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Latinos face new challenges during pandemic

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 11:07:39-04

NEVADA (KTNV) — Millions of Hispanics are facing coronavirus threats, including the lack of economic and health resources and even the lack of information in Spanish.

Regardless of their immigration status, unemployment and furlongs are just the tip of the iceberg that COVID-19 is bringing to the Hispanic community.

In a virtual town hall organized by League of United Latin American Citizens, these issues were addressed, as well as the fear that millions have to be deported after visiting a doctor to have their health checked.

"84% of Latinos don't have a job that allows them to work from home, and at the same time, there is a disproportioned number of Latinos in the workforce have been let go or laid off from their job," said US Congressman Joaquin Castro.

While thousands of Hispanics are currently working in the country, a lot of them are undocumented, working in unsafe conditions and not receiving protective equipment to do their jobs.

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Domingo Garcia, National President of LULAC, expressed that they're the unsung heroes.

"Undocumented immigrants, who are the front line, they're just as essential as hospital doctors, as doctors and nurses cause they're the ones putting your vegetables in your grocery store, they're the ones putting that steak, and the chicken, and the pork on your grocery aisle. If they go down, if they're not protected, if your fighting about paper towels or toilet paper, wait until you're fighting about that last steak in the aisle," Garcia said.

But COVID-19 is also affecting small business owners, which according to the US Hispanic chamber of commerce, are 4.5 million businesses in the country.

"Only half of them have a banker; the other half do not. Many of them struggle on a month-to-month basis, and they're family-owned businesses. So with this COVID-19 virus in a pose that we have seen of the business, one out of 4 business they're saying they might have to close if they don't get the loans of the forgivable grants from the federal government in the next 30 days," USHCC President Ramiro Cavazos said.

The participants are conscious that a lot has to be done in the entire country to help the Hispanic community, but they also wanted to let them know that they're not alone.

Several organizations are helping in different ways, like putting out information in Spanish about options for employees and business owners and pushing the federal government to be more proactive towards this group.

Organization representatives also said they embrace and remember that the Latino community is a resilient group, who some believe has gone from crisis to crisis throughout its history. They're confident they'll service the novel coronavirus aftermath.

More information is available here or through the Chamber of Commerce.