Durbin Discusses Impact Of COVID-19 On Local Communities With The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke with Illinois Business Immigration Coalition leaders and staff about his efforts to extend COVID-19 relief to immigrants and communities of color. On the call, Durbin discussed provisions contained in the Heroes Act that he is fighting for in the Senate, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) work authorization extensions. He also discussed the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act, legislation he has cosponsored which would help ensure that all communities are able to access COVID-19 testing and treatment, and would extend eligibility for cash relief payments to mixed-status households and taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and his Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which would quickly strengthen the healthcare workforce and improve healthcare access during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of this country and reached every community. It is only just that this country’s immigrants are offered the same relief and access to programs like the PPP during a public health and economic crisis,” said Durbin. “Immigrants continue to treat COVID-19 patients in the health care field, run businesses that employ many Americans, and continue their education in this country. I’ll keep fighting to amplify their stories and secure legal and financial protections for them and their families in the Senate.”

Durbin also addressed improving the accessibility of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for immigrant business owners by setting aside funding specifically for community-based lenders that better serve minority-owned, rural, and underbanked businesses. He also spoke out against the recently announced Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy that would make international students enrolled at colleges and universities that choose to pursue full-time online coursework this fall subject to deportation.