Understanding the Impact of Key Provisions of COVID-19 Relief Bills on Immigrant Communities

Publication date: 
April 2020

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 1 The CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus bill, builds on H.R. 6201, 2 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), to provide economic relief and health care options amidst the growing COVID-19 pandemic. This global public health crisis has served as an urgent reminder that our collective health and well-being are deeply interdependent and that it is crucial to have inclusive recovery policies in order for all of us to be healthy and safe. Nevertheless, these bills fall short of meeting the most basic health care and economic needs of millions of Americans, including immigrant workers and families who are on the frontlines of caring for our communities during this pandemic, providing crucial services while others are able to shelter at home. The purpose of this policy brief is to provide information on the COVID-19 relief package’s impact on low-income immigrants and suggestions for urgently needed improvements in any future relief bills, with a focus on health, public benefits, economic support, and employment protections. Please note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of the bill.

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