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Resources for Immigrants During the Coronavirus by Jasmine Huang

May 25, 2020

With the onslaught of the coronavirus, the unprecedented global pandemic has placed the world in a position of uncertainty. For immigrants especially, the coronavirus has presented a new set of problems in addition to the usual struggles that occur during the process of adapting to a new place. With many countries like the United States enacting travel and entry restrictions, nonimmigrant visa holders and other immigrants are being impacted for the long term as difficulties regarding their health, finances, and legal status rise. In turn, here is a list of resources (organized by category) that are geared towards immigrants to help how they approach, understand, and manage these chaotic times.


General

  1. Advertised as the largest immigrant youth-led community in the US, the United We Dream Network has created a straightforward guide for navigating the confusion. There are instructions for handling the USCIS office closures, as well as links to healthcare resources for undocumented individuals that are organized by state.
  2.  Informed Immigrant is a digital and offline network that aims to produce the most up-to-date and accessible content for the undocumented immigrant community. They have compiled a list of information available online. Resources can be searched for by keyword or by state and include everything from health and education to food distribution and mental health. 
  3. Welcome America was launched in 2009 as a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting America’s diverse communities. Their online database of information includes general statements from the government but also in-depth articles to help with language access online and at-home during quarantine and general well-being. They also have an extensive list of organizations and funds that support small, immigrant-owned businesses and instructions for how others can contribute. 
  4. A non-profit organization that focuses on English-learning, public awareness, and research on the contributions of immigrants, the Immigrant Learning Center is based in Massachusetts but advertises a variety of tips, tricks, and assistance for handling the global pandemic. The first article published on their page answers frequently asked questions about the virus, while additional links direct visitors to job-search tools for the unemployed and resources to fight hate crimes. 


Immigration Issues

  1. Protecting Immigrant Families is updating its website with the latest US government policies and public programs regarding immigrant eligibility, public charge implications, and what is currently available through them. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) are both included; categories include help with cash assistance, unemployment, and healthcare. 
  2. The National Immigration Law Center provides a detailed overview of immigrants’ access to healthcare, which includes new funding Congress has made available (such as the aforementioned Families First Coronavirus Response Act). They also outline the eligibility requirements for those who might qualify for services like “Emergency Medicaid” or emergency treatment under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. 


Health and Wellbeing

  1. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has published the digital COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide which introduces general information on the virus before examining the health implications of it––both physical and mental––as well as their potential solutions. 
  2. The Wellness Society’s goal is to provide self-help tools for those who can’t afford long-term private therapy and help them overcome mild to moderate mental health issues without professional assistance. They have a published The Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook as a comprehensive guide to building resilience in this time of distress. There are a total of 25 chapters, ranging from managing stress and developing a routine to reducing anxiety and exercising. 
  3. With a mission dedicated to decreasing the stigma about seeking care and improving mental health literacy, Psych Hub serves the people as the world’s largest digital education platform for mental health issues. They’ve partnered with a wide variety of organizations to publish their COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, creating targeted resources for individuals, students and educators, veterans, and more. 

 


Financial Help 

  1. The US Government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has posted a guide for understanding the general process of the COVID-19 stimulus relief. Have questions for how to receive your Economic Impact Payment, if you qualify for it under the CARES act, or when you can expect to get your relief package? All of that (and more!) is outlined in their list of frequently asked questions. 
  2. The Economic Disaster Relief Fund has been established by the federal government’s US Small Business Administration (SBA) to supply $10,000 grants and low-interest loans for small businesses. Loans can be eligible for forgiveness if small businesses can bring back their employees once the coronavirus pandemic simmers down and follow the additional prerequisites stated by the SBA. 
  3. The Mission Asset Fund (MAF) has created the Immigrant Families Fund. MAF was developed to promote a fairer financial marketplace for immigrant families. They’ve currently formed the Immigrant Families Fund to support any immigrants who have been left out of the federal government’s relief efforts. Immigrants can receive up to $500 to cover the costs of any issues that require their immediate attention.


Anti-discrimination

  1. The Urban Institute is a non-profit research organization that works to determine current challenges in the world and identify solutions. They recently published an article titled “Confronting Racism and Supporting Asian American Communities in the Wake of COVID-19." It looks into how individuals can address racism and has suggestions for how policy-makers and citizens can support Asian American communities during this pandemic. 
  2. Asian Americans Advancing Justice acts as an affiliation of five different organizations to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans. In their COVID-19 fact sheet, they provide links to obtain accurate health information, document and report hate crimes, undergo bystander training (which is training for those who wish to combat pandemic-associated racism on a day-to-day level), and more. 
  3. Lastly, Racial Equity Tools is a website designed to help individuals and groups working towards racial equity; the database advertises itself as a place for tools, research, curricula, and ideas to increase people’s understanding of social justice. As the development of the coronavirus has revealed America’s underlying structural racism, Racial Equity Tools has created a comprehensive toolkit for understanding and analyzing racism in the pandemic and addressing it.  


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