Last month, the Monadnock Interfaith Project, which is building an interfaith coalition for community, understanding and social justice, participated in a conference call with congressional Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas about pending federal stimulus/relief legislation that would, among other things, provide critical assistance to poor, minority and immigrant people in New Hampshire.

Specifically, we advocated for funding COVID-19 testing and treatment of all persons regardless of immigration status. We know that the virus does not care about our status, but will likely continue to hurt these more vulnerable populations to a significantly greater degree than those who enjoy more economic and social privilege.

We know this from national and local experience. We are aware of the deportation of COVID-positive people at the southern border. Here in New Hampshire, we are cognizant of fear within immigrant communities that to be tested and treated may bring legal action, including deportation, should people come forward.

The Monadnock Interfaith Project further asked our congressional representatives to support the expansion of Medicaid coverage for testing and treatment of COVID-19, regardless of immigration status. Testing and treatment must be easily accessible, free and reliable for the general population to willingly come forward to be tested. These could potentially be unfairly distributed to those with power, private health care and societal safety nets, of which immigrants have very few.

This emergency legislation is still pending. And since that meeting, we are seeing more clearly, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, how structural and systemic racism has exposed economic, social and policing injustices in our society.

The Monadnock Interfaith Project helps to transform our community through education, faith, activism and advocacy. We seek to empower the voiceless, promote interfaith collaboration, foster appreciation for diverse beliefs and facilitate systemic change.

Please join us in this effort.

On behalf of the Monadnock Interfaith Project Guiding Council,

LEN FLEISCHER

57 Wildwood Road

Spofford