SEARAC Supports Passage of Fourth COVID-19 Relief Bill

HEROES Act is an important step toward recovery, but more needs to be done for SEAA communities

Washington, DC –  On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill. Similar to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March, the HEROES Act would provide another much-needed round of funds for cash assistance, housing support, small business loans, and expansion of healthcare access for families struggling during this pandemic. Despite the overwhelming challenges that many students, elders, workers, immigrants, and refugees continue to face, President Trump and Senate leadership have signaled they do not currently believe any additional COVID-19 economic support is necessary.

Key provisions of the HEROES Act include:
  • Over $100 billion to K-12 and postsecondary education;
  • Expansion of student loan assistance to federal loan borrowers previously ineligible;
  • Increased healthcare access to COVID-19 testing and treatment;
  • Additional cash assistance to Americans, including for those with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers; and
  • Delayed deadlines for work authorization and immigrant visa expiration dates.
“The HEROES Act is an important step of an ongoing healing and recovery process for our country. We applaud the House’s passage of a robust bill that expands access to relief for many immigrants, including Southeast Asian Americans,” said Quyen Dinh, executive director of SEARAC. “And while we commend the progress made in this bill, we stand with the many others that are still excluded, particularly immigrants with convictions that will continue to have no guaranteed release from ICE detention. We must stop dividing immigrants into those “deserving” and “undeserving” of support. We call on members of Congress to take bolder steps in recognizing the humanity of all who live in this land of freedom, and we urge the Senate to build on the momentum from the HEROES Act.”
Though the HEROES Act includes robust support for Americans, the bill has significant limitations. You can view SEARAC’s vote recommendation for more information.