NM Voices contends the lack of financial assistance immigrants will receive during the COVID-19 crisis will lead to a loss in economic activity in areas of the state with higher immigrant populations, exacerbating a growing economic crisis in those areas. The report lists ways immigrants are under-served during an emergency like a pandemic.
NM Voices for Children and other nonprofit organizations issued a report Thursday highlighting the contributions immigrants make to society to point out the inequity of refusing relief to a group who pays state, federal and local taxes. According to the report, both documented and undocumented immigrants pay more than $996 million annually in federal, state and local taxes.
“In the long term, as New Mexicans finally get back to work, these families will be forced to use future income to pay off debt incurred during the pandemic instead of to jump-start economic recovery in their communities,” the report says.
“There’s at least $55 million that our families and communities, and the New Mexico economy is missing out on because of that provision that everyone in the household has to have a Social Security number,” Wallin said.
“The big challenges in those areas are connecting to the folks who we know are likely to be undercounted,” said Amber Wallin, deputy director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “So people who may be poor or housing-insecure can be a real challenge in those areas, especially in communities that are changing.”
"With that potential citizenship question in there it was pretty clear that was intended to have a dampening impact on the willingness of particularly the immigrant population, but also others, to participate in the census," said Jimenez. Jimenez said New Mexico already leads the country with the highest hard-to-count populations.
The Kids Count report found that 18% of the nation’s children live in poverty, down from the Great Recession. But the same advances weren’t seen in the Southwest, where many children are Native Americans, Latinos and immigrants who have long faced disadvantages. “The nation’s racial inequities remain deep, systemic and stubbornly persistent,” said the annual Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The nonprofit New Mexico Voices For Children recently issued a news release that cites an estimate that the feds will have as much as a $1 billion shortfall to pay for the count, along with the dire prediction that “Trump’s underfunding … is likely to hurt NM.”
Hosts Chris Ramirez and Nathan O'Neal discussed what's in store for New Mexico's children. From the 2020 census to the bills working through the Roundhouse right now, there are many impacts on the future generations. Featured on the show are James Jimenez and Amber Wallin with New Mexico Voices for Children.
Pediatric society president Brian Etheridge said it’s a resource for voters to hear from candidates on more detailed questions. "What we're trying to do is draw attention to various issues that obviously affect children," Etheridge said.