Nebraska governor says undocumented workers will not be eligible to receive COVID vaccines


Undocumented immigrants in Nebraska will not be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, Governor Pete Ricketts announced Monday. Ricketts, the son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, was asked at a press conference if undocumented persons would be included when vaccines become available to meatpacking plant workers. 

'Illegal immigrants are not permitted to work in those facilities, so I don't think that will be a problem,' the governor replied without further explanation.

In reality the issue is much more complicated, as undocumented workers make up a large section of Nebraska's meatpacking industry - which is the largest in the US with roughly 26,600 workers in total. According to recent data from the Migration Policy Institute, some 66 percent of the state's meatpacking workers are immigrants, and varying estimates suggest that anywhere between 14 percent to almost all of them are undocumented. Throughout the pandemic meatpacking plants have served as major hotspots for virus transmission, as workers spend hours standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the line and crowd into locker rooms to change their clothes before and after shifts. 


Publication: Daily Mail
Writer: Megan Sheets