"Reagan gave my father path to citizenship. Immigrants fighting pandemic deserve the same."

2020 Healthy Communities Fellow Mirtha Santana is thee Vice President of Riseboro’s Empowerment Division. A long-time resident of the low-income community of Bushwick Brooklyn, Mirtha knows from personal experience the impact of affordable housing. Her commitment to homelessness prevention stems from her deep belief that no child should be sleeping in a homeless shelter. Mirtha joined RiseBoro Community Partnership in 2007 and immersed herself in services for low-income, disenfranchised and homeless families.

"Reagan gave my father path to citizenship. Immigrants fighting pandemic deserve the same."
Mirtha Santana

In USA Today, Mirtha shares the story of her father, Perfecto, who migrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States in the early 1980s and who passed away in early April. His story like many other immigrants in the United States exemplifies the strength and determination of people who migrant to the United States. As we have all seen COVID-19 has really impacted immigrant communities and Mirtha notes however, “Now more than ever — while we battle the coronavirus — we depend on immigrants to do the jobs many Americans do not want to do.“

Read the full op-ed in USA Today.