LULAC Urges Congress To Pass The Heroes Act, Which Provides Overdue Protections For Vulnerable Communities Previously Left Out Of Relief Packages
Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Applauds House Leadership for Including Economic Relief and Protections For Immigrants Previously Left Out of COVID-19 Stimulus Package
Washington, D.C. - In continuing efforts to ensure protections and relief for workers and vulnerable communities, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is urging Members of Congress to support the next COVID-19 stimulus package, the HEROES Act. Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the latest coronavirus response bill which takes necessary steps to address the needs of immigrants, secure protections for vulnerable workers and includes important provisions to amend previous relief packages.
The HEROES Act recognizes the need for relief for our most vulnerable communities, including essential meatpacking plant workers, who remain at tremendous risk. LULAC calls on Congress to pass the legislation to address shortfalls of prior bills which excluded many vulnerable people from relief. These concerns are addressed in the HEROES Act, which would provide health care and financial support regardless of an individual’s immigration status. The bill also addresses the ongoing crisis in immigration detention centers, which LULAC previously called “death camps” given close quarters and significant risks posed to individuals who are pregnant, have underlying health conditions, are immunocompromised, or are over the age of 50.
Ahead of the upcoming vote, LULAC National President Domingo Garcia, issued the following statement:
“As Congress begins its last round of negotiations, humanity and compassion for hardworking families who are struggling during this global pandemic must be the top priority. Legislators have failed to prioritize relief for our communities. This bill goes a long way to address the urgent needs of Latinos nationwide, including workers who are essential to the food chain. We call on our leaders to come together and support the HEROES Act to ensure workers and families get the help they desperately need. It’s time for Congress to support those who are most vulnerable so we can overcome this economic and public health crisis together.”
LULAC National CEO Sindy Benavides issued the following statement:
“The HEROES Act provides much needed relief in the areas of education and public health, and helps ensure vulnerable essential workers, particularly immigrant workers, are protected. Over the last two months, we’ve seen this global pandemic hurt low-income and immigrant workers the most, yet these are the same workers that are keeping our country going in this unprecedented time. The House and Senate must work together to pass this bill. As Americans, we need to take care of our entire society, especially the vulnerable workers who take care of all of us everyday.”
Among its notable provisions, the HEROES Act:
- Provides nearly $60 billion to K-12 school districts to help them address the coronavirus pandemic;
- Ensures broader access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and health care, regardless of immigration status;
- Includes an emergency broadband benefit, available to current Lifeline program participants as well as people who have lost their jobs or lost income due to the current crisis;
- Includes measures that ensure that DACA, TPS, and essential workers can continue working in vital roles on the frontlines of COVID-19 response;
- Recognizes that taxpaying families that include both U.S. citizens and non-citizens should be eligible for inclusion in direct relief and recovery efforts;
- Allocates $3.6 billion to protect federal elections and make it possible for every eligible voter to cast a ballot and have it counted;
- Makes immediate fixes to strengthen the PPP and shore up funding for the depleted grant program;
- Increases protections for workers in food-related and other essential industries.
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/