Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues to McConnell: Immigrants Are Essential and Deserve Support in Coronavirus Relief Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged Majority Leader McConnell to support tax-paying immigrant families who have Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) in Oregon and across the nation by ensuring they have access to economic relief payments from the CARES Act and any future coronavirus relief package.

An estimated 20 million immigrants work in essential industries. These immigrants, particularly undocumented workers, comprise a disproportionate share of frontline workers. Many of these immigrant workers and their families face additional vulnerabilities during this public health and economic crisis, like a lack of health insurance coverage and lower incomes

“Therefore, it is critical that Congress ensures that immigrants who pay taxes, including frontline workers, are able to access the vital coronavirus economic relief measure in the CARES Act that was intended to help ensure that families are able to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads. As immigrant workers in hospitals, meat processing plants, farms, grocery stores, and elsewhere endure the hardships of this pandemic to provide for our most basic needs, we ask that you extend the coronavirus cash assistance Congress provided to include immigrant families who file taxes with an ITIN,” the senators wrote in a letter with 25 of their colleagues.

The senators continued, “No one should be denied critical economic relief benefits they would otherwise be entitled to simply because they are part of a mixed-status family.”

Wyden and Merkley joined Senators Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Patty Murray, D-Wash., in sending the letter, alongside Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Tom Carper, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Chris Coons, D-Del., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jack Reed, D-R.I.

The letter is available here.