On May 20, UnidosUS hosted a virtual roundtable to talk about the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Latinos and immigrant families.
Moderated by The Hill Staff Writer Rafael Bernal, with welcome remarks by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, the roundtable discussion included U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, and UnidosUS Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Eric Rodriguez.
The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating toll on the Latino community, especially Latino workers, and this roundtable stressed the systemic inequities that have been heightened by this crisis:
- The Latino community is seeing its highest unemployment rate, 20%, since the Great Depression.
- Hispanics make up many workers who have lost their jobs in industries that have been devastated by COVID-19 such as hospitality, travel and transportation, and restaurants.
- Latinas are more likely to be in jobs that have been wiped out by the COVID-19 crisis. At least 1 in 5 Latinas are now unemployed.
But Hispanic Americans are also “keeping American running,” as Murguía stated, by being on the front lines of the pandemic in essential jobs, yet many Latinos are left out of the protections given by the economic relief packages.
- The conversation outlined these challenges as well as some potential solutions to ensure Latinos are part of the nation’s economic recovery:
- Rent and mortgages cancellations and student loan forgiveness.
- Grants for small businesses.
- “Massive jobs first infrastructure packages that are going to create the kind of employment that can avoid the outcomes we saw coming out of the Great Depression,” Dr. Shah explained.
Don’t miss this thought-provoking and fascinating conversation in the video above.
Be Counted and Take Action:
- Our community has been, in large part, left out of previous stimulus packages. That makes it imperative that the U.S. Senate take up the HEROES Act, passed last week in the House of Representatives, as soon as possible. And we are calling on our community and our allies to support immediate Senate passage of the HEROES Act.
Learn more here.
- If you have not already, register to vote here and participate in this year’s elections.
- You can make your voice heard by filling out the census as well, which you can do online, by phone or by mail.
- Finally, consider supporting our Esperanza/Hope Fund to provide emergency assistance to our community.
Visit UnidosUS’s central hub on COVID-19 information designed to keep Latinos informed, and The Rockefeller Foundation’s COVID-19 Response page, where you can learn how the foundation is working to save lives during this emergency.