The Oregon Worker Relief Fund provides direct cash assistance to immigrant Oregonians who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are excluded from federal and state safety-nets. This fund provides an opportunity for institutional philanthropy and individual donors, large and small, to support immigrant Oregon workers and ensure our collective prosperity.
Many immigrants and refugees work in jobs that are key to the state’s prosperity including farm workers, food-processing workers, housekeepers, construction workers, landscapers, caregivers and day laborers. Workers without legal status typically carry out their work for low pay and, faced with job losses, have few resources to meet their basic needs during this crisis.
On April 23, 2020, the Oregon Legislature allocated $10 million to start the Oregon Worker Relief Fund (OWRF). However, the estimated need in Oregon is over 12 times that amount. It is imperative that state and local governments invest sufficient resources into the Oregon Worker Relief Fund.
On June 05, 2020, the Oregon Legislature, through its Join Emergency Board, allocated an additional $10 million to provide aid to Oregon undocumented workers who lost wages because of COVID-19 and an additional $10 million to start the Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund to provide aid to Oregon agricultural workers who are practicing self-quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure.
When the Oregon Legislature meets in special session to address the COVID-19 pandemic, a top priority must be to help ensure that workers without legal status and their families are able to make it through this crisis.
- One in every 10 Oregon children live with a family member who is undocumented.1
- Immigrants contribute immensely to Oregon’s economic health
- One in eight workers in Oregon is an immigrant, together making up an essential share of the state’s labor force across industries.2
- Undocumented Oregonians pay about $81 million annually in state and local taxes.3
- Over 13 percent of Oregon’s workforce are immigrants. 4
- In 2015, over 28,000 immigrant business owners in Oregon generated $470.6 million in business income.
- Immigrant-led households paid more than $2.5 billion in federal and state taxes in 2014.
Over 100 Oregon community partners have come together to form the Oregon Worker Relief Fund to help immigrant Oregonians make ends meet during this crisis.