Governor Inslee with a a group of immigrant leaders in the Capitol

Letter: Coalition Demands $100 Million to Support Undocumented Workers in Washington State

Governor Inslee with a a group of immigrant leaders in the Capitol

Click here for PDF of Letter

April 20, 2020

Dear Governor Inslee, Majority Leader Billig, and Speaker Jinkins:

We are writing to ask you to take urgently needed action to ensure the health and stability of Washington’s immigrant community. While the coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all, undocumented immigrants are uniquely at risk. Undocumented immigrants and their families are completely excluded from the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed last month, despite broad consensus that providing economic stability to all workers is essential to ending this public health crisis.

More than 250,000 undocumented immigrants call Washington home. They are part of our families and community, make substantial contributions to our state, and deserve fair treatment and respect as human beings regardless of their immigration or employment status. It must also be recognized that those who are employed and participate in Washington’s economy pay more than $316 million each year in state and local taxes. 

They are overrepresented in industries that have been decimated by the pandemic, including restaurants, hospitality, landscaping and construction. Often living paycheck to paycheck, undocumented workers suddenly face the prospect of serious illness and complete loss of income, with no safety net.

Ineligible for unemployment insurance, disproportionately likely to lack access to paid sick leave or health insurance, and unfairly left out of federal stimulus measures, these community members are being forced to bear the brunt of a pandemic alone.

We call on you to take immediate action to address the needs of these state residents in the next two weeks by:

  1.  Creating a “Washington Worker Relief Fund” through the Governor’s office with at least $100 million initially allocated to it. The fund will be administered by community based organizations to provide emergency economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians, so that everyone has access to the relief they need during the pandemic; and,
  2. Working with caucus leadership to create a permanent system that will provide wage replacement protection to workers who lose their jobs and are excluded from the current unemployment insurance system, including undocumented immigrants. Failing to provide a safety net for these workers and their families undermines public health and will hamper the Washington economy’s ability to recover from the pandemic. Without state government intervention, hundreds of thousands of Washington residents are at risk of being exposed to coronavirus and becoming destitute. 

That risk is already reality for many immigrant community members. Rosí and her husband live in Vancouver and lost their jobs in early March. They worked at a restaurant and for a small business, both of which suddenly closed due to the coronavirus. 

With no support from the federal government, Rosí has been put in an impossible situation. She must look for a new job in order to pay rent, even though she is afraid that she will put herself or her family at risk of catching the coronavirus. She cannot access any of the income replacement programs that others can to keep her family healthy and safe during this pandemic. Rosí’s story is an alarmingly common one in the immigrant community. If an emergency fund or state wage replacement system existed, Rosí would be able to support her family, protect public health, and contribute to her community’s economic recovery.

We appreciate the steps you have taken so far to keep Washingtonians safe and to support individuals and small businesses during this crisis. We ask that you continue to lead by ensuring that no Washington family is left behind. 

Establishing this program for systemic undocumented worker relief during the crisis will save lives and help all our communities recover economically. With over 400 organizations signed on in support, we urge you to take these immediate steps to provide emergency relief to undocumented community members and their families.


350 Seattle
Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services
Academia Latina
Adoptees for Justice
AFT Washington
African Community Housing and Development
Alliance of People with disAbilities
All In For Washington
ACLU Burien People Power
ADL Pacific Northwest
Americans for Refugees and Immigrants
API Chaya
The Arc of King County
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington
Asian Pacific Islander Law Student Association, Seattle University
Asian Pacific Directors Coalition
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Ariel Media
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO Seattle Chapter
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition-Yakima County
Atlantic street center
Attain Housing
Ballard High School PTSA
Bend the Arc Jewish Action: Seattle
Bellarmine High School, Tacoma Wa.
Bellingham Deaf and Disability Justice Collective
Benefits Law Center
Bethany United Church of Christ
Bethel Lutheran Church
Beyond HB 1079
Birchwood Food Desert Fighters
Black Law Student Association, Seattle University
Bothell United Methodist Church
Bright Water Waldorf
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Building Changes
Burien/White Center Migra Watch
CAIR Washington
Calavera Collective
California LGBT Arts Alliance
Casa Latina
Catholic Bellarmine Jesuit Community
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
Catholic Housing Services
Center for Guided Pathways
Central Washington Justice For Our Neighbors
Centro Cultural Mexicano
El Centro de la Raza
Centro Latino
Channel A TV
Children’s Alliance
Chief Sealth PTSA
Christoffersen Law P.S.
Church Council of Greater Seattle
Church of the Apostles
Chuy Frez Roasting Company
CIELO (Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia)
City of Seattle Civic Ventures
Cleveland STEM High School PTSA
Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence
The Coffee Crush
Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Columbia City Church of Hope
Columbia Legal Services
El Comite
Communities of Concern Commission
Community Acupuncture Project
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Community Café Collaborative
Community Credit Lab
Community Foundation for Southwest Washington
Community Response Alliance
Community Visions
Concord International Elementary PTA
Congregation Beth Shalom Immigration and Sanctuary Committee
Congregational Church on Mercer Island
Congolese Integration Network
Country Doctor Community Health Centers
Crimson Group
CWA Local 7901
DEI in Washington Community & Technical Colleges Coalition
Detail Xperts of Puget Sound
The DOVE Project
East Shore Unitarian Church
Eastside For All
Eastside Interfaith Gathering (EIG)
Eastside Legal Assistance Program
Ecolazos Consulting
Economic Opportunity Institute
Entre Hermanos
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
Equity in Education Coalition
Equal Rights Washington
Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle
Everett Community College
Evergreen Education Association
Experience Education
Faith Action Network
Fair Work Center
Falis Community Service
Families of Color Seattle
Family Learning Center
Filipino Community of Seattle
Firelands Workers United :: Trabajadores Unidos
First AME Church
First United Methodist Church, Bellevu
Food & Water Action
For the People
Fourth Plain Forward
Freedom Socialist Party
Friends Of Hawthorne PTA
Fuse Washington
Gambian Talents Promotion
Garcia Counseling
Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Got Green
Grace Lutheran Church, Port Townsend
GRACE (Grandmothers for Race and Class Equality)
Graham Hill Elementary PTA
Green River Diversity & Equity Council
Hand in Hand
Health Care for All-Washington
Health Care Is a Human Right WA
Highline College
Highline College Undocumented Student Task Force
Highline United Methodist Church
Hispanic Business/Professional Association, Spokane
Hispanic Disability Support SWWA (Pasitos Gigantes)
Hmong Association of WA
Homeless Network of Yakima County
IATSE Local 15
I Did The Time
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seattle
India Association of Western Washington
Indivisible Puyallup
Indivisible Greater Vancouver
Indivisible Whidbey – RAIN
Indivisible Plus: Washington
Infinitum Legal Counsel, P.S.
Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center
Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 77
International Refugee Assistance Project, Seattle Chapter
International Rescue Committee in Seattle
Islamic Center of Bothell
Islamic Center of Tri-Cities
Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle Chapter
Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates
Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle
Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle
John Rogers PTA
JustLead Washington
Kadima Reconstructionist Community
Keystone United Church of Christ
Khalsa Gurmat Center
Khmer Anti-deportation Advocacy Group (KhAAG)
Kids in Need of Defense
Kitsap Advocating for Immigrant Rights & Equality
Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center
Kol HaNeshamah
Korean American Bar Association of Washington
Korean Community Service Center
La Casa Hogar
Lake City Collective
Lake Forest Bar and Grill
Lake Washington United Methodist (Kirkland)
Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
Latino Civic Alliance
Latino Community Fund of Washington State
Latino Educational training Institute
Latinos en Spokane
Latinos Promoting Good Health
Latinx Health Board
Latinx Unidos of South Sound
Laurel Rubin Farmworker Justice Project
Lawyer Moms Action
League of Women Voters of Washington
Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
Legal Foundation of Washington
Legal Voice
Legend Auto Sales
Leschi Elementary PTA
LGBTQ Allyship
Loren Miller Bar Association
MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network)
Maple PTSA
Mason County HOST Program
Matters of the Heart Counseling
MIA – Mujeres in Action
Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington
MLK County Working Families Party
MLK Labor
The Mockingbird Society
Mothers for Police Accountability
Mullen-Polk Foundation
Multimedia Resources and Training Institute (MMRTI)
Muslim Association of Puget Sound
MCNA Muslim Community and Neighborhood Association
Muslim Housing Services
NAACP Spokane Branch #1137
National Education Association
Neighborhood House
New Beginnings
The Noble Foundation
North American Post Publishing, Inc
Northern Lights Region Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Northwest Accountability Project
Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
Northwest Harvest
Northwest Health Law Advocates
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
The NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse
Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA
Nourishing Networks
Nuestra Casa
Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
Odyssey World International Education Services
Office & Professional Employees International Union, Local 8
Olympia Community Resilience
Olympic Peninsula Progressives
Omega Delta Phi
OPAL Community Land Trust
Organization Centroamericana
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church
OutLaws – Seattle University School of Law
Oxfam America
Pacific County Immigrant Support
Pacific Islander Health Board of WA
Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ
Pacific Northwest Ugandan American Association (PNUAA)
Para Los Niños de Highline
Party for Socialism and Liberation-Washington state
Partners for Our Children
Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane
Peace Lutheran Church
People of Color Community Coalition
Physicians for a National Health Program – Western Washington Chapter
Pierce County AIDS Foundation
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Greater Washington and North Idaho
Plymouth Church United Church of Christ (Seattle)
Political Destiny
Pride Foundation
Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ
PROTEC17 – Professional & Technical Employees, Local 17
PSARA (Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action)
Puget Sound Sage
Pure Alchemy Organic Salon
QLaw Foundation of Washington
Qlothing Qollective
Quality Painters LLC
Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Radical Women
Rainier View PTSA
The Rauschenbusch Center for Spirit and Justice
Ravenna Collaboratory
Redmond United Methodist Church
Refugee Woman’s Alliance
Reimagine Spokane
Renton Area Youth and Family Services
La Resistencia
Rising Star Elementary PTA
RVC Seattle
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Saint Clement’s Episcopal Church, Seattle
St. John the Baptist
St Joseph Seattle
St. Joseph Catholic Church
St. Leo Catholic Church
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Saint Mary Catholic Church
St. Vincent de Paul – St. Mary’s Church Conference
Sammamish Muslim Association
Scholarship Junkies
SeaChange Health & Wellness
Sea Mar Community Health Centers
Seattle Amistad School
Seattle Council PTSA
Seattle Democratic Socialists of America
Seattle Foundation
Seattle Indivisible
Seattle Interfaith Migrant Rights Network
Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission
Seattle Immigrant Rights Action Group
Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness
Seattle Labor Chorus
Seattle Sensory and Structural Integration
Seattle South Asians 4 Black Lives
Seattle Works
SEEL Puget Sound
SEIU 775
SEIU 925
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation (SYL Foundation)
Sierra Club
Sinclair Election Campaign
Sisters of the Holy Names, US-Ontario Province
Sisters of St. Dominic of Tacoma and Associates
Sisters of St Dominic of Tacoma
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
Snohomish County
Snohomish County Indivisible
Snohomish and Island County Labor Council
Snohomish Immigration Advocacy
Snoqualmie United Methodist Church
Social Justice Fund NW
Society of Jesus
Society of St Vincent de Paul, Holy Family/Our Lady of Guadalupe Conference
Somali Community Services of Seattle
Somali Family Safety Task Force
Somali Health Board
Somos Mujeres Latinas Washington
Somos Seattle – Latinx LGBTQ Organization
The Sophia Way
Sound Alliance
South King Youth Engagement Coalition
South Puget Sound Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC)
South Puget Sound Community College
South Seattle Counseling
Southend Neighbors for Peace & Justice (South King County)
Southwest Washington Communities United for Change
Southwest Youth and Family Services
Spanish English Interpreter (Spokane, WA)
Spokane Chapter of Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington
Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition
Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium
Washington Middle School PTSA
Statewide Poverty Action Network
Storytellers for Change
Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance Olympia
Support for Early Learning & Families
SW Washington League of United Latin Americans Council 47013
Tacoma DSA
Tacoma Dominican Sisters and Associates
Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective
Tacoma Urban League
Tacoma Pro-Bono Community Lawyers
Take the Next Step
Tapatio Restaurant
Teamsters 117
Teenagers Plus
Temple Beth Am Immigrant Justice Action Team
Temple De Hirsch Sinai
Tenants Union of Washington
Thornton Creek PTA
Thornton Creek Elementary PTA
Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council
Transit Riders Union
Tri Cities Immigrant Coalition
Unemployment Law Project
United Methodist Church
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
University District Immigrant Justice Hub
United We Dream
University Congregational United Church of Christ
University Friends Meeting, Seattle
University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle
University Unitarian Church
UW Law Asian/Pacific American Law Student Association
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Ureña Law Office PLLC
U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle
Vancouver Education Association
Vashon United Methodist Church
Veterans for Peace (Thurston-Lewis-Mason-Grays Harbor Counties)
Verheys Peaches
Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Washington
Vietnamese American Community of Seattle, Sno-King Counties
Vietnamese Health Board
Villa Comunitaria
Wallingford Indivisible
Wallingford Presbyterian Church
Washington Attorneys with Disabilities Association
Washington State League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
WASITRAC (Washington State India Trade Relations Action Committee)
Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition
Washington Census Alliance – Progresso
Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Washington Coalition to Eliminate Farmworker Sexual Harassment
Washington Coalition for Homeless Youth Advocacy
Washington Community Action Network
Washington Defender Association
Washington Dream Coalition
Washington Education Association
Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA)
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington Progress Alliance
Washington State Association of Head Start, ECEAP and Early Head Start
Washington State Budget & Policy Center
Washington State Catholic Conference
Washington State Coalition of African Community Leaders
Washington State Coalition of African Community Leaders
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Washington State Community Action Partnership
Washington State Labor Council
Washington State Parent Ambassadors
Washington State Progressive Party
Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture
Washington Wage Claim Project
Western Washington National Association of Hispanic Nurses
Whatcom County Jobs with Justice
Whatcom New Life Assembly
World Relief Seattle
Working Washington
Xpayac Forestry Center

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