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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that restaurant workers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Food delivery workers, including those who work for apps such as DoorDash, will also be able to make vaccination appointments. Sergio Ajche, a delivery worker in Manhattan and a member of workers’ rights group Los Deliveristas Unidos, celebrated the news. “Little by little, people are waking up to all the hard work that we do,” he said. New York City’s restaurant industry is run largely by immigrants. A recent state report shows Hispanics make up 44 percent of the city’s restaurant industry. THE CITY
In other local immigration news…
The First Days of Biden: The Impact on New York’s Immigration System
📍 Documented Original
Documented hosted its first panel on how President Joe Biden’s first days are impacting New York’s immigration system and what his term means for immigrants in New York. Panelists Genia Blaser, a senior staff attorney at Immigration Defense Project, discussed how the Biden administration is reverting to the same priorities as the Obama administration. Andrea Sáenz, Attorney-in-Charge of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project at Brooklyn Defender Services, discussed Biden’s lack of action on the immigration courts. Anu Joshi, Vice President of Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, discussed the influence a state can have on immigration policy. Tania Mattos shed some light on what has been happening the last few weeks at detention centers. Read more at Documented
Immigrant Advocates Demand Detainees’ Release
The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and The Bronx Defenders are demanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement release immigrant detainees following a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo put out on Jan. 20. The memo demands ICE prioritize national security, then border security, then public safety when embarking on enforcement actions, including when deciding which immigrants to detain or release. Immigrant detainees in local jail facilities are not included in these priorities, though, and ICE has not followed its own direction to release detainees after the memo. Read the full letter here.
Advocates: Heat Turned Off at Bergen County Jail During Blizzard
The heat was shut off at Bergen County Jail in New Jersey on Jan. 28, and it remains off a week later, advocates say. In a press release from the Abolish ICE NY-NJ coalition, detainees said even though the jail is providing jackets to detainees, it has not been enough. There are 21 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility, according to ICE. Detainees also said ICE was scheduled to deport a detainee on Tuesday who had tested positive, according to the press release. Weather conditions reportedly delayed deportations, but ICE said four detainees were deported yesterday. Listen to the audio recording from an ICE detainee at the jail here.