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Half of the immigrant detainees at New Jersey’s Hudson County Jail refused the COVID-19 vaccine, saying they were not given any information about the shot. Vaccinations began Jan. 22 at the Hudson County Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, which holds immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As of Feb. 4, 27 of the 54 immigrants held there refused to receive the shot. “In my section, we are 25 [ICE detainees], and of those, six or seven didn’t get it,” said Mario, a detainee. He refused the vaccination because he said he doesn’t trust the jail, and didn’t get any information about it from the jail doctor. Mario and another detainee said corrections officers have refused the vaccine too. City Limits
In other local immigration news…
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Long Island Father Released from Detention
A father who lives on Long Island was released Tuesday and reunited with his family after being held in federal custody since June. Sukhdev Singh was freed from ICE custody in New Jersey and rejoined his family shortly after. Singh had been in the U.S. since 1999 when his asylum application was denied. He lived with a removal order for over 20 years and went to regular ICE check-ins. But in June, he was detained and sent to a facility in Louisiana when a federal judge issued a temporary stay. He has a wife and three children who are American citizens. Newsday
NJ Teachers Demand Stimulus for Undocumented Immigrants
More than 100 New Jersey teachers signed a Tuesday letter calling on Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to provide coronavirus aid to an estimated 500,000 immigrants in New Jersey. Undocumented immigrants have been ineligible for federal coronavirus aid so far. But as Jessica Brater, an assistant professor at Montclair State University, noted, “My students work hard both in and outside of the classroom, often balancing their college careers with jobs and care for family members.” Undocumented immigrants pay $1.1 billion in federal taxes and $600 million in state and local taxes, according to the New Jersey Alliance For Immigrant Justice. Patch
Vaccination Efforts Lag Among Bodega Workers
Dozens of Queens bodega workers are getting fast-tracked to be vaccinated at Citi Field’s new distribution center. Still, vaccinations are lagging among corner store employees as the largely immigrant workforce fears not only getting the vaccine but interacting with authorities. Nasim Almuntaser, a 20-year-old bodega employee in Brighton Beach, said the city has done a poor job of educating workers, who have been eligible for vaccinations in New York since Jan. 11. The Yemeni American Merchants Association is aiming to address the problem, and has so far helped arrange Citi Field appointments for about 50 bodega workers. THE CITY
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