Undocumented Workers Fund - Letter to Governor Polis Sign On
Please sign onto this letter to Colorado Governor Jared Polis advocating for more resources for the undocumented community in Colorado. Undocumented Coloradans are excluded from the federal CARES Act, unemployment insurance, and almost all other forms of federal assistance.
The Honorable Governor Jared Polis Governor of the State of Colorado State Capitol Building 200 E. Colfax Avenue, Room 136 Denver, CO 80203
Dear Governor Polis:
We write to express our appreciation for your tremendous leadership in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and for your work to advance justice, equity, and inclusion in our State. We want to bring to your attention an important privately funded effort gaining momentum across our state that is providing cash grants to the Coloradans ineligible for unemployment insurance and almost all other forms of federal assistance: primarily, the undocumented immigrant community. We believe that this is an opportune moment to form a public/private partnership to further build on the private efforts that are already underway.
Over the past month, Colorado philanthropic organizations have quickly mobilized funding from the private/philanthropic sector to support undocumented immigrants with cash relief assistance. A number of organizations across the state are providing cash grants between $500 - $1,000 to extremely vulnerable workers that have lost their jobs (e.g. day laborers, street vendors, restaurant and hospitality workers, farmworkers, janitors, and others), empowering them with choice to address their most pressing needs such as rent, utility payments, childcare, food, health, and so forth. Many of these workers are in mixed status families (there are approximately 75,000 U.S. citizen children in Colorado with an undocumented parent), and they are now struggling to provide for their families. Research shows that unrestricted cash assistance is the most efficient and efficacious way to help individuals and families meet their basic needs.
We are now well-positioned to scale our efforts. Therefore, we are requesting that you exercise your Executive Authority to establish a private/public relief fund that is focused on providing direct cash assistance to immigrant Coloradans who are ineligible for federal aid. We believe there is a clear path forward to form this partnership in a way that does not trigger public charge or violate the House Bill 06-1023, yet allows the State to step up to support our immigrant undocumented community.
Our immigrant neighbors, co-workers, and friends are vital to the State’s economy. Their work supports our ski industry during the winter, our recreational tourism industry and our commercial real estate industry year-round, and our large agricultural sector across the state. In the fight against this pandemic, we are all in this together, and we urge you to prioritize supporting immigrant Coloradans with no access to federal relief during this critical time.
We would welcome the opportunity to meet with your administration to discuss how we can partner with you to provide a cash relief fund for our Colorado immigrant undocumented community.
Again, we thank you for your leadership in these unprecedented times and are at your disposal to discuss how we can work together on this collective effort.
Signatories of this letter