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The Workers Circle Endorses the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act

For Immediate Release 
April 20, 2020
Lynsey Billet, lynsey@anatgerstein.com, 347-361-8449

The Workers Circle Endorses the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act

Urges Congress to Include Immigrants in All Future Stimulus Packages

(New York) — Ann Toback, CEO of the Workers Circle, a social justice organization founded by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in 1900, has released the following statement in support of the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act:

“The Workers Circle applauds the introduction of the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act in the House and Senate. Emergency legislation passed by Congress in response to the health and economic crisis posed by COVID-19 did not include most immigrant families. A group of representatives, led by Reps. Judy Chu (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), and Lou Correa (CA); and senators, led by Sens. Mazie Hirono (HI) and Kamala Harris (CA); have introduced legislation to address this exclusion.

The bill would, among other features, halt the implementation of the public charge rule and ensure that any benefits received during the pandemic do not negatively affect future immigration status determinations. In addition, it would bar discrimination on the basis of immigrant status in regard to any programs funded by COVID-19 relief bills.

As Congress crafts the next legislative packages in response to the pandemic, the Workers Circle calls on them to suspend implementation of the public charge rule and ensure that health coverage is expanded for all regardless of immigration status and that COVID-19 testing, treatment, and future vaccines are covered through emergency Medicaid. Further, the Social Security number requirement must be eliminated to provide immigrants with access to rebates and economic assistance. Future legislation must ensure that immigrant families can count on the same protections and assistance available to others in our communities.

We believe that our country benefits from the work and contributions of immigrants who should have the same opportunities afforded to those who started our organization 120 years ago.

The exclusion of immigrants who are an integral part of the fabric of America, who are our neighbors and friends and co-workers, sends the cruel and unmistakable message: you and your children are expendable.

While this pandemic rages, hundreds of thousands of immigrants continue to labor as essential workers, risking their own health, and that of their loved ones, to ensure our country’s produce is picked, stores are sanitized, and health care is delivered. Our response to this crisis must include every child, woman, and man who calls this country their home. To do less would be unworthy of us as a nation.

We call on Congress to pass this bill and to ensure that immigrants are protected in this act and future stimulus bills, that in this moment we may live up to our founding declaration, that all people are created equal.”

About the Workers Circle

Founded in 1900 and celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2020, the Workers Circle (formerly known as the Workmen’s Circle) is a social justice organization that powers progressive Jewish identity through Jewish cultural engagement, Yiddish language learning, multigenerational education, and social justice activism. For over a century we have provided this 360-degree approach to Jewish identity-building. Through contemporary cultural programs, strategic social justice campaigns, vibrant Yiddish language classes, interactive educational experiences and more, we connect Jewish adults, kids and families of all affiliations with their cultural heritage, working to build a better and more beautiful world for all. 

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