Immigrants’ Rights Groups Seeking Stimulus Checks From Those Who Can Afford It

    A coalition of immigrants’ rights groups in the Washington, D.C., area have launched a unique fundraiser to help the people they serve: They’re urging people set to receive economic stimulus checks from the federal government to donate the proceeds to immigrants, if they can afford to.

    “Many people who will be getting federal stimulus checks don’t need them,” said Brandon Wu, an organizer with the group Sanctuary DMV, who has organized the fund drive. “They have sufficient savings, their jobs are safe, or both. On the other hand, immigrant communities are already among the hardest hit by the economic impacts of social distancing and other prudent practices. Yet these folks who are most vulnerable are the ones who will be receiving no support whatsoever from the federal government.” 

    In addition to Sanctuary DMV, another five pro-immigrant groups are promoting the fundraiser: Many Languages One Voice, LaColectiVA, Justice for Muslims Collective, Restaurant Opportunities Center-DC, and UndocuBlack Network.

    Wu has set up a Go-Fund-Me page, which began collecting donations on Sunday, and has raised over $30,000 as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Each participating organization will manage an even share of the funds, 100% of which will be redistributed, as direct cash payments, to immigrants and families in need of support.

    “This fund aims to redistribute stimulus money from where it’s not needed to where it’s needed the most,” Wu said.

    Similarly, CASA, the leading immigrants’ rights group in the Mid-Atlantic, which is based in Hyattsville, has launched a fundraising program to help people whose livelihoods have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis.

    CASA has created a “solidarity fund,” and will distributed proceeds directly to needy families.

    “The fight for justice is hard enough in normal circumstances — now as this pandemic ravages our communities and our economy, our immigrant, Latino, and working class members face even greater challenges,” the group says on its website.Stand with our members in the face of the COVID pandemic. Our government must act, but until it does, we must stand strong with one another.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.