LULAC Calls For Immediate Government Assistance For Latino Communities Impacted By The Coronavirus Pandemic
Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Urges Federal Government to Provide Immediate Assistance to Low-Income and Working-Class Latinos Devastated by the Global Pandemic
Washington, DC - Today, the League of United Latin American (LULAC) issued a statement urging the federal government to ensure that the interests of Latinos are represented in all emergency relief aid being negotiated.
LULAC President Domingo Garcia issued the following statement:
“This is a defining moment in our history that will test who and what America stands for. LULAC knows that Latino communities and all communities of color in the U.S. are being affected more than others by the spread of coronavirus. How the government responds will impact all of us for a long time. The local, state, and federal government should not use the immigration status of people against them, especially with respect to those seeking healthcare services and government assistance.
LULAC stands by our call to ensure that Latinos are able to access emergency paid sick leave, expanded unemployment insurance and food security programs.
When Latino businesses close down it impacts the American economy. In the last decade, U.S. Latino-owned companies generated $470 billion in revenue and created 3.2 million jobs. Our businesses are struggling to stay afloat. The American economy will suffer if Latino owned businesses suffer, many of which are small and medium sized, are left without the same benefits corporations are poised to receive from a stimulus package. These businesses need a stimulus that eases the short-term burden so they can continue to support their families and keep their businesses afloat.
We must think about protecting workers in the service industry who earn minimum wage and face the difficult decision between risking catching the virus at work with no insurance or staying home with no pay. This is not a choice that families should have to make. There must be emergency aid to help with the education, childcare, and school meal programs that many of our families need daily. The impact on students who depend on a free or reduced-price school lunch is stark – we know that nearly 2 out 3 Latino children qualify for these programs. Latino families depend on these school meals to feed their families.
We are pleased to see that ICE recently announced that they will scale back enforcement efforts in the U.S. and will not carry out operations at or near health care facilities. ICE should most certainly suspend raids, family separations, end the deportation of DACA recipients, and halt immigration hearings immediately.
Those locked behind bars and in cages by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) face great danger at this time. These detention centers are death camps where the spread of the disease is severe and can easily get out of control. As such, we are calling on ICE to release non-violent detainees older than 50, those who are pregnant, or have underlying conditions such as a weakened immune system or heart or lung disease, on parole.
We can’t wait to take action. Low-income and the working-class communities need help immediately. LULAC is here to protect the interest of the Latino community and we will continue the fight for our families and every Latino across the country. “
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/