New York, NY-As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage New York, multiple reports indicate the central Queens neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights have emerged as the epicenter of the city’s ever-growing outbreak. Here in this seven-square-mile patch of densely packed immigrant enclaves, more than 7,000 cases have been recorded in the first weeks of the crisis. By comparison, the entire borough of Manhattan has reported about 10,860 cases.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, immigrants account for 47% of Queens’ population, half of the borough’s workforce, and 69% of residents are self-employed.
In response to these reports, Steve Choi, the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“The new data on COVID-19’s impact borough by borough exposes New York’s gross inequities as it rips through Queen’s immigrant communities. These neighborhoods consist of many of New York’s 'essential workers,' those on the front line of this pandemic who are making it possible for us to work remotely while they ensure that our offices and homes are cleaned and sanitized; food is cooked and delivered; and our grocery shelves remain stocked. Now, as the stimulus checks are being processed in Washington to help many of us get through the difficult days that lie ahead, immigrant New Yorkers who are bearing the brunt of this crisis are being left out in the cold without compensation or a safety net. As Congress debates a fourth stimulus relief package, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer must fight for a direct cash assistance program to ensure the health and safety of every New Yorker. But we cannot wait on Washington. Our elected leaders in Albany and New York City will need to offer economic relief now. As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across our city, one thing is clear—if we leave one New Yorker behind, we leave all of us behind.”