Washington, D.C. – In a newly unveiled emergency COVID-19 relief bill, President-elect Biden pledged to provide access to vaccines free-of-charge and without cost-sharing to everyone in the U.S., regardless of immigration status. There is no time to waste in ensuring all immigrants are included in a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, especially as the U.S. surpasses 386,000 COVID-19 deaths and recently reported its single-worst daily death toll last week with over 4,000 deaths.
Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, State and Local Policy Manager of United We Dream, said:
“Since the pandemic began, Black, brown, native and immigrant communities have disproportionately suffered the deadly consequences of Trump’s failed response to this virus. President-elect Biden’s plan to provide cost-free vaccine access to everyone, regardless of their immigration status, is a necessary first-step in ensuring our collective recovery. Still, there is more to be done.
In order to recover from this virus, it is critical that President-elect Biden include undocumented immigrants in all aspects of his relief plan, from ensuring a pathway to citizenship to providing financial relief. Mixed-status households were only recently included in $600 financial relief. Meanwhile, 5.2 million undocumented immigrants, who are working frontline jobs in health care and food industries, continue to be excluded. Immigrants have been helping to keep us fed, safe, and healthy throughout this pandemic, yet remain among the most vulnerable and lack certain protections. In order for us to fully recover, we must prioritize permanent relief for immigrants in any and all federal relief.
Congress must immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill that includes all immigrants and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have risked their lives in essential jobs to feed and care for everyone else in this country.”