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“Our dignity was undone by the passage of this fund”: New York hunger strikers are quick to drop out after the victory

While the fight was about relief, Ramirez told amNY that the fight went beyond: “It’s more than $ 2.1 billion. It is actually an acknowledgment of undocumented workers, ”she said in the report. “That’s the future. This is the future we leave behind for our children and a reminder for those who have doubted us. This is proof that we made it. ” H.Unger strikers, wheeled to tables under Washington Square Arch, “were greeted as they brought back heroes with too much applause and fanfare,” the report said. They then broke their fast with small meals Bananas, fruits and soup.

amNY reported that was among the hunger strikers Felipe Idrovo who tragically lost both his father and brother to COVID-19. He said that when participating in the hunger strike put physical strain on his body, his mother asked him to stop. “But in Idrovo’s head he couldn’t give up his 23-day protest,” the report said. “This fight is not just for us who are here, but for everyone who has supported us,” Idrovo told amNY. “This country is known for democracy for freedoms, but we get it by fighting on the streets and demanding what’s ours. We will fight for many years to come. “

The raising of this historic $ 2.1 billion fund (“New York’s fund dwarfs a similar aid program that was passed in California, where officials were set up a $ 75 million cash relief program last year, ”reported the New York Times in the state The $ 212 billion budget was the result of years of efforts by advocates, grassroots organizations, and key workers who were banned from survival checks and unemployment insurance even though they were deposited through their tax dollars.

“The $ 2.1 billion fund creates two levels of aid,” said the Fiscal Policy Institute. Tier 1 is roughly the same as unemployment insurance, providing undocumented workers with $ 15,600 who can meet stringent eligibility standards. Tier 2 pays $ 3,200 and corresponds to the three rounds of federal stimulus payments ($ 1,200, $ 600, and $ 1,400). ” The Fiscal Policy Institute estimated that nearly 300,000 workers could be eligible for relief. Make the Road New York, which was one of the interest groups that campaigned for the fund, created a hub here with further information.

As mentioned earlier, proponents have raised concerns about this Certain regulations could make it very difficult for some undocumented workers to access relief supplies. “Household language does not provide a clear way for workers to self-affirm their employment status or use other forms of documentation and evidence that are widely accepted by the courts,” Make the Road New York said. “Given that excluded workers are primarily employed in the money economy, it is important that the introduction of this fund allows reasonable flexibility in the evidence workers can produce.”

They also hope the efforts in New York will encourage other states to take action to help disfellowshipped workers as well. A spark has already been lit in nearby New Jersey and excluded workers there went on their own hunger strike in their struggle for relief. “This is a message – people who have been hungry for over a year are willing to do so and go several days without food to show how much this is a life or death situation with no relief,” said Make the Road , Executive Director of New Jersey Sara Cullinane told NJ.com.

Pedro Buitrago, an undocumented immigrant who has been unemployed for four months, is on strike in New Jersey. “Hunger doesn’t wait. The rent doesn’t wait, ”he said in the report. “And if people who are legally here are in such big trouble that they need government help, why don’t we need help too? We no longer know who to ask and which path to take. “NJ.com reported that when Buitrago’s wife contracted the virus, she was debating about going to hospital because of her legal status.

“I know it would help to have some government money to calm my situation,” Buitrago continued in the report. “It can’t cover all costs, but it would have been helpful from the start.” NJ.com reported that Governor Phil Murphy said, “‘[t]There should be no reason that will put us on a hunger strike and we should keep it in our prayers, “he said, continuing that the state will not achieve full economic recovery” unless we bring everyone on that journey With. ”

“Let’s be clear that New York State will lead the nation with this banned workers fund,” Bianca Guerrero, campaign coordinator for banned workers, said amNY. “This is a huge victory for these workers, but the fund is not perfect. First, our recently released brothers and sisters are still left behind. That is not right. The requirements imposed by Governor Cuomo will make it difficult for workers to access this fund. That is not right. We will be monitoring the implementation of this fund very closely, as these workers have not eaten for 23 days but have been starving for years. Enough is enough.”

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