Meeting the Immediate Survival Needs of the Community: Oscar LondoƱo and Mutual Aid Funds Step Up When Government Falls Down in Supporting Undocumented Workers during Pandemic

Oscar Londoño (‘17), Executive Director of WeCount!, was consulted by the Miami Herald regarding his organization’s COVID-19 relief fund which has distributed more than $150,000 in direct cash transfers to more than 500 local immigrant workers and families excluded from federal pandemic assistance (“No Jobs, No Safety Nets: Undocumented Workers ‘Completely Adrift’ as Crisis Persists,” Sep. 15). “I think what is unfortunate is that our local and state governments have sided with the federal government and really sustained that exclusion. What we have seen on the ground is that there’s been a lack of political will and courage to confront the fact that this epidemic and the economic crisis are disproportionately impacting undocumented workers. . . . When we think about how the economy is recovering in this moment, some of our metrics never take into account the lived conditions of undocumented workers. . . . What I’ve personally seen is that there are undocumented immigrant workers who are two, three, four months behind on rent, and so when the moratorium is lifted they are facing a severe eviction crisis. For many immigrant workers and their families, we’ve only begun seeing the tip of the iceberg.”