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Today, the Senate passed the third COVID-19 relief package and the House is expected to pass it and send it to the President for signature. The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
We are glad Republicans and Democrats came to an agreement to advance this critically needed relief, stimulus and response package. This package is a vast improvement from the one initially introduced by Senate Republicans. Thanks to Democrats, this package shifts the emphasis from give-aways to corporations with minimal accountability, to instead providing aid to American workers, community health centers and state and local governments.
Unfortunately, it still doesn’t provide Medicaid coverage for testing and treatment for everyone, regardless of immigration status. Leaving immigrants, who live in our communities and who are on the frontlines of the nation’s response to COVID-19, out of the solution to this health crisis is dangerous and will only hamper our ability to combat this pandemic.
We must hold President Trump to his word that immigration status will not be a barrier to getting tested for COVID-19 or that seeking treatment will not be held against immigrants and their families or expose them to deportation or detention.
Trump will continue pointing the finger at immigrants and foreigners, and telling his campaign supporters that shutting the border is an important step he is taking to secure the country against the virus’ threat (saying ‘illegal immigration hurts the lives of all Americans’), all in order to distract from his administration’s failure in handling this health crisis and the fact that we still don’t have enough testing kits, masks, ventilators, or hospital beds we need to fight coronavirus. As the administration’s approach to COVID-19 continues being a purely political and self-interested one, the American people are looking to Congress, Governors, Mayors, and public health experts to provide critical leadership to fill the vacuum left by the White House. Getting everyone working and living in America access to testing and treatment is a critical priority that must be addressed in the next COVID-19 relief package, because it is the only way we will flatten the curve and provide the critical relief that all people living in America need.