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Major Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Upstate Immigrant Farm Workers

COVID-19 infected 177 farmworkers at Green Empire Farms in Madison County, marking one of the largest virus outbreaks in New York state.

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COVID-19 infected more than half of the 300 farmworkers at Green Empire Farms in Madison County, marking one of the largest virus outbreaks in New York state. The majority of these workers were driven to and from work on buses and taken to nearby motels with as many as four individuals in a room. There were also no health protocols or social distancing enforced when the coronavirus was at its height in the county. There is currently an ongoing federal investigation on what was happening at the farm. CNYCentral

Landlords Are Threatening Renters Despite Eviction Moratoriums

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Álvaro Pardo and his wife lost their jobs as waiters in March when the pandemic hit. But even though New York State enacted an eviction freeze to protect renters, Pardo’s landlord raised their rent and refused to repair anything until he paid up. Pardo searched for work every day to ensure he was able to pay his $1,950 monthly rent. According to NYU Furman Center, over 16,000 private eviction filings were submitted in 120 days since housing courts started accepting these filings back in June. Corona, Queens, an immigrant-heavy neighborhood, was one of the city neighborhoods hit worst by the pandemic and had the most filings. Read more at Documented.

Non-English-Speaking Long Islanders Had Difficult Time With Rent Relief

Despite Long Island residents being 14.57 percent of New York’s population, only 5.73 percent of the state’s COVID-19 rent relief has been distributed to them. Renters faced challenges when they only had two weeks to submit 14 pages of forms and documents; the online application crashed hours after launching. Groups that work with immigrants pushed the state to make the process smoother for non-English speakers, and pressured New York to push the deadline by one week. In order to qualify for the rent relief, New Yorkers must have spent roughly 30 percent of their monthly income on rent before the pandemic and have at least one citizen or person with eligible immigration status within the household. Newsday

Immigrants March for a Path to Citizenship

Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status and immigration activists marched in West New York on Monday to demand a bill granting them a path to citizenship for them. The federal program, TPS, lets citizens of countries hit by natural disasters or armed conflict reside in the U.S. without fear of deportation and lets them get work permits and Social Security numbers. President Donald Trump has tried on several occasions to terminate TPS for a variety of countries, such as El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. According to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign website, he plans on conducting an “immediate review” of TPS. North Jersey

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