On Thursday morning, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) released a five-point ‘Worker and Migrant Justice Response to the Coronavirus’ to the public, a media release about the response noted.
“The threat of coronavirus exposes the backwards beliefs underpinning trumpism at its core—medieval walls will not keep you safe, the US cannot survive on its own, and whether Trump likes it or not, we already live, breath, and eat off the same table. COVID doesn’t care about what country you were born in, or how much you earn in a year. But it does make more clear the urgency of our demands for worker and migrant justice—ignoring them now is pure folly,” NDLON Co-Director Nadia Marin-Molina said in a statement.
“This context only makes more acute the need for comprehensive migrant justice…” NDLON stated in the introduction of the response. “For the safety of our families, neighbors, and loved ones, immigrant and non-immigrant alike, we call on local and national leaders to immediately adopt a plan for Worker and Migrant Justice as part of the Coronavirus response…”
“There is no greater way to exacerbate today’s crisis with ICE and CBP hell-bent on terrorizing communities, accelerating deportations, and increasing the detained population. Instead, funds and personnel should be reassigned and redeployed to CDC, FEMA, and other emergency needs,” NDLON added.
The response these following five points:
- STOP ICE and CBP: “Enact an immediate moratorium on all ICE and CBP enforcement (detentions and deportations) to allow families, communities, localities and states to develop and implement effective community-wide responses to this public health challenge. There is no greater way to exacerbate today’s crisis with ICE and CBP hell-bent on terrorizing communities, accelerating deportations, and increasing the detained population. Instead, funds and personnel should be reassigned and redeployed to CDC, FEMA, and other emergency needs.”
- DISMANTLE THE CAMPS: “Dismantle immigrant detention, concentration camps and programs such as MPP that exacerbate the public health dangers, and include a plan to return individuals to their families and receiving families. In response to COVID-19, other countries are proactively releasing thousands to their families. DHS was already unable to provide even basic sanitary conditions while deaths in their custody are mounting. Forcibly keeping tens of thousands in squalid conditions, while adding people despite the foreseeable consequences, is criminally negligent.”
- MEDICINE FOR ALL: “Emergency action plans for healthcare, testing, and vaccines must be freely available to all, including undocumented workers and families. From every level of government, healthcare entity, whether public or private, we must resist dehumanization in all of its forms, and proactively address and challenge racist exploitation of the pandemic. Stigmatizing individuals or excluding them from the US coronavirus response would constitute both a serious flaw in what can only be an “all hands on deck” social effort, and it would be a dark stain on the US society.”
- WORKER PROTECTIONS: “Policies on paid sick leave and unemployment insurance often exclude low wage immigrant workers whether explicitly due to legal status, or implicitly through requirements related to employer size and duration of employment. Worker protection policies must have broad coverage in order to protect all workers who most need it, especially in industries such as construction, restaurant, poultry, and others that rely on the labor of undocumented immigrant workers.”
- RELIEF PARA EL PUEBLO: “Safety net programs such as food stamps and unemployment insurance can be as inaccessible as airline bailouts to the undocumented and poorest. Immigrant workers and families should be able to access emergency aid programs without fear of retaliation or ‘public charge’ repercussions. Immigrant worker and community organizations should be included in planning and implementation, to ensure that this relief reaches the community.”