PORTLAND — Immigrants’ rights advocates, together with Causa Oregon, PCUN, Latino Network, Innovation Law Lab, and APANO, announced on Friday, May 29 that the Oregon Worker Relief Fund (OWRF) distributed $750,000 in a first round of aid, according to a news release.
Funds were disbursed to immigrants in Oregon facing financial hardships due to COVID-19, but who were excluded from federal stimulus relief or Unemployment Insurance due to their immigration status.
“Oregonians are coming together so that all of our community’s essential workers and their families ー which includes farm workers, food-processing workers, housekeepers, construction workers, landscapers, caregivers and day laborersー are able to survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adriana Miranda, executive director of Causa Oregon.
Individuals who received aid in the first round included essential immigrant workers who tested positive with COVID-19, rationed food for themselves and their families, and stopped buying critical medicine. As parents, many workers were forced to choose between paying for internet so their children could attend school or buying food and paying rent.
“The need is heartbreaking,” said Martha Sonato, political director at PCUN. “The Oregon Worker Relief Fund is critical to help immigrant Oregonians make ends meet during the pandemic. These individuals and families who have contributed to Oregon’s collective prosperity cannot be forgotten.”