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Thu Mar 26, 2020, 06:27 PM

Undocumented Immigrants Face Coronavirus, Job Loss With No Safety Net

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Omaha Steve (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: wgbh

Undocumented workers have long filled thousands of jobs in Massachusetts on construction sites, in restaurant kitchens and on cleaning crews. And like their coworkers, many have been laid off as efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus bring everyday life to a standstill. But there's one crucial difference: Undocumented immigrants can't access unemployment benefits. Three people who call the Boston area home, but have no legal status, shared their fears with WGBH News about surviving without a paycheck and, during a worsening public health crisis, being fearful of accessing medical help.

One East Boston woman said she had come from El Salvador with her two children after her father was murdered. The woman, who did not want to be identified by name, recently lost her job as a cook when the restaurant she worked for closed because of the coronavirus. Her husband, brother and sister-in law lost their restaurant work as well, she said. Because they are undocumented, none of them can collect unemployment.

“We don’t know whether the restaurants are closed for two or three weeks,” she said in Spanish. “That’s what the owner is saying, but really we don’t know with any certainty when we’ll start working. And that’s really worrying, because how is the family going to eat? And the bills are still coming, the rent that we have to pay. This is really worrying us, not knowing what to do.” Her voice wavered as she described watching people leave supermarkets with stockpiles of food. She pleaded for those with money to think of those without.

“Think a little about the people who go to the supermarkets and don’t have the same resources as them to buy two full shopping carts at once," she said. "Think of these people who do not have enough money." Marion Davis of the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) said that the biggest concern facing most undocumented immigrants is access to food. There are no official resources designed for undocumented people, and advocates are scrambling to gather donations for charity funds. Boston’s COVID-19 resource guide for immigrants “regardless of immigration status” refers those needing food to the nonprofit Project Bread, which has a FoodSource Hotline. It gives statewide referrals to locations that provide food support, and the organization says it can provide information in 160 different languages.

Read more: https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/03/26/undocumented-immigrants-face-coronavirus-job-loss-with-no-safety-net

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Reply Undocumented Immigrants Face Coronavirus, Job Loss With No Safety Net (Original post)
ansible Mar 26 OP
customerserviceguy Mar 26 #1
GulfCoast66 Mar 26 #2
customerserviceguy Mar 26 #3
Igel Mar 26 #4
Omaha Steve Mar 27 #5

Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 06:38 PM

1. If they had been included

Trump would never sign such a bill, and it would get very, very few GOP votes in Congress.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 07:36 PM

2. As would a whole lot of Democratic representatives. Certainly a majority of our new house members

Who switched a red district to blue.

No matter how moral and correct it might be, voting taxpayer payments to the undocumented is a huge loser when trying to win an election. Not saying I think it is right, but that’s the way it is.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 10:29 PM

3. It worked out better this way

If we gave cash bonuses to people here illegally, it would act as a powerful magnet for the numbers of them to increase.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 11:19 PM

4. It's not a new problem, it's just a bigger problem.

They won't qualify for any federal subsidy.

They don't qualify for unemployment benefits.

They're undocumented. That means they lack the documents to work legally. Employers can't hire them legally.

They often use fake IDs. If they're of a living person, perhaps that helps boost that person's social security earnings for retirement. Or maybe that causes problems, since they're earning income but collecting social security. Or something else. That's not necessarily victimless. And still, they can't be legally hired and now they're committing identity fraud.

The guy who handles my yard, I'm fairly sure, isn't here legally. I don't know his story, but he has a son (?) who come along and interprets if necessary. Certainly helps. He gets enough income to pay his way and contribute to his living arrangements, but without English he's stuck, it's not obvious he finished high school, and without documents he's really screwed.

Neighbor wasn't legally in the US. In 2009 he lost his job; when he tried to get it back in 2011, close to losing the house, requirements were more stringent--his ID flunked. Two months later, gone. No warning. Next day, foreclosure notice appeared on the door. Kept in touch, but his wife was legal, his wife's kid and his own were citizens, just not him. It upset him. On the other hand, he was grown up enough to know that he knew where he was moving to and he preferred to be here illegally then in the country he was more proud of, legally. (He never squared that circle, of course.)

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Fri Mar 27, 2020, 07:01 AM

5. After a review by forum hosts....LOCKING

This story is analysis.

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