The Immigrants Are LA (IRLA) coalition held a While You Were Out Rally on Tuesday to welcome back Los Angeles County supervisors from two weeks of time off, and to urge them to include immigrants as they decide how to spend Phase II of federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) COVID recovery funds.
“We are gathered here today to raise our voices and call for a just recovery from the pandemic for all Angelenos, including the immigrants who have been on the front line of this fight and who have not gotten a break from the hardship that we have experienced through the pandemic to this very day,” said Aquilina Soriano Versoza, co-chair of Immigrants Are LA.
More than 100 immigrant rights organizations form part of IRLA — including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) — who came out in force to tell supervisors that while they were out of their offices, immigrants in LA county went hungry, lost jobs and homes, fell behind in school, faced COVID alone and didn’t receive stimulus checks to make up for the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
Speakers at the rally called attention to these disparities and urged the supervisors to include immigrants more fully as they decide how to spend the remaining $975 million of ARPA funds.
“We look forward to a continued direct investment for immigrant communities,” said Bamby Salcedo, president and CEO, of the TransLatin@ Coalition, and IRLA co-chair. “The time is now for supervisors to allocate much-needed funding for an equitable recovery for our communities. Immigrants throughout the county continue to be essential to our economy. Allocation and implementation of ARPA II funds need to reflect that.”