Salas Covid Q1

Published by Paola Avendano on

Congress has passed three major relief packages to help us emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, and another half-trillion-dollar measure appears close to a vote. Meanwhile, immigrant workers, including the undocumented, show up every day for their shifts in ICUs, long-term care centers, grocery stores, office buildings and warehouses, battling COVID-19 to allow the rest of us to flatten the curve by sheltering in place.

With California’s Employment Development Department fielding a 363 percent spike in unemployment claims last week, workers clearly are hurting. Undocumented workers don’t qualify for unemployment, and they so far remain excluded from federal relief packages. Mixed status households that filed taxes with one non-resident filer also did not qualify for help under the federal policies. The federal government is also not paying for the testing and treatment of undocumented immigrants and so states like California are prioritizing health and stopping COVID-19 and paying for this necessary action to safeguard lives.