CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed a new executive order Tuesday to ensure that all immigrants and refugees in Chicago, regardless of citizenship status, are able to get access to the city's COVID-19 benefits.
"This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Since COVID-19 first reached our city's doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic. Here in Chicago, saying 'we are all in this together' means that during this crisis, no one gets left out and no one gets left behind."
Mayor Lightfoot's Office said the city has implemented a number of programs to help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a housing assistance grant program, enrichment learning resources through Chicago Public Schools and a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund
"Not all of Chicago's residents qualify for federal stimulus checks, state unemployment insurance or other economic assistance due to their documentation status," said 22nd Ward Alderman Michael D. Rodriguez. "These Chicagoans are vital community members who work in various industries and help our great city to thrive every day. These Chicagoans are our family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends. I applaud the Mayor for standing with undocumented individuals and families to ensure their eligibility for any economic assistance offered by the City of Chicago during this global pandemic."
12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas says his community is being hit the hardest, primarily because many residents and workers there are excluded from the federal aid package signed by Congress.
"This pandemic has shocked my community to its core," Alderman Cardenas said. "COVID-19 does not discriminate. We all know that. If recent weeks have taught us anything, it is just how interdependent we all are," Alderman Cardenas said.