Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order that she said would guarantee immigrants in Chicago have access to all of the benefits the city is offering to residents and businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The mayor noted that undocumented immigrants do not qualify for the stimulus checks being sent out as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress, but she said they will be able to access all of the relief programs provided by the city of Chicago during the outbreak.Ald.
Lightfoot said she will stand by the immigrant and refugee communities no matter what:
“As the federal government tried everything under the sun to stigmatize and scare them into the shadows, Chicago stood up and fought back. We upset some people, but we did so because it was really the only moral choice,” she said.
The mayor’s order guarantees immigrants and refugees will be able to receive all of the city’s COVID-19-related benefits, regardless of their citizenship status. “We are all in this together is not just a nice sentiment, it is an imperative for who we are and who we will remain as a city,” Lighfoot said.
Among the aid programs offered by the city during the pandemic are:
• COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grants – a $2 million fund to provide grants of $1,000 toward rent or mortgage payments for low-income residents;
• Online enrichment learning resources, including more than 100,000 devices for families who lack access to technology for remote learning while the Chicago Public Schools are closed due to the pandemic.
• A $100 million Small Business Resiliency Fund, to provide low-interest loans to help businesses most hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor said no personal information provided by immigrants taking advantage of those programs will be stored in a city database, or shared with any federal agency.