The fifth COVID-19 relief package seeks to include all immigrants in vital free testing and treatment, and other needed benefits
For Immediate Release
Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.810.0746
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion package to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This would be the fifth package in response to COVID-19. The introduction of the HEROES Act comes as Trump continues to lie about the availability of COVID-19 testing, and as unemployment for Black and brown people stands at 16% and 18% (respectively), over the national average of 14% – the highest since the Great Depression.
Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director of United We Dream, said:
“The HEROES Act takes into account the needs of immigrants, and while it could still go further to provide much-needed economic support for all people, it is imperative that the Senate maintain and pass the positive provisions in this bill. These provisions include health care and financial aid for all, as well as the extension of employment authorization for DACA and TPS holders and decreasing the number of people incarcerated in detention camps.
This pandemic is unprecedented, and yet the response from both the Trump administration and Congress has failed to meet the needs of the moment. People are in need of relief right now. Over 80,000 thousand people have died, and millions are currently unemployed and worried about how they’ll feed their families and pay their bills. While people continue to reckon with their new realities under COVID-19, immigrants and people of color are some of the communities hardest hit.
Prior COVID-19 relief packages that have passed into law have failed to provide vital free testing and treatment that is inclusive of undocumented people, while also leaving them and mixed status families out of needed cash assistance. The HEROES Act introduced today starts to rectify that wrong by making sure that undocumented people who are living without health care are able to seek free testing and treatment for COVID-19, as well as providing them some financial assistance.
This bill also seeks to extend employment authorization for DACA and TPS recipients, which is crucial especially as many are working as essential workers to keep us fed, safe, and healthy during this pandemic. In addition, it also calls for the release of some immigrants from detention centers where they are at higher risks of exposure and contagion because of inhuman conditions.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.