficult for them to accumulate the four points needed to obtain the new New York City ID.

Read more from Queens Chronicle to find out why it’s difficult to educate Nepalis on IDNYC, and what triggered some women to begin crying during a community meeting with City Council member Daniel Dromm.

The meeting with Daniel Dromm filmed for “The Interpretation,” Shrestha’s TV series:

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