"I Believe That We're On The Verge Of Another Disaster"
Chung-Wha Hong, New York Immigration Coalition
"My name is Chung-Wha Hong and I'm from the New York Immigration Coalition, an umbrella group of about 150 immigrant groups. I believe that we're on the verge of another disaster, with so many displaced workers not getting the help that they need. As everybody knows, we have over 75,000 displaced workers, more than half of those workers are immigrants, because immigrants are about half of the workforce. They're concentrated in low-wage jobs. The problem for these immigrants and low-wage workers is that some of the major government programs from Federal Emergency Management Agency have not addressed or provided any help because of immigration status restrictions or geographical restrictions. So if someone is living in Queens or Brooklyn or above Canal Street, or you don't have the right status, the programs will not provide any help.
We're talking about a large percentage of the people falling through the cracks. A lot of New York City officials have spent time putting packages together for corporations here. We need to work on a displaced worker package, and the first thing that needs to happen is eviction protection programs for those who have been displaced so that they can stay in their homes. Second is affordable housing for long-term stability. And third, we need a job creation package. I think that is within the mandate of the LMDC."