MIRA Calls for Action to Support Immigrant Workers Disproportionately Impacted by Pandemic and Lockdowns

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) issued the following statement in response to a new report issued by the Migration Policy Institute finding that, among the 10 states with the largest immigrant populations, immigrants saw their biggest employment losses early in the pandemic in Massachusetts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on workers and families across Massachusetts, and this report illustrates how that burden fell disproportionately on immigrant communities. Unemployment rates among immigrant essential workers – those serving in the health care, construction, and leisure and hospitality fields – and immigrant women were particularly high in Massachusetts during the height of the pandemic,” said Daniel Pereira, Communications Director for the MIRA Coalition. “While it’s encouraging to see that employment rates for immigrants have begun to recover, there’s no question that the effect of these job losses will continue to grow without adequate investments in state programs to support immigrant families.”

“MIRA urges the Massachusetts legislature to support and enact policies that drive an inclusive recovery and preparedness for our collective health and economic future. These actions include robust support in the FY21 state budget for programs that benefit immigrants and refugees, such as emergency cash assistance, and passage of legislation that recognizes, restores, and supports the engagement of immigrants in key sectors of our economic and civic life, such as the Work and Family Mobility Act and the Tuition Equity Act.

“Furthermore, given the disproportionate toll of COVID on immigrant communities, MIRA is also doubling down on its calls for action on a slate of legislation that provides broader protection and support to immigrants, such as the Safe Communities Act and the Language Access and Inclusion Act.”

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