The fund provides essential support for rent, food and other life-critical essential needs as a result of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
Each year, the IRS estimates that about 6 million undocumented immigrants who serve our friends, neighbors, businesses and communities file individual income tax returns and other organizations believe that number is higher. According to New American Economy, annually undocumented immigrants pay more than $20 billion in federal taxes, and in state and local taxes by filing tax returns with their Individual Tax Identification Numbers.
Yet none of these working families are eligible for unemployment benefits, disaster relief funds, Payroll Protection Programs, or the federal recovery checks due to their undocumented status. These hard-working families are among us and are once again left in the shadows, unfairly isolated and cut off from earned benefits available to all other working families also struggling to survive.
As a result, community groups and leaders have come together to raise funds for these undocumented working families who support our economy, work in our industries, and support our communities every day with their indispensable contributions. The Arizona Undocumented Workers Relief Fund at the Arizona Community Foundation will provide essential support for rent, food, and other basic needs for families who are ineligible for government relief. In the first week, groups and individuals have joined together to support undocumented working families and hope others will consider joining this effort.
Denying hard working families benefits they have a human right to receive is an injustice. Accordingly, this fund is way to project the hope that someday soon fellow citizens and leaders in Arizona and across this country will see the humanity of supporting all similarly struggling working families, undocumented and documented, and acknowledge the essential contribution these workers have made, and continue to make, to our communities every day. That day may be a long way off, but these hard-working Arizonans need help now.
We are in this together. Our state cannot and will not fully recover from this challenge if we leave these essential communities behind.