MAF Announces National Immigrant Families Recovery Fund

The Fund will provide monthly cash assistance for up to two years and financial coaching to 2,500 immigrant families who have been excluded from federal relief

As states reopen, MAF announced a national direct cash assistance fund to help immigrant and low-income families rebuild their financial lives faster.

Federal policies have excluded 11.5 million immigrants and their families from stimulus checks, unemployment, and food assistance. A two-parent immigrant family with two children missed out on up to $11,400 in stimulus checks

"As an undocumented person who has filed my taxes for twelve years, it has been hard to have to accept that in times when we struggle, we are unable to receive anything back," said a MAF client.

In a national survey of 11,677 immigrant families, MAF conducted last fall, nearly four in 10 families were behind in rent and at risk of eviction. Nearly three-quarters had lost income, resulting in families skipping meals and putting off needed doctor's visits. 

"With vaccine shots in our arms, many of us see the light at the end of the tunnel," said José Quiñonez, MAF CEO. "But this light is dimmer for millions of immigrant families who have been excluded repeatedly from federal relief. And it's dimmer still for immigrants in Texas and Arizona than it is for immigrants in California. We're launching the Immigrant Families Recovery Fund to let immigrants across the country know that they are not alone."

The $20 million Immigrant Families Recovery Fund (IFRF) will provide $300 per month to 2,500 immigrant families with children left out of federal relief efforts for up to two years. In addition, MAF will provide financial coaching and self-advocacy training to help families recover faster. 

MAF commends Governor Newsom's plan to disburse additional stimulus checks to millions of Californians. But undocumented immigrants without ITINs will continue to be left out and cash alone will not dig immigrants out of a deep financial hole from the growing debt and uncertainty. 

IFRF builds on MAF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, which provided cash grants to more than 50,000 immigrants, students, and small business owners. Likewise, MAF will not use a first-come, first-served or lottery system that only privileges those with access and information. Instead, IFRF will use financial equity to deliver direct cash assistance to marginalized families with the least income streams and most financial strains. MAF will evaluate its engagement with immigrant families to lift up what works.

"We need to show up and do better for the people who showed up for us during the pandemic: the essential workers who ensured our food supply chain persisted, provided medical care to us, and kept our manufacturing humming," said José Quiñonez. "We need to show up for them with dignity and respect." 

Media Contact:

Madeleine Woodle

(415) 805-8972

Source: MAF