Post by Miles Milke. Colgate class of 2021.
Source: Galvan, Astrid, et al. “Millions of Taxpaying Immigrants Won’t Get Stimulus Checks.” Associated Press, 12 Apr. 2020.
The quarantine that has been required in the United States for the past few weeks due to the outbreak of COVID-19 has effectively shut down the economy. In order to help Americans financially survive this, Congress has approved a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, which will give many low-income Americans checks for up to $1,200. However, there are millions of people working in low-income jobs in America who are out of work and will not receive these checks. These are the millions of immigrants who pay their taxes but are living in the US illegally. This group of roughly 4.3 million immigrants is what the article from the Associated Press focuses on. The article interviews a few individuals who are here illegally and will not receive any aid. Maria Zamorano, a house cleaner in Los Angeles, has had all of her employers cancel on her, leaving her without sufficient money for food, bills, and rent, as the weeks of quarantine continue to drag on. We see another danger that this poses, as a house painter and dish-washer Jose Martinez is left without work. He has been forced to continue to look for work of any sort, which is putting him, his family, and others at risk of infection. These workers are essential for the economy, and many of them have been here, paying taxes, for years, but are not getting any help. This does not only cause harm to these individuals but could adversely affect future low-skilled wages and the economy as a whole. Once the quarantine eventually ends and people are allowed to go back to work, we might see a decrease in the wages of the low-skilled jobs many undocumented immigrants work. These immigrants will be desperate for jobs and money and be willing to work for lower wages. This will be in an economy that will already be struggling to restart after the long break. President Trump has stated that this is something he has thought about, but we will have to see if anything will be done, or if these people will be left to struggle.