Skip to main content
COVID-19Press Release

We demand that Congress include immigrants in COVID-19 Emergency Legislation 

By March 23, 2020March 24th, 2020No Comments


March 23, 2020



We demand that Congress include immigrants in COVID-19 Emergency Legislation 

This emergency legislation has potential to provide relief to millions of individuals in this country but currently leaves out undocumented folx from proposed “relief to everybody” and most benefits wealthy corporations. 


Chicago, IL –  The U.S. Senate is currently wrapped in ongoing and contentious negotiations regarding the COVID-19 phase 3 emergency legislation that they had originally planned to finish last Friday. The emergency legislation has the potential to provide socioeconomic relief to millions of individuals in this country, but so far, the legislation most benefits wealthy corporations. Anti-immigrant congressional leaders are attempting to exclude our undocumented communities, families  and low-wage workers- those who need it the most- from access to socioeconomic relief, testing, and treatment.


Furthermore, the emergency legislation passed last week, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provides access to testing and treatment for only a certain subset of immigrants. It excludes DACAmented individuals, most lawful permanent residents during their first five years in that status, survivors of crime granted U visas, people from certain Pacific Island nations, people with TPS, and those without status, all of whom are ineligible for federal Medicaid.


As this pandemic has demonstrated to all of us, individuals, communities, and families are interdependent and connected. Our collective health, social, and financial welfare demands full inclusion of all individuals living and interacting in this country. No one should be left out from access to testing, treatment, and socioeconomic relief, regardless of immigration status. Legislation must: 1) extend work authorization for DACA and TPS recipients whose work authorizations expire within the next year, 2) revise “Emergency Medicaid for Suspected COVID-19 Infections” to include ALL undocumented immigrants, 3) ensure that all persons who file taxes with a Social Security Number (SSN) OR individual taxpayer number can apply for the rebate, and 4) NOT provide Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with arbitrary authority to outline temporary exemptions for school districts from disability discrimination prohibitions.


Now more than ever, it is important to act together and not leave any community behind in a crisis that only exacerbates socioeconomic structures of inequality. We are witnessing great acts of heroism across the country in response to this crisis, from our health care providers putting their own lives on the line to neighbors assisting the elderly to donations to support families in need.  We need our Congress to put aside partisanship and also act with heroism in this moment.



For NAKASEC photos and video, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@nakasec) 

Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice.