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Buffalo Detention Center COVID-19 Vaccine Plan Still Up In the Air

50 of 260 detainees at the Batavia immigration jail are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine but haven't gotten it yet.

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📍 Documented Original Federal Judge Lawrence Vilardo condemned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not providing vulnerable, eligible ICE detainees with the COVID-19 vaccine at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia. ICE said Wednesday it is waiting for New York health officials to provide vaccines so the detention center could distribute them, but Vilardo denied that, saying ICE needs to cooperate with the state and federal government to get the vaccines. John Peng, attorney for the Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, said 50 of 260 detainees are eligible for the vaccine. On  Thursday evening, Abolish ICE NY-NJ tweeted an audio clip of a Buffalo detainee who has been on a hunger strike for 18 days demanding early release. Vilardo told the petitioners’ counsels to try to make appointments for the eligible detainees and submit a plan by this Monday. The Court also suggested New York state or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be included in this case. Deanna Garcia for Documented

In other local immigration news…

Jing Fong Workers Fighting to Keep Restaurant and Union Alive

📍 Documented Original

Jing Fong, the largest restaurant in Chinatown with nearly 800 seats, will close March 7 — another historic New York institution closing due to the pandemic. About 70 workers will lose their jobs, but they’re refusing to go without a fight. Over 100 people gathered outside East Bank on Canal and Centre Street on Tuesday to demand Jing Fong’s landlords keep the restaurant open. Jing Fong said sales dropped 85 percent during the pandemic, and that it lost and lost close to $6 million. Jing Fong’s workers also make up a big chunk of Chinatown’s 318 Restaurant Workers union. Read more at Documented. 

Immigration Groups Propose Initiatives to City Council Candidates

Make the Road New York and The Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law will release a memo calling on New York City Council candidates to support pro-immigrant initiatives if elected. “Every candidate seeking to lead next year should have a strong policy platform that centers the rights and needs of immigrant New Yorkers, who make up nearly 40 percent of this city’s population,” said Theo Oshiro, Make the Road New York’s incoming co-executive director. The white paper pushes candidates to expand voting rights in municipal elections to noncitizens. Politico New York 

DACA Recipient is a Frontline Nurse During COVID-19

Hina Naveed arrived in the U.S. from Dubai in 2001 to seek medical care for her older sister. A problem with Naveed’s family’s immigration paperwork led them to lose their visa status, but they to stay for Naveed’s sister’s health. The family eventually moved to New York City, and Naveed received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Naveed became a registered nurse in 2016, and when the pandemic hit, she held her full time job as medical director for a foster agency while volunteering at a hospital holding COVID-19 patients and a nursing home. Naveed has also been an advocate for immigration rights in the health care system. The Herald News

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