FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 13, 2020
Contact: Domenica Ghanem, [email protected], 202-339-9310
Immigrant Rights and Progressive Organizations Send a Message to the Trump Administration and all levels of government: The Safety and Health of ALL, Regardless of Immigration Status, Must be Priority in Coronavirus Response
Washington, DC — A coalition of immigrant rights and progressive groups, Community Change Action, United We Dream Action, FIRM Action, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, and National Immigration Justice Center, came together to demand that the health and safety of every person in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, be prioritized over this administration’s xenophobic, white supremacist agenda. Together, the coalition is demanding:
- Suspension of ALL immigration enforcement activities and operations immediately.
- Free COVID-19 testing, treatment and services for ALL, regardless of immigration status.
- Guaranteed safe conditions and healthcare, testing and support to those in detention and prisons.
A full list of our demands, and a petition to President Trump, can be found here.
“The gross negligence of this administration’s handling of the health crisis is putting families and communities in danger,” said Community Change Action President Lorella Praeli. “In an effort to exonerate his administration from any responsibility for the crisis, Trump is scapegoating immigrants in a global pandemic. Instead of working to ensure everyone has access to paid time off and healthcare, Trump is playing fast and loose with the facts and blaming immigrants. As the country moves to respond rapidly, those who are especially vulnerable because of their immigration status should not have to make a choice between their health and their safety. We must act swiftly to protect every member of our community, and that starts by bringing the enforcement machinery to a halt, and ensuring everyone has access to the medical care they need.”
“Our communities are in danger because of this administration’s failed response to this public health crisis. We cannot allow attacks on immigrants and people of color to continue from Trump and his deportation force of ICE and CBP,” said United We Dream Action Executive Director Cristina Jimenez. “Imagine feeling sick during this epidemic and asking for help, knowing full well that it might mean a hefty bill from the hospital. You make that decision so you can protect your loved ones and community members from getting sick too, but when you get to the hospital you encounter ICE agents looking to detain and deport you. This is the cruel reality for many undocumented immigrants in this moment and we are committed to ensuring immigrants receive the support and protection all human beings deserve.”
“At a time when we need reasoned, thoughtful leadership to address a public health crisis, we instead get a desperate, confusing grab out of the anti-immigrant toolbox,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and one of FIRM’s co-chairs. “A European Ban, following on the heels of an African Ban and the Muslim Ban, makes clear that the Trump administration only has one remedy to any national concern real or imagined—foment fear by attacking immigrants rather than forging honest solutions like more COVID-19 test kits, at a minimum. Now, more than ever, New Yorkers must stand united against fear and xenophobia and our elected officials must stand ready to ensure every New Yorker across the state can access the health services they need to keep their families safe and secure, regardless of legal status or health insurance.”
Community Change Action is a national social justice organization that builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives.
FIRM Action is the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, with grassroots organizations in 35 states fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level.
United We Dream Action is the leading national network fighting for dignity and justice led by immigrant youth and allies. We are a dynamic community of thousands of immigrant youth nationwide who build independent political power for those directly impacted by injustice. We organize and take action to win victories so that all people can be safe and thrive. You can find more about United We Dream Action online at www.unitedwedreamaction.org.