WASHINGTON – As national civil rights organizations, we know that everyone must be equitably included in the protections and support provided by the CARES Act if we are to slow the spread of coronavirus in our communities and revive our economy. Now more than ever, our fates are tied together. Unfortunately, the CARES Act passed one week ago fails to meet a simple moral test – that we protect the most vulnerable among us. In the United States, the most vulnerable disproportionately includes communities of color, yet this legislation fails to adequately safeguard communities of color. We are deeply disappointed and urge Congress and states to remedy this mistake in the next rounds of COVID-19 legislation.
The CARES Act passed by Congress fails to meet this test in part because it largely excludes immigrant and mixed-status families, including their U.S. citizen children, from Unemployment Insurance and direct stimulus payments. We believe that all workers must be eligible for rebates, including those who pay federal taxes with ITIN numbers provided by the IRS. We all have a stake in making sure immigrant workers who are on the front lines of producing and distributing food and caring for the sick, elderly, and disabled are able to stay safe.
We applaud the progress that was made last week to refocus the CARES Act on hospitals and working people, but our work is not finished until everyone is included. So we ask Congress to do the right and wise thing by enacting additional legislation to include all families, including those that happen to include an immigrant.
Advancement Project, National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and Unidos US are a collaborative of nine leading national Racial Equity Anchor Organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.