Grassroots coalition creates new fund and calls for more public and private support for undocumented immigrants in Delaware
Wilmington, Del. – Today, the grassroots Safe Communities Coalition is announcing the launch of the Delaware Immigrant Fund to support undocumented Delawareans during the coronavirus crisis.
The Delaware Immigrant Fund provides direct cash assistance to immigrant Delawareans who are affected by the COVID pandemic but are excluded from federal relief and ineligible for most state safety-net programs.
The Safe Communities Coalition launched the fund after urging Governor Carney in an open letter to do more to provide financial relief to undocumented Delawareans who are unable to receive federal CARES Act stimulus funding or state level unemployment benefits.
The coalition was hoping Governor Carney would follow the examples in New York, California, and Texas where the public and private sectors worked together to support vulnerable immigrants.
“We joined a few calls with the Governor and Latino leaders and we left the conversations frustrated about his response. So we decided to get something started at the grassroots level and the response has been heartwarming,” said Safe Communities Coalition co-chair, Dalissy Washington.
Along with co-founders, Erika Gutierrez, Drew Serres, and Atnre Alleyne, Dalissy Washington soft-launched the Delaware Immigrant Fund at the website — www.ImmigrantFundDE.org — on Friday evening.
In just a few days, the fund has received $12,567 in donations from 99 donors. The team is aiming to have raised $20,000 toward their initial goal of $50,000 by Friday May 22nd. They are working to attract business and philanthropic support for the fund over the next few weeks as well.
The Delaware Immigrant Fund will begin reviewing applications from vulnerable undocumented Delawareans on Friday and will make mini-grant awards ranging from $100 to $1,000 to support basic needs.
The committee reviewing applications will prioritize applications from Sussex County during its first funding rounds given the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in Sussex.
“What we have been hearing from immigrants working in the poultry industry in Sussex County is particularly alarming. Some have shared about how scared they are to go to work. Others are sick but have to go to work to support their families. Something has to be done,” said fund co-founder, Erika Gutierrez.
The fund is being hosted at Network Delaware as a grassroots effort that emerged from the organization’s Safe Communities Campaign.
The fund is being coordinated pro bono by a committee of grassroots leaders with proven expertise, track record, and established trust with undocumented families.
You can learn more about the Delaware Immigrant Fund here.
About Network Delaware: Launched in 2017, Network Delaware is a statewide community organizing and empowerment organization with a mission to “activate change agents.”Learn more at www.thenetworkde.org.
05/16/20 - Safe Communities Coalition has launched the Delaware Immigrant Fund to provide direct cash assistance to the immigrants affected by the COVID pandemic but are excluded from federal relief and ineligible for most state safety-net programs.
Undocumented immigrants in Delaware paid an estimated $13.5 million in state and local taxes in 2014.
Undocumented immigrants in Delaware don't receive Federal or State Relief Funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are excluded from stimulus money and unemployment benefits.
Safe Communities asks for any donation to help them reach their initial goal ($50,000).
For donations click here