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NEW BEDFORD — During COVID-19, Magdalena remained working as an “essential” employee in the New Bedford fish factories, because the businesses were producing food for households around the country.

However, as noted in Essential But Excluded, a Marshall Project report published by The New Bedford Light in February, many immigrants working essential jobs in New Bedford were excluded when the population received federal and state compensation.

Recently, both Magdalena and thousands of workers previously excluded from pandemic relief funding are receiving checks for $500 from the state of Massachusetts in recognition of their work.