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Statement on Congress Passing COVID-19 Response Bill
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Today, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a bipartisan COVID-19 response bill. The $2 trillion in funding will increase resources for those in the U.S. in need of employment and healthcare support, as well as provide overseas assistance for refugees and other forcibly displaced people who are also suffering during the pandemic.
In response to the legislation’s passage Elizabeth Mandelman, HIAS’ Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy remarked, “HIAS applauds Congress for including $350 million in funding to support the Migration and Refugee Account under the Department of State. These funds will assist the United States in better responding to the protection needs of refugee populations during this crisis. We hope in future legislative packages that Congress will address other pressing issues, including ensuring that refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders whose travel to the U.S. has been delayed due to COVID-19 will be allowed to travel immediately, once restrictions are lifted.
We also urge Congress to extend unemployment protections to make certain that newly arrived refugees and immigrants – many of whom work in hard-hit industries like hospitality and service – will have access to important financial safety nets. HIAS urges Congress to consider all workers and families in future efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”