There are almost 100,000 undocumented immigrants on Long Island. Most have fled terrible violence and poverty in their homelands to start life anew in America. They are the classic immigrant story that has made America great. We don’t always know their legal status, but we see these immigrants every day in the work they do – work native-born Americans refuse to do such as washing cars or mowing lawns or picking crops in the field or cleaning homes and offices or caring for elderly Long Islanders. They are undocumented because, despite their many contributions to our economy, the federal government has failed for almost twenty years to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform that would allow these needed workers to enter this country legally.
Advocate for The NYS Excluded Workers’ Fund
There is a solution. New York State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly member Carmen De La Rosa have introduced legislation (S8277/A10414) to establish a billionaire tax on financial investment gains that would raise $5 billion to create an Excluded Workers’ Fund – a supplement to New York State’s Unemployment Insurance – that would provide undocumented workers affected by COVID with up to $750 a week in unemployment benefits. In so doing, the fund would pump about $370 million into the Long Island economy each month as unemployed or underemployed undocumented immigrants spend the money they did not have before the fund was created.
Join us in a Car Caravan to Support the Excluded Workers’ Fund on Wednesday August 19th, assembling at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church parking lot at 9:00 AM , 1434 Straight Path, Wyandanch for prompt departure at 10:00 AM for Brentwood. Please wear masks and bring signs and decorations for your car such as “Justice for the Excluded Immigrants” or “Immigrant Workers: Essential but Excluded” or a message of your own creation. The caravan is co-sponsored by Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez who spoke passionately in support of this fund at our July 30th commemoration of excluded workers. You can view his speech here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ErVWvhvB6h6vVjSL6 . Brentwood and Central Islip, two heavily Latinx communities in Leg. Gonzalez’s district, have among the highest COVID infection rates on Long Island, exceeding 6500 cases, many of them excluded, undocumented immigrants. The caravan will conclude in Leg. Gonzalez’s legislative district with statements of support for the Excluded Workers’ Bill from elected officials, faith and community leaders.