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Construction workers in New York were more likely to die in 2020 than in the two years before, according to a new report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. Prior to the first year of the pandemic, deaths in the industry had declined for several years. But in 2020, 41 construction workers died on site in New York state, including 13 in the city. That marked an increase in deaths statewide by 9% from 2019. However, the death rate in NYC fell by 40%, as the city was the epicenter of the pandemic and jobs largely shut down. The report also found that federal regulators conducted the lowest number of inspections ever in New York state in 2020 — another data point resulting from the pandemic. GothamGazette
In other local immigration news…
Immigrants, Immigration Lawyers Will Now Have Access to Secret Cse law
A federal district court in New York ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals—an administrative body within the Department of Justice (DOJ)—to make its unpublished opinions publicly available in an online library. The judgment comes as a result of a historic settlement between the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and the DOJ. Tens of thousands of decisions previously kept secret will now be accessible to immigrants and their lawyers, so they can fight removal and other adverse actions with the same knowledge of case law that attorneys representing the government already have access to. Public Citizen
Despite Strong Evidence, Stolen Excluded Workers Funds Aren’t Returned
After debit cards containing Excluded Workers Fund payments were distributed statewide last fall, several excluded workers fell victim to card theft. Workers disputed the false charges, but many are seeing their contests denied. Documented spoke with three recipients who faced denials from Blackhawk, the company in charge of distributing the cards. In Stephanie’s case, Documented reviewed police records, transactions and audio conversations and confirmed that $14,176 was taken from her account. She called Blackhawk, and a supervisor told her that because of her card number, the company had evidence that no fraud was committed. Stephanie is still waiting to hear from a detective in her precinct, and for a new decision to be made to her appeal. Read more on Documented