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ICIRR Unveils Advocacy Platform for COVID Crisis and Beyond

ICIRR Unveils Advocacy Platform for COVID Crisis and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic put the systemic failures of our health care, labor, economic and public safety infrastructure on full display.  Although these failures have harmed immigrants and communities of color long before this crisis, they have never been as apparent as today.  As our nation faces the coronavirus pandemic, ICIRR calls for urgent federal, state and local action to expand healthcare capacity and coverage, make free COVID testing broadly available, and assist families who have lost their employment and income or face additional care responsibilities.

Today ICIRR and its members are releasing a comprehensive COVID-19 platform, “Everybody In: A People’s Platform for Relief, Recovery and Transformation.” This platform demands action on four pillars to address immediate needs while bringing about transformational solutions to permanently address the failures that this crisis has laid bare:

          1. Health access for all

          2. Economic security for all

          3. Ensure the safety of all persons in detention and incarceration, and

          4. Keep all people away from harm and away from ICE.

We launch this platform as Congress is considering its third and biggest COVID-19 response package.  ICIRR is deeply disappointed that this legislation excludes millions of Americans who are immigrants or in immigrant-led households.  Many immigrant workers and families will not qualify for the tax rebates, expanded unemployment insurance, and other supports provided by the legislation. And many immigrants will continue to be excluded from free COVID-19 testing.

Viruses do not discriminate based on immigration status, so legislative solutions shouldn’t either. All Americans, whether born in the US or abroad, are vulnerable. And all Americans are being affected by illnesses in their community as well as the economic impact of the public safety measures being implemented to combat the virus. Indeed, our nation is relying heavily on immigrant workers throughout this crisis, as healthcare providers, caregivers, and workers in the supply chain for food, medical equipment, and other vital supplies.  Everyone has the right to recovery. Therefore it is deplorable that this legislation excludes this large and key sector of our country's population.

ICIRR will continue to push our federal, state and local government to fully include all Americans regardless of status in coronavirus-related relief legislation and programming. We will educate our communities about the resources currently available during the crisis.  We will continue to urge our state and local officials to fill in the gaps left behind by the federal legislation to ensure that all Illinoisans are protected. And we will use this opportunity to continue to organize and build power to address our deeper societal issues and move toward greater equity for all.

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