Tell Gov Lamont: Protect Immigrant Communities in Connecticut during the global COVID-19 pandemic

CT Governor Ned Lamont and CT State Agencies

Undocumented immigrants are at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are the health care workers, grocery store workers, janitors, business owners, and restaurant workers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe and running. Yet immigrant communities have been left out of most federal relief packages. We cannot continue to have our workers and families on the front lines, who already lack equitable access to healthcare, remain susceptible to a silent, widespread threat with the potential to decimate total population health.

The state of CT has not yet acted to protect our state’s immigrant community - this is unacceptable!

Sign our petition below to Governor Lamont and DEMAND that CT protects its immigrant community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To: CT Governor Ned Lamont and CT State Agencies
From: [Your Name]

We, the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA), write to you regarding the immediate needs of our families and communities during this global COVID-19 pandemic. While federal responses to this severe public health crisis explicitly exclude undocumented folks and their families, Connecticut policymakers must utilize their power and discretion to protect all resident. We need sensible and adaptive systems that advance positive health outcomes, as well as justice and fairness.

The state must take immediate steps to protect undocumented folks and all people who face systematic barriers to health and well-being. We need you to work with people who possess relevant experience, perspective, and expertise in your administration, in relevant fields, and in our communities to make Connecticut a safe, free, and healthy state.

In keeping our communities safe, informed, and connected during this global pandemic, CIRA has composed a list of demands that any state response for COVID-19 relief MUST MEET:

1) Intentional inclusion of all immigrant communities in Connecticut in any COVID-19 response plan rising out of the Governor’s office or Connecticut General Assembly (CGA)
Including, but not limited to:
- Unemployment assistance due to lost income from lost jobs, cut hours, lack of childcare, lack of safe working conditions, health reasons, or caretaking responsibilities
- Paid Family and Sick Leave, Rent or Mortgage suspension or forgiveness

2) Complete, immediate, and indefinite access to HUSKY and AccessHealthCT for all people without Social Security Numbers

3) Bridge gaps in funding and resources in federal stimulus packages to include immigrant communities

4) Oversight and accountability of frontline industries that expose workers to public health risks, such as health, cleaning, retail, and food service
- Frontline worker designation for all retail workers employed in food, dry and household goods stores, so that they receive: priority access to testing; access to PPE, when available; and access to childcare services and/or funding.
- Require employers to provide “hazard pay” equal to one and a half times an employee's regular rate of pay for every hour worked while the state operates under an official “state of emergency” status, as declared by the Governor of Connecticut. Hazard pay is extra compensation for employees exposed to dangerous conditions.

5) Safe and systematic decarceration of Connecticut Department of Corrections facilities

6) Call for the safe and systematic decarceration of ICE detention centers where Connecticut residents and their families are held
See letters from ICE detainees in Bristol County, MA

7) Call for an immediate end to all ICE activity impacting residents of the State of Connecticut, their families,and communities
- Eliminate all ICE arrests around the areas of healthcare facilities, even if ICE claims ‘exceptional circumstances’

8) Suspend the felony conviction exemption to the amended TRUST Act, thereby protecting those Connecticut residents from ICE enforcement and unsafe detention during this novel public health emergency