The immigrant community in Mississippi has suffered greatly in the past several months. Last August’s massive immigration raid left hundreds without work, and now the coronavirus pandemic compounds those losses.
With heavy hearts, we share that at least three immigrant workers have died as a result of COVID-19 in the cities of Forest, MS, and Morton, MS.. The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson published a powerful article about one immigrant worker, Celso Mendoza, whose “life was tragically cut short by COVID-19.” Celso, a poultry plant worker, was much respected in his community for organizing to help secure better pay and working conditions for fellow migrants.
MIRA was still providing some financial support to the families hardest hit by last August’s raids, but in recent few weeks we also began providing aid to families that are suffering severely because of coronavirus (people who have tested positive or have lost their jobs, or both).
We are also supporting an entrepreneurial mask-making initiative: under the direction of Ms. Yolanda Soto and with the support of the EL PUEBLO Organization, a group of Latinas in Forest, Mississippi are sewing cloth masks. We are purchasing these masks and distributing them to people and groups in the immigrant community. Individuals, companies, or organizations that would like to order these masks can contact Yolanda Soto at 601-209-9713. Each mask you order supports immigrant families in Mississippi.
MIRA is adapting to these extraordinary circumstances by holding virtual meetings and working remotely. We will continue to do everything possible to help our immigrant community.