On Friday afternoon, immigrant rights group Cosecha Movement (Movimiento Cosecha) announced that a national fund which provides emergency relief to undocumented workers not receiving federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised over $1.5 million.
The fund, called the Undocumented Worker Fund, has distributed over $370,000 to workers and families across 28 states, Cosecha Movement said. It also added that fund organizers have set oa new goal of $2 million for the fund.
“In my town, most of us are domestic workers. Many single mothers have lost their jobs, or decided not to go into work in order to protect their families. We don’t have enough money to buy food for our children, and the government is not helping in the way that it should be. That is why this fund is so critical,” said Norma Morales, a domestic worker leading fund distribution in New Jersey. “It will not solve all of the problems our community is facing, but it is important that people know there is a movement called Cosecha fighting for our dignity, and that much of what we need can be found in our community if we come together.”
Local committees affiliated with Cosecha are determining needs assessment and fund distribution through applications. A pledge set up by Cosecha inviting people to share their federal stimulus check with families who were excluded from the federal stimulus bill.
Last week, Cosecha noted, more than 50,000 people visited the fund’s application page and within 20 minutes, over 5,000 immigrant families applied for assistance. Such demand closed the application process for now, and organizers noted that the application process will be reopened once all current applications have been reviewed and existing funds have been distributed.
“Many undocumented workers across the country are currently sustaining critical industries—often without access to protective equipment, paid sick time, or health insurance,” the Cosecha release said. “These essential workers will receive $0 of federal aid from the new $2 million relief package. Millions of immigrants in the restaurant, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing industries are also facing mass layoffs with no access to unemployment benefits or other ways to support their families. The HEROES Act introduced by House Democrats earlier this month would include immigrant families in a future round of emergency federal relief, though it is unlikely immigrant workers will be included in the Senate version of a stimulus package.”