Hispanic advocacy organization launches campaign to include immigrants in pandemic relief

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Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents in the Bronx, New York on March 24.

A top Hispanic political advocacy organization launched a campaign on Tuesday to push congressional leaders to include immigrants in coronavirus relief efforts, including health care and economic provisions.

UnidosUS Action Fund, the political advocacy sister organization of the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights group, UnidosUS, specifically targeted Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with its campaign.

“The novel coronavirus does not care about a person’s immigration status, economic status or access to health care,” said Orson Aguilar, executive director of UnidosUS Action Fund.

“Our response to the pandemic shouldn’t either. Immigrants, as well as all taxpayers, must have access to health care treatment and services, including testing and treatment for COVID-19, without fear of bankruptcy, deportation or any other consequences,” he added.

The campaign includes a short video highlighting the immigrant workers in essential tasks, such as health care and the food industry, who may not be eligible for benefits under the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package signed into law by President Trump last month.

The package excludes undocumented immigrants, including those who have filed and paid taxes under a federally-granted taxpayer identification number, from receiving any benefits.

It also excluded provisions to extend immigration benefits for foreign nationals who are unable to renew their visas or permits during the pandemic.

“Despite a long history of inequity in the United States, immigrants will rise to the challenge before us and — at great risk to themselves and their families — contribute to the healing and recovery of the country. Certainly, they deserve fairness and equity,” said Aguilar.

Tags Chuck Schumer Coronavirus Donald Trump immigrants Immigrants Rights Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi

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