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The Great American Pandemic Recovery: Tackling Systems of Inequality that Impede Full Latino Inclusion in the COVID-19 Response
Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy ; 33:46-56, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1589560
The Depression-era Social Security system and the Fair Labor Standards Act offered retirement security and basic worker protections - like the minimum wage - to predominantly white office, industrial, and craft workers but excluded farm laborers, domestic workers, and other jobs largely held by Blacks and Latinos.3 When the Interstate Highway System, government-subsidized mortgages, and mortgage interest deduction fueled a massive increase in suburban homeownership after World War II, formal and informal housing discrimination relegated most Latino and Black families to poor-quality housing in segregated neighborhoods with few economic opportunities and under-resourced schools.4 The Great Society era of the 1960s led to the creation of critical support programs, including housing assistance, job training, Medicaid, and the Food Stamp program (SNAP's predecessor), but so-called "alien exclusions" soon followed, which bar most immigrants and their lawfully present spouses and children-predominantly Hispanic-from vital economic, health, and nutritional supports.5 The pandemic has exposed the unequal social and economic foundations on which communities of color must build their lives, in part due to decades of explicitly discriminatory policy decisions. COVID-19 and the Latino Community COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, and a national emergency by the United States on March 13, 2020.7 One year later, more than 29 million confirmed cases and 528,000 deaths were attributed to the disease in the United States.8 The nation's largest Latino civil rights organization, UnidosUS, was early in bringing attention to the disparate impact on Latino communities through original analysis, engagement with lawmakers, and more than 20 virtual community events that placed the disparate effects of the pandemic within the context of broader structural inequities.9 To be clear, the hundreds of thousands of COVID-related deaths are tragic, regardless of race or ethnicity. While no consistent evidence links school openings to surges in COVID-19 in general, children who live in poverty - 41 percent of whom are Latino - disproportionately attend schools with substandard facilities that undermine virus mitigation strategies and place students and staff at higher risk.14 These children are also more likely to live with an essential worker family member or in multigenerational housing, which also increases risk of exposure.15 Even as youth mortality rates re-main low compared to older patients, the potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on an entire generation of Americans should spark significant concern among policymakers;research suggests the disease can lead to major organ damage, psychiatric disorders, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.16 With such a disproportionate number of young Latinos falling ill, it is not unreasonable to assume that Latinos will also share an outsized burden of the disease's long-term health effects. Recent policy decisions-in response to COVID-19 and changes to the tax code - have expressly excluded many families living in mixed-immigration status households from accessing economic impact payments (stimulus checks) or antipoverty programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).23 An estimated 5.5 million US citizens and green card holders did not receive stimulus checks under the CARES Act because they live in households where one member files taxes without a Social Security Number.24 Although income-eligible US citizens and green card holders were eventually included in the two most-recent pandemic relief packages, including the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, these changes only came after intense advocacy by organizations like UnidosUS and more than a year of millions of families struggling without support.
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Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: ProQuest Central Language: English Journal: Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy Year: 2021 Document Type: Article





Search on Google
Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: ProQuest Central Language: English Journal: Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy Year: 2021 Document Type: Article