New York —
Analysis of MRNY and Hester Street shows that despite being the hardest hit, they are still excluded from government aid
Data from the City Health Department confirmed in early April that Hispanics were New Yorkers most hit by the coronavirus crisis, representing 34% of the total deaths. And that devastating impact that COVID-19 has had in this community, as in other minority groups such as blacks, was again demonstrated by a new study that reveals the extraordinary damages that the pandemic has had among immigrants and the working class.
The report, titled ‘Excluded at the Epicenter’ and which will be released this Wednesday, was prepared by the organization Make the Road New York (MRNY) in conjunction with Hester Street, and there it is shown that one in six members of the most vulnerable communities has lost a member of their family, nine out of ten have lost their job or income at home, and nine out of ten worry about not being able to pay the rent.
The study, which was conducted surveying 244 people, mostly Hispanic immigrants, shows that even though the impact of the coronavirus crisis has been concentrated in these communities, these New Yorkers have been “overwhelmingly excluded from government solutions.” The figures specify that while the 84% of those who participated in the survey over 18 years of age said they lost their jobs (88% due to COVID-19), less than 5% had received unemployment insurance in the last month, and only 15% of respondents reported having obtained some form of government support during the crisis.
“We are seeing and hearing about the devastation in our communities every day: sick and dead, workers running out of income and wondering how they will feed their children, and newly unemployed tenants who are now desperately worried about paying the rent, ”said Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of MRNY, adding that in the midst of this crisis, “it is outrageous and irritating how both, Washington and Albany, continue to exclude our communities. ”
One of the dramatic cases highlighted in the study is that of the immigrant Pearl Silva, a resident of Brooklyn who lost his mother to COVID-19 and she has been the only one in her family who has not lost her job during the health emergency.
“This crisis has taken from me the most precious person in the world: my mother. Nothing can make up for that. The least our elected officials can do is respond with real recovery for all, treating us with the respect and dignity we deserve, ”Silva said.
The immigrant, who is MRNY activist, He stressed that it takes “a recovery for all. One that puts people first by making sure everyone has access to the medical care they need, without big hospital bills. One that provides the relief we need to be able to feed our children during this crisis. And one that cancels the rent to make sure they don’t kick us out of our houses. ”
And in addition to revealing the harsh reality for those affected, the study was completed with a series of policy recommendations at the federal, state and municipal levels, to ensure that recovery plans reach everyone equally. For example, at the state level, they propose that a taxed about 112 New York billionaires, which would allow creating a fund of more than $ 3 billion dollars to benefit workers excluded from aid, and also that immediate measures be taken to cancel the rents.
At the federal level, they ask to Congress to pass laws to give economic recovery funds to everyone, regardless of immigration status.