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TODAY! Call your Congressperson asking to include ALL working people in the coronavirus legislation

Updated: Apr 9, 2020




"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)

Dear Betty,

Thank you for everything you did to demand that Congress prioritize hospitals and working people in the coronavirus legislation. Despite many positive elements, the bill passed by the Senate is inconsistent with our faith values and common sense, because it excludes immigrant and mixed-status families from the protection offered by the CARES Act.

We are urging the House to fix this flaw before it sends the bill to the President, so our work is not finished! Black and Brown families are already bearing the greatest burden of job losses and health risks. Our response to the pandemic must bring us closer to God’s vision of unity and justice not sow seeds of division and exclusion.

A key part of the CARES Act provides direct payments of $1,200 to individuals, $2,400 to couples + $500 per child to individuals earning less than $75,000 and families earning less than $150,000. Unfortunately, the legislation passed by the Senate specifically excludes families in which anyone pays federal taxes with an ITIN number provided by the IRS.

It is wrong and shortsighted to leave any working families unprotected and unsupported. Now more than ever our fates are tied together. Immigrant workers on the front line of producing and distributing food and caring for the sick, elderly and disabled need to be able to stay safe.

So we’re asking you to make another phone call, to your U.S. Representative, urging them to fix the CARES Act to protect all working families, including those who pay federal taxes with ITIN numbers. Call 1-844-332-6361 to be connected to your Congressperson.

Below is a quick analysis of the legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday night. We’re working on a more detailed explanation of what the different provisions mean for vulnerable people and communities.

Thank you again for all of your efforts to slow the spread of the virus and help our communities recover together.







CARES ACT ANALYSIS

This is a quick analysis of the disaster assistance legislation passed by the Senate. The House still needs to approve the legislation and there is a good chance that there will be 1 or 2 more stimulus bills in the coming weeks. As you can see below, the work of our movement made this bill more equitable, but it still leaves big holes, especially for immigrant families.

Funding

- $100 billion for hospitals, but with discretion to the Trump Administration on how this funding is allocated (estimated to be $55 billion above the original GOP plan)

- $150 billion for states and cities ($8 billion set aide for cities)

- $30 billion for schools and other education institutions

- $400 million for elections (1/5th of the $2 billion that advocates pressed for)

- $25 billion for food assistance, including nearly $16 billion for SNAP and nearly $9 billion for child nutrition (much less than the Democrats wanted, and likely to be the focus of the next bill)

- $200 million in food assistance for Puerto Rico, which is also included in $3 billion fund that includes territories and DC, and Puerto Rican residents are eligible for tax rebates

- $350 million for “Migration and Refugee Assistance” managed by the Department of State.

Direct payments to families

- $1,200 for individual/$2,400 for couple + $500 per child (for families earning up to $75,000/$150,000). The bill eliminates provisions in the original GOP bill that would have restricted benefits to low-income families

- The payments are unavailable to immigrants working in the United States who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). And mixed status families are excluded if anyone in the family uses an ITIN. This excludes an estimated 4.3 million adults and 3.5 million children from the benefit.

Unemployment benefits

- Extra $600 per week on top of state benefits, for four months

- Up to 13 weeks of extended benefits covered by the federal government

- Unemployment assistance for independent contractors, the self-employed, and gig workers who aren’t usually eligible for state programs for the unemployed, but not for those using ITINs.

Housing

- 6 month moratorium on evictions for tenants in federally subsidized buildings

- 2-6 month moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with federally-based mortgages (majority of mortgages)

Small business

- $367 billion is being dedicated to prevent layoffs and business closures while workers have to stay home during the outbreak. Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. If employers maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.

Big business loans

- $500 billion for industries, including airlines but not cruise ships

ICE funding not included

- No new funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection. And Department of Defense funds cannot be diverted to build a wall on the southern border.

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