A progressive group in Minnesota wants state and national lawmakers to pass a “stronger unemployment insurance package” that includes benefits for illegal immigrants.
TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive community organizing group, released a list of policy proposals that it would like to see included in any stimulus package passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will get through this crisis together or not at all,” the group said in a statement released last week. “Under the Senate’s federal bill, the largest corporations stand to access hundreds of billions of dollars with little public oversight. Meanwhile, the safety net for many classifications of workers and undocumented working families is non-existent. This is unacceptable.”
TakeAction’s list of 13 proposals calls for a “stronger unemployment insurance package that includes all immigrants and undocumented workers.”
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said last week that the state has seen 182,000 workers apply for unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic. Minnesota had 116,438 new unemployment claims during the week that ended March 21. That’s an increase of 112,428 claims from the prior week ending March 14.
Minnesota was one of 10 states to see a six-figure increase in unemployment claims between the week ending March 14 and the week ending March 21.
Nationally, 3.28 million Americans filed unemployment claims between March 15 and 21, an increase of more than three million claims from the prior week. The Department of Labor said the nearly 3.3 million claims is a record high for a single week and almost five times the previous record of 695,000, which was set in October 1982.
TakeAction would also like to see the extension of work authorization for DACA and TPS holders as well as the cancellation of all student debt.
“The state and federal government must move toward decarceration,” the list adds. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota recently asked the state government to limit arrests to the “most serious offenses” during the COVID-19 outbreak, The Minnesota Sun reported.
Similarly, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) called for a complete freeze on immigration enforcement and deportations during the pandemic in a letter sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
“Today, we’re calling on Minnesota’s Congressional delegation to fight for a stimulus package that puts people and small businesses first and matches the scope of the crisis,” TakeAction said.
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