California will be the first state in the US to provide financial relief to illegal immigrants amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a series of new measures by his state to provide financial relief to citizens suffering because of Covid-19 lockdown measures. Among the measures is an eye-catching $125 million fund for illegal immigrants living within the state.
“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis,” Newsom said.
The $125 million will be a mix of public and private funds, with $75 million coming from the state and another $50 million from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), a network of foundations focused on immigration issues, which has promised to raise the funds through private means.
According to a press release detailing the fund, around 150,000 undocumented workers will receive a one-time cash payment of $500 per adult, with a $1,000 cap on each household. People can apply for payments starting next month.
The move is a response to illegal immigrants not being eligible for financial relief from the CARES Act, due to their citizenship status.
Newsom noted that 10 percent of his state’s workforce are undocumented workers who have paid billions in state and local taxes.
Despite President Trump’s hard stance on the southern border with Mexico and his ramping up of deportations of illegal immigrants, California has remained the most aggressive state in the US when it comes to giving benefits to non-citizens. The state became the first in the nation last year to give health benefits to adults below the age of 26 living within the country illegally, and he has proposed expanding those benefits to seniors 65 years and older this year.
The new relief fund is sure to be used as ammo in the ongoing illegal immigration debate against Democrats by conservatives, who have consistently argued against non-citizens receiving government benefits puts an unneeded strain on the country.
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