New York, NY—Data from the New York City Comptroller’s office indicate that low-income immigrant New Yorkers make up more than 50% of the city’s front line workers and 33% of essential workers in New York State. Additionally, 90% of New York’s front line workers live in the three boroughs hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic—Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. Meanwhile, New York State now leads the world in COVID-19 cases, surpassing Italy and Spain. With millions of Americans filing for unemployment each week and an economy already reeling from the coming recession, immigrant advocates are calling for a more robust relief package to assist those hardest hit by the outbreak and with little or no support from our federal, state or city governments.
In response to these emerging trends, Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“This is an unfolding crisis that is hitting vulnerable immigrant New Yorkers the hardest. The data confirms that low-income immigrants - serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping New Yorkers fed, healthy and safe - are faring the worst. While Governor Cuomo has helped by ensuring that the most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, he must also implement a multilingual COVID-19 hotline, and extend cash assistance to community members cruelly left out of the federal government’s relief package.
We know low-income and immigrant communities will continue to bear the brunt of the fall-out from COVID-19 if the Governor doesn’t keep our healthcare system intact to protect our ability to tackle the pandemic today and into the future. Governor Cuomo has already won praise for being efficient and strategic during this crisis, but will he be the kind of leader that can rise to the challenge of addressing the gross inequalities exposed by this pandemic, unite New Yorkers and invest in a future that does not leave anyone behind?”