A California mushroom grower’s facility began a campaign to vaccinate 1,000 farmworkers via mobile clinics on Sunday, "the first day that frontline workers in the agricultural industry [were] eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine in Santa Clara County," reports Michael Moore for The Morgan Hill Times.
In collaboration with Monterey Mushrooms, United Farm Workers and The UFW Foundation, organizers planned to vaccinate half of the farmers on Sunday and the other half this week. "Our goal in the county is to make sure everybody has access to vaccinations when they become eligible, and especially those who are working in sectors (and communities) that have been hardest hit by Covid," said County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "These mobile vaccination clinics that come to communities, that meet people where they work and live—this is how we will get ourselves out of this pandemic."
Per one of our infographics: Undocumented farmworkers make up 70% of the farming workforce and contribute $9 billion annually to the fruit and vegetable industry alone. As Hannah Miao at CNBC notes, a path to citizenship for this population is a part of Biden’s immigration bill that could potentially find bipartisan support.
Welcome to Monday’s edition of Noorani’s Notes. I’m Joanna Taylor, communications manager at the Forum and your guest host for the next few NN editions. If you have a story to share from your own community, please send it to me at email@example.com.
MORE ON VACCINATIONS — Another high-risk population facing vaccine rollout challenges: Those in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. "Advocates for immigrants say state and federal officials have waffled over who is responsible for vaccinating the roughly 1,500 detainees in the care of ICE," The Los Angeles Times' Andrea Castillo writes, leaving detainees wondering when — or if — they’ll get access. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Castillo notes, more than 9,500 detainees have tested positive for the virus and nine have died while detention centers "have struggled to cope at every stage since the pandemic broke out." FYI, in an interview with Univision’s Ilia Calderón last week, President Biden made it clear that undocumented immigrants should have access to the vaccine without fear of encountering ICE.
STIMULUS CHECKS — On Friday, Maryland lawmakers approved legislation to provide stimulus aid to low-income non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, reports Erin Cox of The Washington Post. A spokesman said the state’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, will let the bill become law. "This is saying to hard-working immigrants who pay taxes, who contribute to the fabric of our community — and certainly to the fabric of our economy — that they matter," said Cathryn Paul, research and policy analyst with the immigrant advocacy group CASA.
CROSSING A LINE — Public documents uncovered by Georgetown Law reveal that ICE officers "have tapped a private database containing hundreds of millions of phone, water, electricity and other utility records while pursuing immigration violations," Drew Harwell reports for The Washington Post. On Friday the House Committee on Oversight and Reform requested documents and other information from Thomson Reuters and Equifax executives on how ICE used Thomson Reuters’ CLEAR database in recent years. ICE’s use of CLEAR "is another example of how government agencies have exploited commercial sources to access information they are not authorized to compile on their own," Harwell writes. "There needs to be a line drawn in defense of people’s basic dignity," said Nina Wang, a policy associate Georgetown. "And when the fear of deportation could endanger their ability to access these basic services, that line is being crossed."
‘LIKE A LOTTERY’ — With the Biden administration’s asylum approach rapidly evolving as it dismantles Trump-era policies, life for those waiting in tent camps at the U.S.-Mexico border "is punctuated by sudden joy and sharp despair" as the fate of their cases remains unclear, Molly Hennessy-Fiske writes for the Los Angeles Times. Even as Biden rolls back Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" policy, making an estimated 25,000 asylum seekers eligible to enter the U.S., guidelines remain unclear. "It’s like a lottery," said Daniel, a former Salvadoran government worker who fled with his family following gang threats. "We don’t know what’s going to happen."
MILLER AND SALAZAR — A follow-up to last week's Stephen Miller exchange: Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Florida) elaborated on her conversation with the immigration hardliner for POLITICO’s Huddle newsletter. "I told him that the GOP needs to attract the browns ... Reagan was the last guy who gave a path to citizenship to 3 million people … 35 years ago. It’s time for us to do the same thing that Reagan did," Salazar said. She added that immigrants "want to live in dignity … And that is what we have to give them. That’s what I said to Stephen Miller in front of 20 to 30 members from his study group."
WAVE OF VIOLENCE — Hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked in New York and California, part of "a wave of racist violence and harassment since headlines about a virus from China began appearing in U.S. media a year ago," Marian Liu and Rachel Hatzipanagos write for The Washington Post. The incidents "have left Asian Americans feeling not only under attack but also largely alone in addressing neighborhood crime," with Liu and Hatzipanagos noting that crimes are likely underreported because victims from marginalized communities "can be reluctant to engage with police because of cultural differences, language barriers or distrust." (Something to consider for your lunch break today: reviewing active bystander guidance.)
Thanks for reading,