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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has ravaged the lives of many low-wage employees, including many immigrant Oregonians. The global pandemic has exposed the structural inequities in our society. Immigrant Oregonians have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Latinx Oregonians account for 22% of all cases of COVID-19, yet they are only 13% of the state’s population. The federal government has ignored our essential and tax-paying immigrants, and our immigrant neighbors cannot access public benefits.
The Oregon Worker Relief Fund would solve this problem by creating a rapid community-based system that would provide financial relief to Oregonians that cannot access public benefits. Many Oregonian immigrants fall under classifications that make them ineligible for unemployment insurance (UI). For instance, many Oregonians operate as independent contractors or are ineligible for public benefits due to their immigration classification. The Oregon Worker Relief Fund would provide temporary financial support for those that are falling through the cracks during our current pandemic.