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

In a Hard Fought Win for Undocumented Communities, Governor Jay Inslee Commits to Atleast $40 Million in COVID-19 Relief

Governor Inslee with a a group of immigrant leaders in the Capitol
Governor Jay Inslee with OneAmerica Leaders in January 2020

En español abajo

August 10, 2020

As Congress continues to exclude undocumented communities and mixed-status families from federal COVID-19 relief, Washington state is stepping up for immigrants and ensuring no one is forgotten. As a result of ongoing efforts from the undocumented community, Governor Inslee has announced a $40 million Worker Relief Fund that will provide one-time cash assistance to undocumented people in Washington State. This step makes Washington a leader as the second state after California to provide public, state funded relief to undocumented communities. 

As the coalition celebrates $40 million in relief for communities, the work is not done and greater funding will be needed. Although undocumented Washingtonians pay millions of dollars in taxes, they are unable to access unemployment and have been excluded from the federal stimulus payments. The fund is not enough to weather the deep impact of the pandemic thus far and the recession that is to come. The coalition asks both the Governor, the legislature and private donors and funders to respond to the needs of the community, help fill the gap, and create a permanent statewide unemployment system.

“Since COVID began, we have heard the stories of thousands of our undocumented siblings, including an undocumented mother and restaurant worker in King County who lost her job as a result of this pandemic. Her most urgent need was to know the safest part of town to sleep houseless without fear of immigration entanglements with her 1 year old, 4 year old and 6 year old daughters,” said Nedra Rivera & Linda Zietlow. Rivera and Zietlow are Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) Hotline Coordinators, a trusted community line {1-844-RAID-REP} where communities report immigration activity and seek referrals for relief. 

In April, a broad coalition of organizations and undocumented immigrant leaders formed to demand immediate action by Washington state and Governor Inslee in response to the urgent needs facing undocumented immigrant workers due to the pandemic. The Washington Dream Coalition stepped up and led a grassroots campaign that raised over $6 million for undocumented workers in the state. Mutual aid has supported the community, but the need outstrips what mutual aid alone can accomplish.

Antonio, a Redmond resident of 20 years, shared, “I have taken all the steps I can to try and pay my rent. I have asked for, and received, help from social service organizations and churches…” Antonio’s story isn’t unique. More than 229,000 undocumented immigrants call Washington home, according to a report by the Migration Policy Institute. 

Governor Inslee’s office will announce the Request For Proposal (RFP) seeking a foundation or nonprofit that will initially receive the funds. This entity will engage impacted community leaders to ensure that disaster relief funds reach those most in need of assistance. 

Undocumented community members can sign up here to be updated on next steps for the fund. There will be a separate sign up process to apply for funding, and applications are not yet open. 

Undocumented communities paid $316 million in taxes to Washington state in 2014 (the most recent data year) alone, according to a 2017 report by the Institue For Taxation and Economic Policy. “We are trying to survive and it is frustrating, sad, and unfair that time and time again we are not supported by the government we pay taxes to every year,” said Corina, an immigrant leader in King County. “We contribute to a system that we are not benefitting from. We deserve support- we are also on the front lines of this pandemic just as citizens are.”

“I was without work for 4 months accumulating debt and struggling to pay for my medication,” said Maria, who has worked as a housekeeper for 19 years in the Tri-Cities. “When I did go back to work, my boss chose profit over our health and allowed workers who were COVID19 positive to come back to work which exposed us all, and I contracted the virus.” Her husband Marco Antonio, a tractor driver at Allans Bros, said, “Not having access to any help forced us to continue working and it resulted in both of us getting sick. I’ve been fighting for my life for a month and this whole time I have been unemployed. A fund and access to a permanent unemployment benefit program like this will finally give families like ours the power to choose to stay home and prioritize our health without stressing about making ends meet.”


Bajo la presión de la comunidad de inmigrantes y en medio de llamadas de $100 millones en ayuda, el gobernador Jay Inslee se compromete a por lo menos $40 millones de dolares

Mientras el Congreso continúa excluyendo a las comunidades indocumentadas y las familias de estatus mixto de la ayuda federal del COVID-19, el estado de Washington está apoyando a los inmigrantes y asegurando que nadie sea olvidado. Como resultado de los continuos esfuerzos de la comunidad indocumentada, el Gobernador Inslee ha anunciado un Fondo de Ayuda para Trabajadores de $40 millones que proporcionará asistencia en efectivo por única vez a las personas indocumentadas en el estado de Washington. Este paso convierte a Washington en un líder como el segundo estado después de California en proporcionar ayuda pública financiada por el estado a las comunidades indocumentadas.

Mientras la coalición celebra $40 millones en ayuda para las comunidades, el trabajo no se acabado y se necesitará mayores fondos. Aunque los habitantes de Washington indocumentados pagan millones de dólares en impuestos, no pueden acceder al desempleo y han sido excluidos de los pagos de estímulo federal. El fondo no es suficiente para capear el profundo impacto de la pandemia hasta ahora y la recesión que está por venir. La coalición pide tanto al Gobernador, la legislatura y a los donantes y financiadores privados que respondan a las necesidades de la comunidad, ayuden a llenar el vacío y creen un sistema de desempleo permanente a nivel estatal.

“Desde que comenzó COVID, hemos escuchado las historias de miles de nuestros hermanos indocumentados, incluyendo una madre indocumentada y trabajadora de un restaurante en el Condado de King que perdió su trabajo como resultado de esta pandemia. Su necesidad más urgente era conocer la parte más segura de la ciudad para dormir sin hogar sin temor a las confrontación de inmigración con sus hijas de 1 año, 4 años y 6 años ”, dijeron Nedra Rivera y Linda Zietlow. Rivera y Zietlow son coordinadores de la línea directa de la Red de Solidaridad con Inmigrantes de Washington (WAISN), una línea comunitaria de confianza {1-844-RAID-REP} donde las comunidades reportan sobre actividades de inmigración y buscan referencias para ayuda.

En abril, una coalición de organizaciones y líderes inmigrantes indocumentados se formó para exigir la acción inmediata del estado de Washington y del Gobernador Inslee en respuesta a las necesidades urgentes que enfrentan los trabajadores inmigrantes indocumentados debido a la pandemia. El Washington Dream Coalition dirigió una campaña de base que recaudó más de $6 millones para los trabajadores indocumentados en el estado. La ayuda mutua ha apoyado a la comunidad, pero la necesidad supera lo que la ayuda mutua por sí sola puede lograr.

Antonio, un residente de Redmond de 20 años, compartió: “He tomado todos los pasos que puedo para intentar y pagar mi renta. He pedido y he recibido ayuda de organizaciones de servicios sociales e iglesias…” La historia de Antonio no es única. Más de 229,000 inmigrantes indocumentados llaman a Washington su hogar, según un informe de la Instituto de Política Migratoria.

La Oficina del Gobernador Inslee anunciara la Solicitud de Propuesta (RFP) buscando una fundación o organización sin fines de lucro que inicialmente recibirá los fondos. Esta entidad involucrará a los líderes comunitarios afectados para garantizar que los fondos de ayuda en casos de desastre lleguen a quienes más necesitan asistencia.

Los miembros de la comunidad indocumentados pueden registrarse aquí para recibir información actualizada sobre los próximos pasos para el fondo. Habrá un proceso de registro separado para solicitar financiación, y las aplicaciones aún no están abiertas.

Las comunidades indocumentadas pagaron $316 millones en impuestos al estado de Washington en 2014 (el año de datos más reciente) solo, según un informe de 2017 de La Institue para la Fiscalidad y la Política Económica. “Estamos tratando de sobrevivir y es frustrante, triste e injusto que una y otra vez no estemos respaldados por el gobierno al que pagamos impuestos cada año”, dijo Corina, una líder inmigrante en el Condado de King. “Contribuimos a un sistema del que no nos estamos beneficiando. Merecemos apoyo, también estamos en la primera línea de esta pandemia al igual que los ciudadanos ”.

“Estuve sin trabajo durante 4 meses acumulando deudas y luchando para pagar mi medicación”, dijo María, quien ha trabajado como limpiadora de casa durante 19 años en Tri-Cities. “Cuando volví al trabajo, mi jefe eligió las ganancias sobre nuestra salud y permitió que los trabajadores que eran COVID19 positivos volvieran al trabajo, lo que nos expuso a todos, y contraje el virus”. Su esposo Marco Antonio, un conductor de tractor en Allans Bros, dijo: “No tener acceso a ninguna ayuda nos obligó a seguir trabajando y resultó en que ambos nos enfermamos. He estado luchando por mi vida durante un mes y todo este tiempo he estado desempleado. Un fondo y el acceso a un programa de beneficios de desempleo como este finalmente le dará a familias como la nuestra el poder de elegir quedarse en casa y priorizar nuestra salud sin preocuparse por llegar a fin de mes.”


The coalition consists of: 

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, ACLU-WA, ADL Pacific Northwest, Americans for Refugees and Immigrantsÿ, APACE, 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 Universityÿ, Asian Pacific Directors Coalition, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, APIC SPS, Ariel Media, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO Seattle Chapterÿ, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition-Yakima County, Atlantic street center, Attain Housing, Ballard High School PTSA, BALORICO Danceÿ, 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 Universityÿ, Bothell United Methodist Church, Bright Water Waldorfÿ, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Building Changes, Burien/White Center Migra Watch, CAIR Washington, Calavera Collective, California LGBT Arts Allianceÿ, Casa Latina, Catholicÿ Bellarmine Jesuit Communityÿ, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Catholic Housing Services, Center for Guided Pathwaysÿ, Central Washington Justice For Our Neighbors, Centro Cultural Mexicano, El Centro de la Raza, Centro Latino, Channel A TVÿ, 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)ÿ, Civic Ventures, Cleveland STEM High School PTSA, Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violenceÿ, The Coffee Crushÿ, 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 Caf‚ 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 Coalitionÿ, Densho, Detail Xperts of Puget Sound, The DOVE Project, East Shore Unitarian Church, Eastside For All, Eastside Interfaith Gathering (EIG), Eastside Legal Assistance Program, EchoXÿ, 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 Associationÿ, Experience Education, Faith Action Network, Fair Work Centerÿ, Falis Community Serviceÿ, Families of Color Seattle, Family Learning Center, Filipino Community of Seattle, Firelands Workers United :: Trabajadores Unidos, First AMEÿ Churchÿ, 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,ÿ 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, Seattleÿ, India Association of Western Washington, Indivisible Puyallupÿ, Indivisible Greater Vancouver, Indivisible Whidbey – RAIN, Indivisible Plus: Washington, Infinitum Legal Counsel, P.S., Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, Intercommunity Peace & Justice Centerÿ, InterimCDA, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 77, International Refugee Assistance Project, Seattle Chapter, International Rescue Committee in Seattle, Islamic Center of Bothellÿ, Islamic Center of Tri-Citiesÿ, 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, Kavana, 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 Centerÿ, 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 Spokaneÿ, Latinos Promoting Good Health, Latinx Health Board, Latinx Unidos of South Sound, Laurel Rubin Farmworker Justice Projectÿ, Lawyer Moms Action, League of Women Voters of Washington, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, Legal Foundation of Washingtonÿ, Legal Voice, Legend Auto Sales, Leschi Elementary PTA, LGBTQ Allyship, LifeWire, Loren Miller Bar Association, LULAC, MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network), Maple PTSA, Mason County HOST Programÿ, 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, MomsRising, Mothers for Police Accountability, Mullen-Polk Foundationÿ, Multimedia Resources and Training Institute (MMRTI), Muslim Association of Puget Soundÿ, MCNA Muslim Community and Neighborhood Associationÿ, Muslim Housing Servicesÿ, 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 Abuseÿ, 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, OneAmerica, 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 Ni¤os de Highline, Party for Socialism and Liberation-Washington state, Partners for Our Children, Peace and Justice Action League of Spokaneÿ, 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 Idahoÿ, Plymouth Church United Church of Christ (Seattle), POC-SWOP, Political Destiny, Pride Foundation, Progreso, Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ, PROTEC17 – Professional & Technical Employees, Local 17, PSARA (Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action), Puentes, Puget Sound Sage, Pure Alchemy Organic Salon, QLaw Foundation of Washington, Qlothing Qollective, Quality Painters LLCÿ, 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, ReWA, Rising Star Elementary PTA, RVC Seattleÿ, 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 Churchÿ, 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, SOAR, Social Justice Fund NW, Society of Jesus, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Holy Family/Our Lady of Guadalupe Conference, Somali Community Services of Seattleÿ, Somali Family Safety Task Force, Somali Health Boardÿ, Somos Mujeres Latinas Washingtonÿ, Somos Seattle – Latinx LGBTQ Organizationÿ, 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 Changeÿ, Southwest Youth and Family Servicesÿ, 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 Changeÿ, 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 Restaurantÿ, TeamChild, 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, TRACTION, Transit Riders Union, Tri Cities Immigrant Coalition, Unemployment Law Project, UNITE HERE Local 8, UFCW21ÿ, 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, Ure¤a Law Office PLLC, U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle, Vancouver Education Association, Vashon United Methodist Church, Ventures, 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 Boardÿ, Villa Comunitaria, Wallingford Indivisible, Wallingford Presbyterian Churchÿ, Washington Attorneys with Disabilities Associationÿ, 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 Leadersÿ, 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, YouthCare

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