Joaquin Castro urges COVID-19 aid for Latinos denied March stimulus checks in Texas
Congress is negotiating the next COVID relief package, but the Hispanic Caucus is still fighting overlooked Latinos.
Recent polls show nearly 30% of Latino households in Texas didn’t get economic stimulus checks in March.
The first round of stimulus checks did not go to just under one million Texans who are citizens or legal US residents, reported the San Antonio Express News.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, this is because their spouses or parents entered the country without legal authorization. Therefore, members of such “mixed-status” families were excluded.
This is a further attempt to disenfranchise Latinos during a pandemic that has disproportionately affected them from the start, and has highlighted a racist system in place even before the pandemic
COVID-19 has affected the Black and Latino communities on an unprecedented scale, yet by affiliating certain families as “mixed status” the Trump administration is actively working against immigrants.
Latinos make up 35% of all COVID-19 cases as of July 1, while Latinos only make up 19% of the US population. Latinx children account for 55% of all cases among children in the nation.
“Sadly, our fellow Texans — particularly Latinos and communities of color — are now bearing the brunt of this suffering,” U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair, wrote in a letter to U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas
It has now been 71 days since the House passed the HEROES Act to provide additional COVID-19 relief for families, workers and communities, and during this time the Senate has not brought it to a vote.
“The Senate’s failure to rise to the occasion and provide relief to our communities is unacceptable. That is why I 3 urge you to respond as swiftly and aggressively as possible and call on your colleagues and Senate leadership to take up and pass the HEROES Act, or at the very least an inclusive bill that meets the emergency needs of our state’s Latinos and all Texans,” Castro continued.
Castro is advocating for the next relief package to include provisions that would direct stimulus checks to anyone hwo pays taxes, including those with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, a way many undocumented immigrants are able to pay federal taxes.
He also wants an automatic work permit extension of people in the DACA program, and for those with temporary protected status. In his letter, Castro refers to Texas specifically, but the issues apply on a national scale.
By emphasizing the needs of Latinx communities at this time, he is fighting to make sure no one gets left behind, especially not the most disenfranchised.