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Some NYC Bodegas Left Out of COVID-19 Recovery

Bodegas in high-income New York City neighborhoods have largely recovered, but others have suffered with customers out of work.

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There are about 13,000 bodegas across the five boroughs of New York City, and those in low-income areas have suffered the most during the pandemic. Francisco Marte’s northwest Bronx bodega saw neighbors contract the virus while losing jobs, leading him to and offer tabs on groceries for regulars. Meanwhile Samrat Shah and Samiksha Shah just opened up their second store in Park Slope after their success of selling premium items. Marte migrated from the Dominican Republic to open a bodega in the Bronx just like his brother. But even though he owns three bodegas, he saw major declines in sales when unemployment hit the borough. Bloomberg CityLab

In other local immigration news…

Immigrant Labor in New York Under the Pandemic

Documented will be hosting a panel discussion Wednesday, March 31 to talk about how the pandemic has affected low wage jobs and the City’s immigrant essential workers. Amir Khafagy, a freelance journalist who covers labor issues for Documented will moderate the panel. Panelists are:

Nelson Mar, President of Local 318 Restaurant Workers Union, who represents workers from the Jing Fong restaurant located in Manhattan’s Chinatown. 

Sarah Ahn of the Flushing Workers Center 

Rosanna Aran of the Laundry Workers Center

Register here to join our free Zoom event on Wednesday, March 31 at 4:30 PM

What To Do After A Year After Filing for Unemployment Benefits

📍 Documented Original Almost one year has passed since COVID-19 caused millions of workers to lose their jobs and file for unemployment. A Benefit Year Ending date, coming a year after filing, marks the end of a worker’s benefits on their initial claim. For some people, this could mean they need to file a new claim to see if they’re eligible to continue receiving benefits. As the pandemic continues, extended benefits are available until at least Sept. 6. Those receiving unemployment would also receive an additional $300 per week. Meanwhile the first $10,200 they received from unemployment in 2020 will not be taxed by the federal government. Read more at Documented. 

Privacy Expert Says Vaccine Passport App Doesn’t Guarantee Confidentiality

The Excelsior Passport app was launched on Friday and was put on a test run with thousands of New Yorkers. This app confirms if someone has either received a COVID-19 vaccine or a recent negative test. App producer IBM and the state say personal data entered into the app will be confidential. But Albert Fox Cahn, an attorney and founder of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, an advocacy group focused on privacy rights, said the app doesn’t specify how its data is tracked or safeguarded. Cahn added that there’s no guarantee the information won’t be given to police departments or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Gothamist

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