Hispanic families in New Mexico are suffering from significantly reduced income, job loss and difficulty paying their rent, hardships exacerbated by the fact that some of them have not received financial support during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new poll.

One in 5 Hispanic families in the state has seen a member of their household lose employment since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by Latino Decisions, a Seattle-based political opinion research firm. One-third of Hispanic parents or primary caregivers have had difficulty paying their rent or mortgage, while nearly half of them have seen their hours or pay cut since the start of the outbreak, the poll said.

Yet Latino families are not well-equipped to handle the challenging economic climate. Nearly half of them have $1,000 or less in savings for financial emergencies, and almost one-quarter of them have $100 or less, according to Latino Decisions.

“That gives us some indication already of the significant economic challenges facing Hispanic families, and unfortunately the very limited safety net that families have to be available to survive this very difficult economic period,” Gabriel Sanchez, lead researcher at Latino Decisions and professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, said at a virtual news briefing.

The poll was done in June and surveyed 480 parents with at least one minor child. It was commissioned by several New Mexico nonprofits including Somos Un Pueblo Unido, New Mexico Voices for Children and El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos.

Sanchez and a number of elected officials at the briefing said the economic hardships shown in the poll are particularly difficult for some Hispanic families since undocumented residents were not included in the federal stimulus package passed by Congress. They have not been eligible, for instance, for the stimulus checks sent to Americans.

“Those who are among the most essential in our community are also among the most vulnerable,” Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said during the briefing. “It’s almost an intentional attack on this community by people in Washington, D.C.”

According to the survey, 30 percent of Hispanic households have not received any payments related to the federal CARES Act, such as the $1,200 stimulus check for individuals. Also, 40 percent of families haven’t gotten additional stimulus payments.

Only one-third of respondents who have lost their jobs said they’re getting unemployment benefits, with 36 percent of them saying they were not eligible and 28 percent “not knowing about unemployment benefits.”

State Rep. Javier Martinez said any future federal coronavirus-related economic relief bills should include aid for undocumented families.

“It’s immoral. It’s counterproductive,” Martinez, D-Albuquerque, said about the fact that such families have not been included in past stimulus legislation.


Jens Gould covers politics for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He was a correspondent for Bloomberg News in Mexico City, a regular contributor for TIME in California, and produced the video series Bravery Tapes.

(16) comments

Robert Bartlett

Systemic liberalism continues to hurt the people it pretends to care about.

Carolyn DM

LMAO!! So how exactly is this a, "liberalism", thing when it's the immoral Rightwads who voted against giving any employed immigrants a stimulus payment? Your entire sentence totally applies to Trumpf and his GOP goons. There has never been a bigger bunch of idiots that so blatantly had no care in the world for their fellow human beings than the current Republicans

Kiki Martinez

So this story is not about the Hispanic population, but rather about the Mexican immigrant population. There is a difference. The word "Latino" has become so loosely used in the world today. No doubt there are many local Hispanic Santa Feans who have lost jobs and are not eligible for government assistance, but that's not what this story is about. And no, illegals who are not documented should not be expecting stimulus checks.



George Welland

AND NOW FOR SOME RELEVANT COMMENTS: I was a bit confused over how the story shifted from "Hispanic families" to" undocumented workers," but it seems the article is actually about the under-class (ethnic classifications are so easily used to disguise true causes of discrimination, e.g., poverty and low wage employment). More confusing is how a survey limited to only parents of Hispanic children found a representative population to examine in the month of June, when schools were not in session (or most day care centers, play grounds, and other venues). I really don't think lack of access to unemployment insurance (UI), and related programs, are limited to "Hispanics" since that includes such a large portion of the state's population... instead I believe an overwhelming number of "workers" are simply systematically denied UI by a harsh and complex system designed to keep employer payroll taxes low instead of easing the impact of unemployment upon individuals and their families (and their communities which also suffer). The point about finding parents in June, and in a pandemic, concerns how the survey subjects were identified; and if they constitute a random sample representative of the state; or were disproportionately found at food bank lines and emergency rooms, or golf courses and the ice cream section of the frozen food aisle at the grocery store? I don't think Hispanics or families are particularly discriminated against (especially in New Mexico), but I do sense that the poor and working class are universally abused by the system!

Comment deleted.
Jim Klukkert

BOB SCHWARTZ- Just more of the usual divisive rubbish. Hope you feel better now!

Pam Walker

Not to sound heartless by why should undocumented folks feel like they should receive stimulus checks. The money spent on these checks comes from money that the taxpayer has paid in. And you can bet that when its all said and done we will be paying in more than ever. The unemployment checks are also based on the fact that you were working and paying taxes.

Jim Klukkert

Pam Walker- You don't know that all workers, including immigrants, pay taxes?

Pam, you really need a better understanding of the way the world works, before you make any further ignorant comments. Such comments do not move us forward.

Brad Doubles

Dont worry Pam.....You are correct while Jim is the one who does not understand how things work. Yes, it is true that all employees have state and federal taxes withheld from their pay up to the Federal maximum, which is somewhere around $113k per year. The difference is that for low income workers like the ones that lefty, revisionist mayor in Fanta Se is espousing, they get refunds each year that FAR outweigh what they contribute in withholdings. Its called the earned income tax credit. Plus, many of them claim many dependents making their Federal refund even larger. Still, many also receive food stamps, section 8 housing assistance and WIC funds....So when ppl like Jim amd Mayor Unicorn say these folks desrve another handout on the taxpayer, what they are really saying is "we wont take the money from out wallets to help the illegals but since we feel guilty about it, YOU SHOULD PAY FOR IT!

If you love socialism Jim, move to France...or Venezuela....Im sure you will be happier there.

Jim Klukkert

Brad Doubles- In your ignorance, you omit the regressive sales taxes, while in youra myth building, you do not cite any sources nor attributed statistics for your claims that low income workers 'get refunds each year that FAR outweigh what they contribute in withholdings...[and] receive food stamps, section 8 housing assistance. and WIC funds.'

So while your insults roll off my back, your myth building makes a case easily worth a bucket of warm spit.

No need to ever suggest what I should do or where I should live. The only should is that you should expect to be challenged when you sling this low level of spit.


Pam Walker

Mr. Klukkert do you really think that undocumented individuals file taxes? Would that not expose where they are and endanger their stay in America. My understanding of the world is fine Sir and I have no intentions of helping you move forward in any way.

Jim Klukkert

Pam Walker- All studies I have seem indicate that few undocumented workers file taxes for exactly the reasons you lay out.

Seems you know much more about the way the world works than Brad Doubles, who claims that low income undocumented workers are on the winning end of the financial exchange with the government taxing authority.

Now do the math. If one pays payroll taxes, but does not file income taxes, one loses all the money one put's into the government coffers. So undocumented workers are subsidizing the government.

It matters not if ‘undocumented folks feel like they should receive stimulus checks,’ as they have little power to make that so. [I would love to know how you know this, as this is new to me.]. More importantly, the question should be whether or not those folks should get those stimulus checks.

One might argue that folks who have been subsidizing the Government, by not filing for refunds of payroll taxes, perhaps should now be afforded the same stimulus checks afforded other workers. One can certainly persuade working people who largely understand that our Economic Collapse was brought on by the failure of the Federal Government to effectively stem the Global Pandemic, all workers, documented or not, deserve Federal Government help

Beyond any moral concerns, which certainly seem to have no appeal to Republicans, there are other reasons having to do with the health of the whole economy that call for worker relief. Many prominent economists see that pumping money into the economy benefits all of us, rich, poor, or in the middle. Money that goes to the poorest workers is money that most quickly put back into the economy, as the poor can't afford to idle those funds in savings accounts or stock purchases, when the pressing needs of food, shelter, healthcare and transportation must be met.

This is not a socialist rant, rather it is the short form of John Maynard Keynes’ theories, which were largely adopted by all First World Capitalist Countries in the mid 20th Century.

When I wrote 'Such comments [as yours] do not move us forward,' perhaps I was unclear. It has been my hope that some of the discussions here might move the larger us, that is all of us who live here, to a better understanding of each other.

I now fully understand the you are just another white person burdened with an excess of privilege, leaving you without the inclination to concern your busy self with the state of those less privileged, nor the curiosity to examine modern economic or social theory outside the parameters of perhaps, Faux News.

Thanks for the clarity.

Carolyn DM

Hellooo!! They actually pay taxes and a lot of them own very successful businesses that they pay taxes on.

Welcome to the discussion.

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