During this pandemic, my staff and I have been working around the clock to address the needs of so many in our community. As the son of immigrants and Chair of the California API Legislative Caucus, I’ve been particularly concerned about the plight of undocumented families, for whom there is almost no social safety net.
This past week, California made history. With the encouragement of our API and Latino Caucuses, Governor Newsom announced the establishment of the California Immigrant Resilience Fund, a first-in-the-nation $150 million fund to provide direct cash assistance to undocumented workers across California during the COVID-19 crisis.
While it’s a very good first step, we need to do more to support undocumented workers. 2.3 million Californians lack status due to Washington’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and they face unique challenges right now. Undocumented workers do not have access to unemployment benefits, federal stimulus money, or health care programs like MediCal.
Undocumented Californians are often frontline, essential workers in the fight against COVID-19, yet they do not have access to health care. All people deserve to be healthy and stable, no matter their immigration status.
That’s why I believe we need to do more. The $150 million fund announced last week is a good start, but will only help 150,000 of our 2.3 million undocumented Californians.
We need to ensure that all people, regardless of immigration status, have access to unemployment funds, to have a chance to escape poverty through the Earned Income Tax Credit, and receive health care through MediCal. Could you add your name here if you agree?
Our undocumented neighbors contribute in so many ways to our communities, caring for those who are sick, and ensuring our food supply chain. They pay over $3 billion in state and local taxes every year. It’s time we show up for them and make sure they are included in our COVID-19 recovery efforts.
PS — The Immigrant Resilience Fund is funded with both public and private resources. If you are able to pitch in and directly support undocumented Californians today, please click here. Your money goes a long way and is greatly appreciated.