Nonprofits, immigrants must be considered in coronavirus stimulus bill

**For our members: we encourage you to share this message with your Representatives, networks, and on social media.**

As Congress prepares to vote and pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) this Friday, Welcoming America urges members of the House of Representatives to fully consider the bill’s impact on 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and on all Americans, including those with immigrant and refugee backgrounds.

Nonprofits and neighbors of all backgrounds together form a vital lifeline for residents who may be particularly isolated and vulnerable. In communities large and small, rural and urban, they extend the reach of the public sector and ensure a whole-of-community response. 

Welcoming America has the privilege of steering a national network of nonprofits and local governments committed to making communities more welcoming places for everyone. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the US, our members and partners have mobilized help and resources with speed, resolve, and grace. However, this lifeline to the American public depends on financial support to shore up the impact of public health measures over the last several weeks, and those to come. 

To that end, we ask the House to fully consider the following provisions in the bill that support nonprofits:

  • Creates a forgivable emergency small business loan program that will essentially provide grants to nonprofits (with 500 or fewer employees) and small businesses to cover the costs of payroll and operations between February 15 and June 30;
  • Significantly increases unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for workers who have lost their jobs, including providing coverage to many nonprofit workers who are currently ineligible for UI benefits;
  • Creates Additional tax deduction incentives for Americans;
  • Provides for substantial direct appropriations for many nonprofit programs;
  • Makes direct payments to Americans, including payments to adults of $1,200 and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four) to be sent out in weeks. The amount of payments phases out for high-income adults.

Additionally, we agree with the National Partnership for New Americans that Congress should:

  • Protect the public health of all Americans by allowing people to obtain health coverage under Medicaid, regardless of their immigration status, so that they can get COVID-19 testing and other care that they need;
  • Prioritize resources for community safety by ending enforcement operations that discourage neighbors from seeking medical treatment, and release immigrants from health-risky detention centers to their families;
  • Provide support for small business (including nonprofits, independent contractors, gig and other vulnerable workers) so they can meet payroll and other obligations (ex. Rubio, Collins RESCUE Plan); and
  • Include all workers in unemployment compensation.

Lastly, we remind Congress that a significant portion of the frontline workers of the pandemic – nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, delivery services, etc. – have immigrant backgrounds. It is not about where we were born, but about the contributions we are all making as Americans now. 

We urge Congress to consider the role that all Americans, including immigrants, are playing in this moment; they, and the nonprofits that support them across the United States, deserve to be considered and included in any legislation addressing COVID-19 relief.