The Workers Circle Celebrates House Passage of HEROES Act
Legislation fills critical gaps left from previous bills but still falls short
(New York) – The Workers Circle, a progressive Jewish nonprofit focused on social and economic justice for all and for immigrant workers in particular, celebrates the House of Representatives’ passage of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion package to provide additional economic relief amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ann Toback, Chief Executive Officer of the Workers Circle, released the following statement:
“We applaud the passage of the HEROES Act by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is an important step toward addressing the needs of so many communities, including immigrant communities, who were shamefully ignored in previous relief packages. By a narrow majority, the House defeated an effort to once again exclude taxpaying immigrants from relief.
The legislation recognizes that our country is stronger when everyone in our communities can access economic relief, testing, health care, and any eventual vaccines. Immigrant communities are some of the hardest hit by the ongoing crisis, making a last minute attempt to exclude them from this bill a truly disgraceful act.
We are thrilled to see that the HEROES Act provides direct economic relief to all taxpayers, and does not exclude U.S. citizens who are married to immigrants, as previous bills have done. Further, it provides a critically important work authorization extension to DACA recipients and other immigrants whose ability to live and work legally has been put at greater risk due to the ongoing crisis. This is not only morally right but makes fiscal and strategic sense. Tens of thousands of immigrants are currently serving our country in their roles as essential workers. Without them being able to work safely, many of the systems we rely on would grind to a halt.
Further, the HEROES bill would protect and save countless lives by seeking releases for at least some of the tens of thousands of immigrants currently languishing in dangerous detention facilities.
We are, however, disappointed that the bill does not suspend Trump’s draconian public charge rule, which weakens America’s response to the coronavirus crisis and unnecessarily jeopardizes the security and wellbeing of immigrant communities.
As each of us continues to take care of ourselves and our families as best we can, the government needs to give everyone the same access to health care and economic relief. This bill sets us on the right path, but there is more work to do.”