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COVID-19

Letter to Congress: Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act

By April 13, 2020 No Comments

See below the letter that NAKASEC & Affiliates sent to Congress on April 13! We encourage everyone to send similar letters to their Members of Congress!

 

Dear Representative or Senator,

 

On behalf of National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Hana Center (IL), NAKASEC VA (VA), and Woori Center (PA), we urge you to act as a champion for immigrant communities in these trying times. Our key priorities remain the inclusion of provisions that were left out of previous bills, including (1) expanding access to free testing and treatment for all, regardless of immigration status, through emergency Medicaid, and (2) providing cash payments for all, including those who file taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).  NAKASEC is a signatory along with 340+ organizations to these immigration-related priorities, which also include: automatic work authorization renewals; restrictions on immigration detention and enforcement; no additional money for ICE and CBP; restrictions on diverting funds for border wall construction; language access provisions; and halting the implementation of new public charge rules.

 

Above all, your office can demonstrate leadership and solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and immigrant communities by taking the following steps:

      1. Cosponsoring Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act (H.R. 6437, sponsored by Sens. Hirono, Harris, Reps. Chu, Grijalva, and Correa) & Signing Sen. Hirono and Rep. Chu’s Letter in support of immigrant families – which includes all of our immigration-related priorities
      2. Attending the Defund Hate Congressional Zoom Briefing on Divesting from Detention and Deportation & Investing in Immigrant Inclusion on  Thursday, April 16th 2:30pm ET (Register for Zoom Briefing here.) 
      3. Signing Senator Durbin’s Letter to Trump Calling for Auto-Extensions of EADs for DACA, TPS, and Other Immigrants
      4. Cosponsoring Dignity for Immigrants in a National Health Crisis Act (sponsored by Sen. Booker & Rep. Jayapal) 

 

    1. Cosponsoring Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act (H.R. 6437, sponsored by Sens. Hirono, Harris, Reps. Chu, Grijalva, and Correa) & Signing Sen. Hirono and Rep. Chu’s Letter in support of immigrant families

Many immigrants are on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as health care workers, farmworkers, grocery store workers, and other essential service providers. The legislation and letter highlights the need to ensure that critical coronavirus testing and medical care and economic lifelines are accessible by all communities, regardless of limited English proficiency or immigration status. The letter also requests that the next coronavirus relief package enable immigrant families to maintain their work authorization, access coronavirus cash assistance, and obtain relief from immigration policies that discourage them from seeking medical care. To ensure that coronavirus medical care and relief benefits are accessible by hard-to-reach populations, the letter further requests robust funding for government agencies and community-based organizations to provide information about coronavirus services in the languages described as most encountered in the 2016 FEMA Language Access Plan.

 

    1. Attending the Defund Hate Congressional Zoom Briefing on Divesting from Detention and Deportation & Investing in Immigrant Inclusion on  Thursday, April 16th 2:30pm ET (Register for Zoom Briefing here.)

The COVID19 pandemic has taken its toll on Black and brown communities throughout the U.S., and while Congress has passed stimulus packages to address the crisis, immigrants have been excluded from key benefits and protections. Please join the Defund Hate coalition for a telephonic briefing to learn about our coalition’s recommendations for Members of Congress to prioritize immigrants’ health, economic safety, and protections from deportation in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. We will highlight ways your boss can engage in our continued work to divest from ICE and CBP and what they can do to advocate for the  decarceration of individuals in immigration jails to protect them from contracting COVID-19 in facilities that have historically been riddled with medical neglect. Our collective public health should be the goal of any congressional negotiations during this crisis.

 

    1. Signing Senator Durbin’s Letter to Trump Calling for Auto-Extensions of EADs for DACA, TPS, and Other Immigrants

As our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, this letter urges your Administration to automatically extend work authorizations for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and other impacted immigrants.  This simple measure, which is well within executive authority, will save American lives and avoid further disruptions to our economy.  By contrast, going ahead with the Administration’s efforts to deport more than a million DACA and TPS recipients would be needlessly cruel and greatly weaken our nation’s essential workforce. The letter urges the Administration to prioritize our nation’s health, safety, and economic wellbeing as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

    1. Cosponsoring Dignity for Immigrants in a National Health Crisis Act (sponsored by Sen. Booker & Rep. Jayapal)

This legislation would, in light of a National Emergency related to a communicable disease, provide for the immediate release of more vulnerable individuals in ICE custody, limit interior enforcement by reducing in-person reporting requirements, prohibit enforcement at hospitals and healthcare, ensure access to hygiene products in detention, and ensure that individuals are not re detained solely as a result of the end of an emergency. 

If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that all individuals, families, and communities are interdependent and connected. Our collective health, social, and financial welfare demands full inclusion of all individuals living and interacting in this country. We demand that no one be left out from access to testing, treatment, and socioeconomic relief, regardless of immigration status. Your ongoing leadership is exigent in ensuring the inclusion of the most impacted and vulnerable populations in all emergency relief legislation.

 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Michelle Liang, NAKASEC Policy & Communications Associate, at michelle@nakasec.org.

 

Sincerely,

Michelle Liang 

Policy & Communications Associate

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)