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It’s been over a year since the pandemic began, but many undocumented New Yorkers have yet to receive any sort of government relief even as they bear the brunt of the economic downturn and work in essential roles. Members of the New Immigrant Community Empowerment gathered in Union Square on Tuesday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) to provide relief to immigrant workers. Jesus Aviles, who lost his job at a restaurant shortly after the pandemic began, was among them. He joined NICE in March 2020, which helped him find a construction job. “I didn’t know anything about construction when I started,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for them,” he said after learning how grueling the job can be. “Because of my status, there’s no help,” he said. “I would like for the new president to legalize all immigrants.” Max Siegelbaum for Documented
In other local immigration news…
Advocates Want New York to Pick Up Immigration Reform Slack
Even though President Joe Biden’s presidency is a sign of relief to some, New York immigration advocates say there is a lot of work remaining in Washington and Albany. The Biden administration is already in the process of undoing former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. But Biden’s calls for broader immigration changes, like building a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, will take a while in a divided Congress. In the meantime, advocates are pushing New York lawmakers to do more for undocumented communities, including increasing coronavirus vaccine access, distributing pandemic aid and protecting tenants. Spectrum News
New Jersey Immigrants Lack Access To COVID-19 Vaccines, Experts Fear
Experts are afraid New Jersey’s immigrant and undocumented communities will have a difficult time getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and even receiving information about the doses. According to New Jersey’s COVID-19 dashboard, 26 percent of the state’s coronavirus cases were found in its Hispanic community, which makes up 18 percent of the state’s population. But with 475,000 vaccinations provided in the state as of Friday, only 5 percent went to Hispanic or Latinx individuals. Communities of color and those in poverty have experienced the worst effects of the pandemic, and advocates say they should be prioritized for the vaccine because of it. NJ.com