Giving Compass' Take:

• Authors at the Urban Institute highlight the importance of including immigrants in state and local COVID-19 response efforts. 

• How can funders work to ensure that immigrant voices and needs are considered in the COVID-19 response? 

• Learn about the hardships undocumented immigrants face during COVID-19

Immigrants with low-wage jobs have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial and health hardships because of exposure to the virus as essential workers, overrepresentation in industries with high layoff rates, and barriers to health care access and safety net supports, including limited eligibility and fears around immigration enforcement and the public charge rule. Although federal relief has provided necessary resources to many around the country, immigrant families, especially families with undocumented members, have been largely excluded from those efforts.

Many state and local governments and nonprofits are rolling out emergency services and supports in light of COVID-19, and some are filling in the gaps in federal relief for immigrant families. To best serve immigrant communities, state and local efforts should first understand the reality that many immigrant families include members with different immigration and citizenship statuses, including US-born or naturalized citizens, permanent residents, temporary visa holders, or undocumented. Emergency supports should then prioritize inclusivity by removing eligibility barriers, raising awareness through outreach and effective multilingual resources, and tailoring supports to the specific needs of immigrant communities.

Early in the crisis, we scanned the responses of 10 metropolitan areas with large immigrant populations in a variety of state immigration policy climates. From those observations, we identified both innovative methods to inclusively support immigrant households in response and recovery efforts and gaps in state and local efforts.

Read the full article about immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic by Sara McTarnaghan, Hamutal Bernstein, Carolyn Vilter, and Adaeze Okoli at Urban Institute.