Congress’ third bill responding to the impacts of COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was a necessary but incomplete step forward in the fight to ensure the needs of children and families are met in the midst of this pandemic. At a time when we are witnessing just how connected and interdependent our collective health, safety and well-being are as a nation, the bill was silent on relief for immigrant families. Moving forward, Congress must swiftly correct its exclusion of immigrant families.
We’re all in this together. How deeply our nation hurts and how quickly we recover will depend a lot on how our policymakers treat our immigrant families. Families must not be dissuaded or chilled from seeking health care or other critical services, and support measures must recognize the vital role immigrants play in our communities and broader economy.
According to a new report by the Migration Policy Institute, roughly 6 million immigrant workers are at the frontlines of the crisis; keeping all of us healthy, fed and cared for in health care, retail, manufacturing and other essential industries. Immigrants are also disproportionately represented in industries hard-hit economically by the pandemic yet are restricted from accessing key safety net services, the report found. This means whole recovery from this crisis must necessarily be inclusive recovery.
Congress must take up another bill that provides relief and access to services for all families—regardless of immigration status.
To learn more about CDF’s viewpoints and analysis on how the coronavirus is impacting children and youth, click here.