News Release

UnidosUS Responds to COVID-19

Organization launches comprehensive, bilingual effort to support Latino community during crisis

April 20, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization (formerly known as National Council of La Raza) launched a comprehensive set of actions and resources aimed at helping Latino families during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus pandemic spotlights the health and economic inequities facing Latinos, UnidosUS remains more committed than ever to providing the Hispanic community the necessary support and advocacy to help them manage this crisis. According to a Latino Decisions poll released last week, 65 percent of Latinos surveyed have either lost a job, wages or a business—and many lack access to health care.

“The Latino community has taken an enormous hit from the COVID-19 crisis, in terms of both finances and health,” says UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “But we have yet to see an intentional effort from the federal government to specifically address the community’s concerns even though so many Hispanics are on the front lines in helping to keep everyone fed, healthy and safe. So, we are launching one of the most comprehensive efforts in our history to marshal our advocacy and communications as well as our network of community-based Affiliates in support of our community.”

Among the steps UnidosUS has taken are:

Providing Comprehensive Bilingual COVID-19 Information

The organization has been at the forefront of providing bilingual, multimedia information for Spanish speakers. After seeing the void of culturally relevant information, UnidosUS created a Spanish-language webpage with guidelines on COVID-19 to serve Latino families. Additionally, UnidosUS co-hosted a tele town hall with Telemundo in Spanish that highlighted into key issues that families need to be aware of during this pandemic.

The organization has also created a central hub on UnidosUS.org for COVID-19 information designed to keep Latinos informed. Visitors can find public health and safety information, lists of resources and services the community can access, and informative materials and graphics free to anyone that needs them. Also available is information on the policy priorities UnidosUS has been advocating for with Congress and policymakers to ensure relief that is more equitable, broad-reaching and inclusive of Latinos.

And UnidosUS has launched a bilingual video series titled “UnidosUS Cares: Explaining COVID-19 Relief for Latino Families,” where UnidosUS policy experts explain what is included and what is not in the stimulus package and what it means for the Latino community.

Helping Community-Based Organizations Respond to the Crisis

UnidosUS is working with its Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations to support their on-the-ground efforts. These local organizations which include Head Start centers, charter schools, federally qualified health centers, housing/financial services and more, which are on the frontlines providing critically important services to hundreds of thousands of families in communities across the nation. Specifically, UnidosUS will provide short-term emergency operating funding through small grants, boost Affiliate access to CARES Act public and private resources and help them transition to digital platforms to sustain connections with their communities.

Advocating for Equitable Relief That Fully Includes Latino and Immigrant Families

UnidosUS has worked with our allies in Congress on the CARES Act and succeeded in getting key provisions included such as extending unemployment insurance, help for small businesses that will prevent layoffs, some relief for renters and homeowners, and state and local emergency funding. And while the CARES Act and earlier relief packages cover many urgent needs, more still is needed like access to emergency economic supports for all workers and direct relief payments to those who need it most.

We believe it is in the public health interest to ensure that all individuals, regardless of immigration status, have access to coronavirus testing and treatment, including the uninsured and underinsured. Extending Medicaid coverage, and removing federal barriers to Medicaid, is the most effective means of achieving swift enrollment and full access to COVID-19 screening or treatment for as many people as possible.

We will continue to urge our national leaders to deliver necessary support to families and students in all of America’s diverse communities, including early child learning for the children of migrant workers, stronger support for English learners and more robust student debt relief.

We are also fighting for housing relief, including moratoria on mortgage payments and evictions as well as housing counseling.

Additionally, mixed-status families remain among the most vulnerable in the country since many have already suffered tremendously at the hands of the administration’s cruel anti-immigrant campaign. UnidosUS will work to ensure that our national leaders offer access to emergency economic supports, guarantee automatic renewal of Employment Authorization Documents and revoke regulations harming American children in mixed-status homes.

Further, with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic halting voter registration efforts and delaying elections, there’s a real fear that voters, including Latinos, will have trouble exercising their franchise in the remaining primaries and the general election in November. Through its ¡Adelante! 2020 campaign, UnidosUS will continue to demand that all registered voters should receive vote-by-mail ballots.

You can find all the organization’s latest work on our social channels, on all platforms, at @WeAreUnidosUS.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact:
Chris Allbritton
news@unidosus.org
(202) 575-1575