Chicago Mayor Signs Executive Order to Ensure Illegal Immigrants Have Access to COVID-19 Relief Programs

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Posted: Apr 07, 2020 4:15 PM
Chicago Mayor Signs Executive Order to Ensure Illegal Immigrants Have Access to COVID-19 Relief Programs

Source: Santiago Covarrubias/Sun Times via AP

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) announced on Tuesday she signed an executive order that will allow illegal immigrants to access some of the benefits citizens are receiving through the Wuhan coronavirus relief stimulus package.

"When it comes to COVID-19, we are all in this together and we are leaving no one behind. That's why Chicago is doing everything it can to support all of our residents during this crisis, including our immigrant and refugee communities," Lightfoot said in a video posted to Twitter.

Some of the programs being made available includes a housing assistance grant, an Online Enrichment Learning Resources through Chicago Public Schools for students at all levels, and a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund to provide small businesses with disaster relief cash flow during the pandemic pandemic, which is available to any entrepreneur, including immigrant business owners.

"This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans,” said Lightfoot. "Since COVID-19 first reached our city’s doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic."

"Not all of Chicago's residents qualify for federal stimulus checks, state unemployment insurance or other economic assistance due to their documentation status,” 22nd Ward Alderman Michael D. Rodriguez said. "These Chicagoans are vital community members who work in various industries and help our great city to thrive every day. These Chicagoans are our family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends. I applaud the Mayor for standing with undocumented individuals and families to ensure their eligibility for any economic assistance offered by the City of Chicago during this global pandemic."

Democrats at the national level have been calling for undocumented immigrants to receive the same benefits citizens are getting in the relief package.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) told Univision because many undocumented workers are still going outside to work in essential businesses and are risking exposure to the coronavirus, they must also get taxpayer dollars.