Show your solidarity by donating to the "Undocumented Workers Fund"
Posted Tue, 04/21/2020 - 9:13pm
This past weekend, tens of millions of people across the United States received relief checks from the federal government in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Farmworkers in Vermont – along with millions of immigrants around the country – did not.
While the government has classified farmworkers as “essential workers.” it continues to treat them as disposable. As farmworker leader Enrique Balcazar was quoted in a recent column in The Guardian:
“We're in a country where people want our labor but don’t care about our lives. Our human rights have been denied, but our work is being deemed essential. The injustice of the system is laid bare.”
Migrant Justice is partnering with national immigrant rights organization Movimiento Cosecha’s “Undocumented Worker Fund” to raise and distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to immigrants excluded from federal relief. Money is already going out to immigrant families affected by the current crisis.
While sharing relief checks with those who have been unjustly excluded is an urgently-needed act of solidarity and a moral imperative, we know it is not enough. That’s why we are calling on Vermont to step up where the federal government has failed.
Migrant Justice is currently developing proposals to expand healthcare protections and financial relief to immigrant workers in the state. Over the next two days, we will be testifying in front of several legislative committees to send the message that immigrant workers must not be left out. In the coming days, we will ask for your support to push forward these proposals.
And we know that farmworkers’ fight for healthcare and financial relief is connected to the fight of all workers for a just response to this crisis. While the government has used the pandemic as an opportunity to send trillions of dollars to Wall Street and the 1% – and while corporations continue to endanger workers and retaliate against those who speak out while insincerely praising them as “heroes” – workers are calling for a “People’s Bailout.”
To all those in Vermont, join us on May 1st, International Workers’ Day, for a car caravan rally showing solidarity with essential workers and lifting up their demands – including our call on Hannaford Supermarkets to join Milk with Dignity.
This May Day, see you (from a safe distance) in the streets!