Grocery suppliers and street vendors go on hunger strike in NYC calling for more help to undocumented workers

“During this time I feel bad because I couldn’t offer my daughter in Guatemala the support I wanted.”

If the proposed law passes, it won’t be the first time a state has stepped in to fill the gaps in federal aid to Covid-19. Last month, California legislators did passed a bill that would give undocumented workers $ 600 stimulus checks. Proponents say this type of support would go a long way in providing a safety net for New York families, including many with US children.

“I’m on a hunger strike here because I’ve been banned from any government aid to workers,” said Ana Ramirez, who worked in the restaurant business before the pandemic was declared last March. Because she has no papers, Ramirez had no access to unemployment benefits, paid rent and was dependent on food supplies during the pandemic. Cash would be a huge burden off her family’s shoulders, she said. “We want to be treated like any other worker in this country.”

As of last November, the Democrats in the New York Senate and Parliament have had a super majority, which means they can override any possible veto by Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Cuomo did not include an excluded workers’ fund in its own budget to plan.) The state legislators currently have two weeks until the deadline for the state budget has expired. Protesters will fast until Friday at the Church of the Assumption in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Thanks to Daniel Altschuler, Managing Director of Make the Road New York, for the translation help.

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