In this file:
· Ricketts: Only documented workers will get vaccine
· Mexican President Offers to Vaccinate Unlawful Migrants in U.S.
Ricketts: Only documented workers will get vaccine
By Tara Campbell, WOWT Omaha (NE)
Jan. 5, 2021
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Gov. Pete Ricketts made it clear that only documented workers will get the COVID vaccine inside these meatpacking plants.
“If you’re working in the plants you’re supposed to be here legally,” Ricketts said during his news conference on Monday. “So to get the vaccination you gotta be working here legally to be a part of the food-processing program, so there’s not going to be a conflict here.”
The governor’s office said meat-processing companies take measures to verify the legal status of their workers. But those on the ground say there are plenty of undocumented meat processing employees. According to recent data from the Migration Policy Institute, at least 14% of meat-packing plant employees are undocumented.
“I’ve been involved in the meat-packing plants for probably 30 years, and there is absolutely undocumented workers working in all the plants. The statement that there are not is patently false,” said Eric Reeder, president of UFCW Local 293.
The union warns the best way to make sure these plants keep up and running is to make sure everyone is vaccinated.
“This isn’t political,” Reeder said. “This is simply a virus that if you don’t put a stop to it or try to make these plants safer you’re not going to keep up with the demand we already have. So if you want to keep them working, you have to keep them as safe as possible.”
Experts weighed in, saying the more people who get the vaccine, the better...
more, including video report [1:53 min.]
Mexican President Offers to Vaccinate Unlawful Migrants in U.S.
By David Alire Garcia, Reuters, Wire Service Content
via U.S. News & World Report - Jan. 6, 2021
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's president said on Wednesday he was ready to provide coronavirus vaccines to undocumented migrants in the United States, after the governor of the U.S. state of Nebraska said they would likely not get vaccinated due to immigration status.
"It's a universal right. We would do it," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a regular government news conference when asked if Mexico would vaccinate undocumented migrants in the United States, many of which are Mexican nationals.
He did not elaborate on how his government would execute such a plan, or which migrants would qualify.
The comments on Tuesday about workers at Nebraska's meat-packing plants by state governor Pete Ricketts, a member of President Donald Trump's Republican party, had provoked criticism from public health and migrant advocates.
"You're supposed to be a legal resident of the country to be able to be working in those plants, so I do not expect that illegal immigrants will be part of that vaccine with that program," Ricketts told a coronavirus briefing.
The Washington-based Migration Policy Institute estimates 14% of Nebraska's meat-packing workers lack legal immigration status.
Widespread COVID-19 outbreaks occurred at meat-packing plants in the United States in the spring, helping spread the virus around rural America where plants are concentrated.
Roberto Velasco, a senior Mexican diplomat for North America, responded to Ricketts on Tuesday night.
"To deprive undocumented essential workers of #covid19 vaccination goes against basic human rights," he wrote on Twitter, including Ricketts' Twitter handle and citing text from the U.N.'s declaration of human rights.
Among critics of Ricketts' statement was U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leader of pro-migrant progressives in the Democratic party of President-elect Joe Biden.
"Imagine being so racist that you go out of your way to ensure that the people who prepare *your* food are unvaccinated," she wrote on Twitter...