Dear Members of Congress:
Immigrants make up 16% of healthcare workers, 26% of home health care workers for the elderly, and 23% of the workers in disinfection in the U.S. and are putting their lives on the line to fight COVID. I am writing to ask you to take action NOW to support immigrant families as part of the next COVID-19 relief package. This pandemic has highlighted the role that immigrant health care and essential workers play alongside their native-born colleagues on the front lines of this fight and how much the health of our nation depends on the contributions of these workers. Moreover, effective public health responses require attention to all community members, as a pandemic response that excludes any members of our communities will weaken its effectiveness. None of us can be healthy if any one of us is denied access to testing, care, and economic relief. In the next COVID relief bill, we ask that you support the following actions to support immigrant families:
- Provide no-cost testing, treatment, and vaccines for all low income immigrants through Medicaid.
- Include immigrants and their citizen family members in the stimulus.
- Extend work permits for individuals with DACA or Temporary Protected Status.
- Release immigrant children and their families from detention together and ensure access to phones, sanitary conditions, and quality medical care for anyone in detention.
- Extend eligibility for emergency relief grants to students regardless of immigration status.
- Do not permit transfer of funds for immigration enforcement and do not include supplemental funding for ICE or CBP in COVID relief legislation.
Immigrants are putting their lives on the line to keep our health care system and our economy going, and are essential to America’s recovery. Let’s make sure to include immigrants in the next COVID relief legislation!