COVID-19 impact on immigrants


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The New American Welcome Center is working to help immigrants impacted by COVID-19 in Champaign County.

The organization has put together a resource guide for local immigrants, allies and advocates. It’s also asking community members to support its Immigrant Relief Fund. Over the past 10 days, the New American Welcome Center has received $18,000 worth of requests for financial assistance through the fund. The fund launched last April, and from that point to February 2020, it distributed a total of $2,350.

“The challenges that they are navigating are particularly unique for them because they’re not, for example, always able to access unemployment benefits or housing assistance because of different requirements on those programs,” director Gloria Yen explains.

American Community Survey numbers show more than 13% of immigrants in Champaign County work in hospitality. Another nearly 11% work in health care.

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