A fund has been launched to accept donations to provide economic relief to thousands of immigrants in Maine, along with their U.S citizen spouses and children. As this post explains, many immigrants and their families were excluded from the economic impact payments and self-employment unemployment compensation created by the CARES Act.
Many Mainers are aligning with the #PledgeMyStimulus movement. For those who received but don’t need all of their CARES Act economic impact payments for their own immediate expenses, contributing to the Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) Mutual Aid Fund is a way to provide some small support to those ignored by the CARES Act, to help them weather the economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) Mutual Aid Fund will distribute all donations within two weeks of receipt to immigrants and their families who need help due to COVID-19 to pay for rent, food, and other basic needs.
Many sectors of Maine’s economy depend on an immigrant workforce, from agriculture, to construction, forestry, manufacturing, hospitality, high tech, and healthcare. Contributing to the Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) Mutual Aid Fund during this emergency is an important way for Maine’s business community to ensure that Maine’s immigrants will still be here as vital members of our local communities once the pandemic eases and the economy restarts.
At the national level, the new #AllOfUs campaign was recently launched by business, civil rights and faith organizations and immigration advocates to conduct public messaging highlighting the importance of immigrants on the frontlines of essential services in the U.S during the pandemic, and how COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate based on immigration status. Donations through #AllOfUs will go to local foodbanks nationwide trying to meet the increased need from the pandemic’s effects.