March 27, 2020, New York – Following the passage of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
While the federal stimulus package provides partial relief to some, the devastating human cost of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be adequately addressed by legislation that puts many of the most vulnerable at more risk and equates saving corporations with saving people’s lives. The inclusion of corporate bailouts coupled with the unwillingness of decision-makers to respond to the needs of immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, the uninsured, and those who do not earn enough to file taxes, only exacerbates the inhumanity of a system of governance designed to protect corporate interests.
Rather than a sign of government benevolence, the enormity of the relief package – nearly half of the federal budget – reveals the immorality of an economic and political status quo that disperses public wealth to finance mass criminalization, endless wars, and corporate greed, while actively denying basic human rights to health care, housing, education, and social welfare. The inequality and state-created harms that existed before the coronavirus pandemic will exist beyond this stimulus package unless we fundamentally shift our priorities and commit to structural social change.
Still, this moment has also made clear that such transformation is possible. The Center for Constitutional Rights is committed to working with the people and refusing to allow government shortsightedness and cruelty to obstruct the remade society we all deserve.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.