NELP Urges Senate to Include All Immigrants in COVID Relief Package

Washington, D.C.—The following is a statement from Rebecca Dixon, executive director of the National Employment Law Project:

“After last night’s Senate vote on President Biden’s coronavirus relief package, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) urges members of the House and Senate to ensure that the package leaves behind no immigrants or immigrant families.

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“The coronavirus does not distinguish between immigrant and non-immigrant, nor does it care whether someone is documented or not. Millions of immigrants nationwide, both documented and undocumented, have disproportionately experienced the tragic consequences of this pandemic and our government’s inadequate response.

“Black and Latinx communities have seen higher COVID-19 hospitalization rates and deaths, higher job losses, higher rates of retaliation for seeking safe working conditions, and higher rates of food insecurity. Millions of immigrants across frontline industries have also been forced to risk their lives and the health of their communities to work during this crisis.

“Unfortunately, the Senate approved Senator Todd Young’s shameful amendment last night that seeks to exclude undocumented immigrants from economic stimulus payments. Past federal COVID-19 relief packages have also shamefully excluded millions of immigrants from both stimulus payments and urgent unemployment insurance support. We must do better. We are relieved that a last-minute substitute amendment offered by Senator Schumer nullified the Young amendment, but that doesn’t erase the disgraceful vote that happened on it in the first place.

“This country can and must deliver the bold and critical aid needed to every person who has faced loss and instability during this pandemic so that our country, as a whole, can recover.

“Congress still has an opportunity to show that every life is precious by adopting a relief package that will build a unified, strong recovery rather than a fragmented, exclusionary, racist, xenophobic, and ultimately ineffective one.”

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