Alianza Americas and Over 100 Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Immigrants During a Pandemic
WASHINGTON – While the federal government continues to exclude immigrants in numerous ways from emergency COVID-19 relief, Alianza Americas and over 100 other organizations are urging members of Congress to extend vital health and aid resources to immigrants, many of whom are performing essential jobs and still feeling the negative economic repercussions of the pandemic. The group of organizations sent a letter to key members of Congress today expressing concern for the over 300,000 hard-working individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and their more than 250,000 U.S. born children, 700,000+ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, and an estimated 11 million hardworking immigrants excluded from the recently released bipartisan relief bill. “TPS holders, DACA recipients, and other immigrant groups are being shut out of relief programs despite their essential roles in society. They are working in critical sectors as farmworkers, supermarket clerks, health workers, construction sector workers, janitors, and truckers. They keep our economy running, yet they are not being protected or helped during this unprecedented outbreak. Thirty years ago, Congress created TPS and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. The COVID-19 pandemic marks another critical time in history that requires Congress to take leadership and bring security to the workers who are essential to our economy, both during and after the pandemic,” said Yanira Arias, National Campaigns Manager for Alianza Americas. “At any moment, court rulings could end the protections that many immigrant families depend on, and therefore undermine our nation’s resilience.” If TPS beneficiaries are excluded from the labor market due to the Trump Administration, the Center for American Progress estimates it will cost taxpayers over $3 billion dollars. They also estimate that removing these individuals from the workforce will result in over $45 billion in lost GDP over a decade and $6.9 billion in lost Social Security and Medicare contributions. Alianza Americas and the 107 endorsing organizations urge Congress to:
Increase access to public health resources for immigrant communities
Zero out additional funding for immigrant detention or ICE enforcement
Release all immigrants held by ICE who are at risk of contracting the virus
Ensure an immediate halt to deportations
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