Since this pandemic began, California’s undocumented workers have been left to survive on their own. They have served on the frontlines as essential workers – from the fields in the Central Valley to the corridors of our hospitals in LA.
In fact, two in three undocumented workers that file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN) work in an industry deemed essential. Yet, they struggle to cover the cost of basic living necessities. In a time of great need, politicians in Washington D.C. turned their backs on these workers and their children by excluding them from federal relief dollars.
Today, California’s leaders have heeded the call to action to correct this injustice. Governor Newsom has signed a $7.6 billion comprehensive relief package that will bring much needed aid to families across California. The Golden State Stimulus will provide relief to the most vulnerable families, including undocumented workers. Those eligible will claim as much as $1,200. The Stimulus Package also includes more than $2 billion in grants for struggling small businesses – many of which are owned by Latinos.
This is what it means when we say, ‘we are in this together‘. The pandemic has reminded us of our inter-dependability as human beings. We must continue to lead with moral clarity – and plan to emerge stronger from this crisis than when it started.
Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO Latino Community Foundation