Whittier Council Member Jessica Martinez: Recuse Yourself from Immigrant Relief Lawsuit

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To Council Member Jessica Martinez,

COVID-19 has devastated our communities and we continue to share collectively in that pain. In our great City of Whittier, we have witnessed how this public health crisis has created economic hardship for everyone as the virus does not discriminate by class, gender, immigration status, or race. For this reason, we are disappointed that you have joined a lawsuit that seeks to prevent relief for immigrants. The following are some key statistics about Los Angeles County which includes the City of Whittier for your context.

According to the recently published State of Immigrants in Los Angeles County report by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC, there are approximately 886,000 undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County. 852,000 are U.S. Citizens who live with undocumented family members, and 273,000 Lawful Permanent Residents live with undocumented family members. In our very own Congressional District we have 4,000 DACA recipients. According to the New American Economy report from 2014, foreign-born residents in Los Angeles County provide $232.9 billion to the county's GDP, with $95.3 billion from Hispanic immigrants; $81.7 billion from Asian immigrants; and $55.9 billion from other foreign-born groups.

Lastly, immigrants, even those married to U.S. Citizens, do not qualify for a Federal Stimulus check. The Governor's Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Program will help to fill that gap to ensure families that qualify get the help that they need. Which has a positive effect in making sure that children and the elderly have their basic needs met. By being part of this lawsuit, you have chosen to side with hate and to ignore our dependence on immigrant labor and their economic contributions.  

For this reason, we believe that immigrants pay their fair share in taxes and provide essential functions through their hard work, especially during this pandemic. Immigrants need to be included in relief efforts to restart our local economy. We take the well being of all of our Whittier community very seriously and for this reason we are asking you to recuse yourself from this misguided and shameless effort to scapegoat immigrants. We demand that you look deep within yourself and find compassion for our fellow Whittier residents in their time of need. We ask that you do what is right.