Addressing Immigrant Health Care Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 24, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYSHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYSHealth awarded the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) a grant to help ensure immigrants’ access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this grant, NYIC supported very small immigrant-serving organizations that provided front-line assistance to marginalized communities during the pandemic. Through its #NYunited Fund, NYIC launched a robust advocacy campaign to ensure that COVID-19 response efforts also protected and responded to the needs of New York State’s 4.5 million immigrants. This campaign advocated for the suspension of ICE enforcement in state-of-emergency-declared areas; guaranteed eligibility for immigrant businesses and workers for paid sick leave and any proposed cash benefits; and expanded health care services to uninsured immigrant communities. Additionally, NYIC provided emergency support to immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations impacted by COVID-19, including costs related to deep cleaning and hygiene; quarantined workers; technical assistance for remote-work technology and videoconferencing; and trainings to connect immigrants to available COVID-19 resources and assistance.