FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2020
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Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley Joins Hundreds in a Live Town Hall Discussion on the Future of Federal Stimulus Negotiations & PPP Forgiveness for Small Businesses
(Chicago, IL) – This morning, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) joined hundreds of Illinois businesses and residents in a virtual town hall hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition to share updates on federal negotiations on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, including the future of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the inclusion of mixed-status families in relief.
“From the early days of this pandemic, I have fought for the assistance our communities need in the midst of this unprecedented health and economic crisis. For the past 100 days, since House Democrats passed their stimulus bill to support struggling families, Senate Republicans have utterly failed to help Americans. Instead, they’ve proposed a bill that falls short for small businesses and does nothing to address the needs of mixed-status families,” said Congressman Quigley. “I won’t stop fighting until Republicans finally agree to provide the resources that every family and business owner needs to get through this crisis.”
Among the town hall speakers was Lacey Chontal, a U.S. citizen and mother of six who works at a VA home in Quincy, Illinois, but who was denied critical assistance due to the GOP marriage penalty on mixed-status families. “I am a United States citizen. I work FOR the government caring for those who have sacrificed for that very same government. We pay our taxes and we work hard. Despite all of this, we did not get a stimulus check and the only reason is that my spouse is an immigrant and I file our taxes jointly and he uses an ITIN.”
Chontal went on to say, “This was a huge slap in the face. I am being punished for who I married. My husband and I work hard and we pay our taxes. Why are we being treated like second class citizens?”
Chontal represents just one of 1.7 million U.S. citizens who were left behind by the discriminatory provision in the CARES Act, and who would benefit from the American Citizen Coronavirus Relief Act, a bill introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that aims to eliminate the GOP marriage penalty on mixed-status families but that was not included in the Senate relief proposal released by Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in July.
“Every day that Congress delays stimulus negotiations is another day millions of Americans on the brink of losing everything are pushed over the edge. It means millions not being able to pay their bills, feed their kids, pay their employees and keep businesses open. It’s immoral and nonsensical,” said Sam Toia , President and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association and IBIC Member. “We thank Congressman Quigley for consistently championing issues of importance to the restaurant industry, pragmatic immigration reform, and more. He is open-minded and always eager to bring people together to get things done in Washington. We need our elected officials to follow his lead, put aside partisanship, and save American entrepreneurs, families, and local economies.”
The event also included expert guidance on the PPP loan forgiveness process for small businesses from Tracy Ward, Director of the SBA 504 Loan Program at Self-Help, and a Q&A session for attendees. Watch the full recording of the town hall here.
As a member of the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.Posted in Press Releases , Updates