Office of Council Member Castañeda-López EMBARGO FOR July 9, 2020 at 9 a.m.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mariana Martinez (313) 338-9861 firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Castañeda-López, Detroit City Council’s Immigration Task Force and the City of Detroit awarded $750,000 by the Open Society Foundations grant to support undocumented residents impacted by COVID-19
Members of the Immigration Task Force (ITF) will be receiving a $750,000 grant from the national philanthropic group Open Society Foundations (OSF) to establish the Detroit COVID-19 UndocuFund, which will help Detroiters without legal immigration status that have been impacted by COVID-19. and. The fund was made possible through a partnership with OSF, Council Member Castañeda-López, the ITF, and the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Open Society Foundations has partnered with 19 other major metropolitan cities in a nation-wide economic relief effort to help immigrant communities who were impacted by COVID-19, and who are underserved by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.
“The City of Detroit recognizes that undocumented immigrants are especially vulnerable, due to the increased risk of infection they face as essential workers, language barriers and their ineligibility for federal relief packages.” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
“Our immigrant communities have been a part of this city for generations, making major contributions to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our city,” said Council Member Castañeda-López. “Detroit’s immigrant population is approximately 6.1%. We estimate that about 15,000 to 20,000 of these Detroit residents are undocumented. This grant will provide much needed relief to those most vulnerable in our communities and strengthen the impact of the community organizations that serve them.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled back the curtain and laid bare society’s failure to provide basic protections for essential and frontline workers,” said Patrick Gaspard, President of the Open Society Foundations. “Absent any leadership and a plan from the federal government, philanthropy and the private sector have stepped in and stepped up to help our neighbors in Detroit and elsewhere. These immigrants, domestic and undocumented workers are the people keeping our country running, and yet have been purposely excluded from federal relief packages. We’re proud to partner with Detroit and Mayor Mike Duggan to provide support to these vulnerable communities. We commend the Mayor, City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López and members of the Detroit City Council’s Immigration Task Force for their commitment to these communities during this difficult time.”
Over the past month, the ITF worked to create a program that is accessible, community-led and will ensure the fund supports all of the diverse undocumented communities throughout Detroit. The Detroit COVID-19 UndocuFund was strategically designed to funnel support to families through trusted community partners that work on the front lines with undocumented communities. The ITF selected the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation to serve as the fiscal sponsor and manage the fund. To ensure that the funds reach the undocumented individuals and families who qualify for the program, DHDC will work in partnership with The Islamic Center of Detroit, Global Detroit, African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs, and One Michigan to disburse the monies.
“The Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation is grateful for the opportunity to help get the resources provided by the Open Society Foundations to those organizations that are on the ground working directly with the various immigrant communities in our city so that the help goes to those most in need. As a member of the Immigration Task Force, we are also grateful to the City of Detroit and Council Member Castañeda-López for their support in making this possible,” said Angie Reyes, Executive Director at Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.
“COVID 19 impacted all Detroiters. We appreciate the support from federal relief dollars to assist residents across the City. Unfortunately, many Detroiters did not qualify for this assistance,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are proud to partner with the Open Society Foundations to support our Detroit immigrant communities. This critical funding will provide relief, protect public health and give emergency aid to families who were left out by federal recovery programs,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
“We are proud to work with proactive organizations that realize all 11 million undocumented people contribute to this country. These funds will uplift and support hard working Detroit residents that have been ignored by the government during this pandemic,” said Samantha Magdaleno, Executive Director at One Michigan for Immigrant Rights.
“We are grateful to be able to have a shot at addressing some of the disparities and inequities unearthed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our immigrant community is diverse and multicultural, and at ABISA we know that black immigrants were disproportionately impacted. The funds provided by Open Society Foundations will support people facing multiple challenges, such as being black, an immigrant and undocumented. This aid will bring a little oxygen to our communities, who in spite of it all, must find a way to still live and face systemic challenges and administrative red tape,” said Seydi Sarr, Executive Director and Founder at African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs.
“Undocumented immigrants pay taxes and contribute to our city in so many ways, yet they were left out of all federal support programs. COVID-19 impacts everyone and doesn’t care about immigration status. Supporting our undocumented neighbors is imperative to ensure we reduce the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe. Protecting all of our families is our moral responsibility as City government, not a political question” said Council Member Castañeda-López. “We commend the Open Society Foundations for their bold leadership in investing in these communities nationwide.”
The Council Member Castañeda-López, Mayor Duggan and members of Detroit’s City Council Immigration Task Force will be at the press conference to officially launch the Detroit COVID-19 UndocuFund. The press conference will be available for viewing via the City’s public (Channel 10), as well as the ITF and Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López’ social media outlets.
WHO: Council Member Castañeda-López, Mayor Duggan and members of Detroit’s City Council Immigration Task Force to hold a press conference to officially launch the Detroit COVID-19 UndocuFund.
WHAT: Detroit COVID-19 UndocuFund Press Conference
WHEN: Thursday July 9t h
TIME: 9 -10 a.m.
WHERE: Detroit Hispanic Development Center, 1211Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48216
This event will also be transmitted live on the following pages: