California to give cash payments to undocumented immigrants hurt by coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 1:38 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 17:50:09-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California will give cash payments to undocumented immigrants living who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the state will use a mix of taxpayer dollars and charitable contributions to give up to 150,000 adults $500 each. Households would be capped at $1,000.

"This is a state that steps up to help those in need, regardless of status," Newsom said.

“Ten percent of California’s workforce is undocumented. An overrepresentation of that workforce is undocumented in the areas that are so essential to meeting the needs of tens of millions of Californians today -- in the health care sector, in the agriculture and food sector, in the manufacturing and logistics sector, and in the construction sector,” Newsom said, adding undocumented immigrants paid over $2.5 billion in local and state taxes last year.

Taxpayers are paying $75 million while a group of charities have committed to raising $50 million. Some charities have already contributed $5.5 million.

Newsom said undocumented immigrants living in the country are not eligible for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.

“Many mixed-status families are having trouble taking care of their families,” Newsom added. “We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportation that are still addressing the essential needs of tens of millions of Californians.”