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The HEROES Act Includes All Workers

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Here Are Some Examples

The HEROES Act, expected to be voted on late today, champions the crucial contributions that essential workers and their families, including immigrants, make to our nationwide response to this once-in-a-century crisis. This bill stands in sharp contrast to the top legislative priority of Republicans, which is to shield companies from any legal liabilities should unsafe working conditions lead to workers getting infected.

The choice today is binary. Democrats are standing up for an approach to relief and recovery that includes all of us, while Trump and the Republican Party divide our nation, favor corporations, and blame immigrants in order to distract from his epic failure to protect our nation.

Below are a couple of new examples uplifting the importance of the HEROES Act’s provisions for American workers:

    • Nicole Narea of Vox writes, Immigrants were largely overlooked in the US’s coronavirus response. The latest relief bill aims to fix that. She writes: “Under the bill, essential workers would be shielded from deportation and offered employment during the pandemic, and employers in critical industries would not be penalized for hiring unauthorized immigrants. 

      “Americans have relied on low-wage workers to keep essential services running during the pandemic, from harvesting and delivering food to cleaning public spaces…Unauthorized immigrants make up about a quarter of farmworkers and 8 percent of the service sector and production workers. Many don’t have any choice but to continue working despite public health warnings to stay home because they aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits or federal stimulus checks.“The Heroes Act would at least…relieve them of fear of deportation.”

    • In a column for the Washington Post,  Catherine Rampell details the stories of more than 100,000 immigrants waiting for citizenship and their right to vote, whose naturalization ceremonies have been delayed by the Trump administration. “It’s hard to gauge whether the reluctance to move these ceremonies online is rooted in run-of-the-mill government inertia or something more sinister. If it is politically motivated — perhaps based on assumptions that the newly naturalized would vote Democratic — the strategy is cynical and possibly faulty. Whatever the political considerations, people like Akinpelu are exactly the kinds of new Americans both parties say they welcome: immigrants who have followed the rules, have waited in line, and want to raise their right hand and swear — perhaps on Zoom? — just how much they love this country.”
    • The Boston Globe Editorial Board highlights the recent Senate hearing on business immunity, contrasting corporate liability versus standing up for all workers and prioritizing their health and safety.“This is another glaring example of how Trump has bungled the coronavirus. But the hearing on business immunity highlighted Trump’s incompetence from another angle: His administration’s aversion to regulation is dangerous for workers and creates uncertainty for businesses. Writing clear and meaningful rules would require careful, methodical work grounded in scientific evidence, which isn’t the Trump administration’s kind of thing…But that would be a better outcome than having Congress grant legal immunity that reduces the incentives for businesses to deploy sufficient protections. If that were to happen, employees would be shouldering the risk with one less avenue for recourse.