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NYC Immigrants Struggle to Find COVID-19 Vaccine

Corona, Queens, was hardest hit by COVID-19, but just 5 percent of its residents have secured coronavirus vaccines.

Deanna Garcia

Feb 24, 2021

View of a sidewalk on Roosevelt Avenue in Corona

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Flora Pérez has been trying to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for her 82-year-old father for weeks. Pérez lives in Corona, Queens, one of the neighborhoods in New York City the virus hit hardest. But NYC data shows that in one Corona ZIP code, less than five percent of the predominantly poor and working-class immigration population had received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Sunday. The New York Times conducted 115 interviews this month of residents living in immigrant neighborhoods; only eight had received a vaccine dose. Immigrants faced language and technology barricades, were uncertain about dealing with government officials and the health care system and worried about vaccine safety. The New York Times 

In other local immigration news…

Biden Administration Appeals Ruling Limiting Immigrant Detention Without Court Hearing 

📍 Documented Original The Biden administration filed a notice to appeal Judge Alison Nathan’s groundbreaking order declaring the government must arrange court hearings for immigration detainees within 10 days of their arrest. Nathan’s Nov. 30 ruling at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan was the first to put a constitutional line on how long Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees had to wait for court hearings. According to government data, 84.2 percent of the initial master calendar hearings held in New York’s Varick Street immigration court came within 10 days of an ICE arrest in December. Nationally, 87 percent of these hearings were held after over 10 days of lockup. Read more at Documented.

New York Immigrant Advocates Support Biden’s Overhaul

The New York Immigration Coalition welcomed the introduction of President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, pledging to help the state’s congressional delegation pass it. Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, NYIC’s interim co-executive directors, said the act is a “vital first step in creating opportunity, security and stability for hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers, who live, work and contribute to America with few protections.” Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, agreed. “Our immigration system is broken, and I will not relent until our immigration system reflects a modern and equitable approach to this issue.” The New York CaribNews 

Community Refrigerator Helped Undocumented Immigrants in the South Bronx

“Community fridges” have been appearing in neighborhoods throughout the U.S. as people struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic. On East 141st Street and Saint Ann’s Avenue, Mott Haven’s community fridge welcomes residents with the phrase “comida gratis” (free food). The community fridge is open all day and filled by neighbors, volunteers and local restaurants. Many undocumented residents depend on the community fridge in the immigrant-heavy area, as they may fear background checks and interacting with officials at food banks. ABC News 



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