Eldridge advocates for immigrant congregants at Hudson church

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Senator Jamie Eldridge (2nd from left) visiting the Assembly of God church in Hudson
Photo/submitted

Hudson – Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) has been a vocal advocate for immigrant families across Massachusetts, working to ensure that they receive the same financial support as other Massachusetts residents do. In a press release from his office he noted that “since the federal CARES Act failed to provide stimulus checks for undocumented and mixed-status families, and many immigrant families are not eligible for state unemployment assistance,” he has worked to secure financial and food support for immigrant families in his district – the Middlesex and Worcester district – through private sources and charities.

Recently Eldridge visited the Assembly of God church in Hudson, to highlight the partnership he has developed with church’s Pastor Constantino Pereira Junior.

“Pastor Junior, a Marlborough resident, and I have been friends for many years, and I commend him for his advocacy for his congregants. During the pandemic, I have been pleased to partner with him, a Boston foundation, and the Open Table food pantry, to provide financial and food support for members of the church, the vast majority of whom are Brazilian immigrants,” said Eldridge.

The Boston foundation was able to provide a $25,000 grant to the church, distributing $500 each to about 50 Brazilian and Spanish families of the Assembly of God church. More recently, Eldridge partnered with the Open Table food pantry, located in Maynard, to provide basic staple items, fresh fruit, and vegetables to families in the church, after their Sunday service.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, 50 of our church families were greatly impacted by the generosity of Senator James B. Eldridge through the Family Independence Initiative,” said Pastor Constantino Pereira Junior.  “The families that received the $500 funds were families who couldn’t get any assistance from the state or federal government because of their immigration status. Senator Eldridge was sensitive to our community needs and was able to get our church $25,000, which was distributed through UPTogether to 50 Brazilian and Spanish families from our congregation in the Hudson region. This great generosity came in a time of great need for our church families.”

This grant was a pilot for a larger program, which will hopefully provide aid, Eldridge said, for more desperate families in this time of great need. Eldridge has filed a bill this session, S.D 2659, An Act to provide equal stimulus checks to immigrant taxpayers, that would have ensured that Massachusetts residents who filed their taxes with an ITIN number, would get the same stimulus checks as the federal CARES Act provided.