Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Support Immigrant Families During COVID-19 Crisis

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined over 100 other organizations in issuing a letter to Congress calling for the inclusion of aid for immigrant families, including the undocumented, in the next federal stimulus package during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Read the statement as a pdf

April 21, 2020

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Minority Leader McCarthy, Minority Whip Scalise, Leader McConnell, Minority Schumer, Majority Whip Thune and Minority Whip Durbin:

We appreciate that Congress has taken swift measures aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the current COVID-19 global health pandemic on American households. Millions of families, individuals, and small businesses remain at risk and urgently require support in this difficult time.

We write out of concern for the more than 300,000 individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the 700,000+ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, their families and the estimated 500,000 U.S. born children with parents in both programs, as well as the 11 Million hardworking undocumented immigrants who were excluded from the recent bipartisan relief bill.

This extraordinary moment in history requires that we show our greatest level of humanity. As a nation we must recognize and protect immigrants whose labor and sacrifices are an essential part of the U.S. economic engine. This is happening at a moment in U.S. history when immigrants are working in critical sectors—as farmworkers, supermarket clerks, health workers, construction sector workers, janitors, truckers, and others—keeping U.S. households safe, and the economy going. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), workers in all these essential categories are needed to “maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.”

Any minute now, court rulings could end the protections that many of these families depend on, and therefore undermine our nation’s resiliency. TPS holders for example, have lived in the United States for an average of 22 years. They are just some of the immigrant essential workers who risk their lives to keep us safe, but their largely invisible plight serves as an example of the broader inequities and injustices that plague U.S. immigration policy.

We urge you to protect ALL workers and families without exception through the next round of relief measures. The inclusion of immigrants, is not only the just response, but also critical to “bending the curve” of this pandemic and to the economic recovery of cities, states and the nation.

We call on your leadership, to guarantee:

1. Protection for TPS, DACA beneficiaries, and the greater undocumented immigrant population in the form of work authorizations and a pathway to permanent residency;
2. Access to public health resources for immigrant communities in response to the current COVID-19 global health pandemic
3. Zero funding for immigrant detention and sweeping ICE enforcement
4. Release of all immigrants held by ICE in U.S. detention centers at risk of contracting COVID-19
5. Immediate halt to deportations

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to simply do what is right. This moment calls for us to step up to the challenge and “bend the curve” on the exclusion and suffering of the immigrant community. As we fight the pandemic impacting lives across the world, we can emerge stronger only if we pull together and include everyone. Our essential workers, all of them, must be treated as the pillars of our society that they are.

Sincerely,

Alianza Americas and the following 107 endorsing organizations

Alianza Americas Member Organization Sign-ons:

1. Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ)
2. Asociación de Salvadoreños en Los Ángeles (ASOSAL)
3. Cambiando Vidas
4. Casa de la Cultura El Salvador
5. Casa Mary Johanna
6. Casa Yurumein
7. Central American Resource Center - DC
8. Central American Resource Center - LA
9. Central American Resource Center - San Francisco
10. Central American Resource Center Houston (CRECEN) - Houston
11. Center for Immigrant Progress/ Centro para el Progreso Inmigrante
12. Centro Presente
13. Centro Romero
14. Centro San Bonifacio Chicago
15. Chelsea Human Services Collaborative, Inc.
16. Club Nueva Visión de Cheranastico
17. Club San Juanico
18. Club Taji Hidalgo
19. Colectivo de Mujeres Trasnacionales
20. Comunidad Garífuna Guatemalteca (COMGARIGUA)
21. Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Acción Latina (COPAL)
22. Dominican Development Center
23. Durango Unido
24. Familias Unidas en Acción
25. Federación de Clubes Michoacanos, Casa Michoacán
26. Federacion Oaxaqueña del Medio Oeste
27. Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
28. HAUP, Inc.
29. Hondureños Contra el SIDA
30. Latino Commission on AIDS
31. Latino Policy Forum - Chicago, IL
32. LILA Latinx LGBTQ Initiative
33. Latinos Progresando
34. Living Hope Wheelchair Association
35. Lower Columbia Hispanic Council
36. Organización Negra Centroamericana, (ONECA)
37. Red de Pueblos Transnacionales
38. Red Mexicana de Lideres y Organizaciones Migrantes
39. Rural Women's Health Project
40. Strangers No Longer
41. Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep)
42. Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)
43. United for a Fair Economy (UFE)
44. Viento del Espiritu/Wind of the Spirit
45. WeCount!
46. Welcome Immigrant Network, Salem, MA
47. Women Working Together U.S.A.
Additional Organizational Sign-ons:
1. African Communities Together
2. Amend Law LLC
3. American Friends Service Committee
4. Americans for Immigrant Justice
5. America’s Voice
6. CAIR-Minnesota
7. CASA
8. Center for Popular Democracy
9. Central American Legal Assistance
10. Centro Comunitario CEUS
11. Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America – CRLN
12. Community Justice Exchange
13. Church World Service
14. CT Students for a DREAM
15. Doctors for America, Immigrant Health Working Group
16. East Bay TPS Committee
17. Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
18. Family Action Network Movement
19. First Friends of NJ & NY
20. Global Exchange
21. Haitian Bridge Alliance
22. Heartfelt Tidbits, Inc.
23. Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
24. Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
25. Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic, CUNY School of Law
26. Immigration Advocates Network
27. Innovation Law Lab
28. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
29. Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
30. Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants
31. LULAC Ohio (League of United Latin American Citizens)
32. Mano Amiga
33. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
34. Missionary Oblates
35. Movement for Justice in El Barrio
36. National Immigration Law Center
37. National Council of Jewish Women
38. National Immigrant Justice Center
39. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
40. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
41. Network in Solidarity with the People of Nicaragua (NISGUA)
42. New Sanctuary Coalition
43. New Hampshire-Vermont Guatemala Accompaniment Project
44. Oxfam America
45. Pax Christi New Jersey
46. Poder Latinx
47. Presente.Org
48. Quixote Center
49. Rian Immigrant Center
50. Reformed Church of Highland Park
51. Salvadoran Cultural Institute
52. SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network)
53. Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team
54. Syrian Community Network
55. The Advocates for Human Rights
56. Transformations CDC
57. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
58. United We Dream
59. UnLocal, Inc
60. Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

 

Photo courtesy of Joseph Voves on Flickr.