In normal times, Diana Moreno helped immigrant workers secure work and get paid.
Moreno and the New York City nonprofit New Immigrant Community Empowerment, or NICE, whose Workers Rights Program she directs, advocate on behalf of jornaleros, Latino immigrant day laborers who work for contractors. The center acts as a liaison, ensuring that contractors don’t withhold wages and that laborers are paid adequately.
That was before COVID-19 upended life in the heavily immigrant neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, where NICE is based. Now, with no jobs to be had, Moreno’s focus has shifted: She’s simply helping immigrant families get access to food.
Across the country, advocates like Moreno are working to provide basic necessities to immigrant families, especially those without legal status who lack a safety net and are too worried or threatened to seek medical treatment or help.
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