Nhu Dang, Times Staff
Undocumented immigrants living in California who are not eligible for unemployment or stimulus checks may apply for Disaster Relief Assistance starting May 18.
“Many Californians are one paycheck away from losing their homes or from being able to put food on their tables, and COVID-19 has only made these challenges worse,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom at a press conference. “California is focused on getting relief dollars and unemployment assistance in the hands of those who need it as quickly as possible.”
California is home to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants that have not received financial aid from the government.
Because of this, Gov. Newsom announced that the state will provide a $125 million public-private Disaster Relief Fund for California workers.
According to The California Department of Social Services website, the state of California will provide $75 million in disaster relief assistance and philanthropic partners have committed to raising an additional $50 million.
“During this moment of national crisis, undocumented immigrants are risking their own health on behalf of the rest of us,” said president of Emerson Collective Laurene Powell Jobs during a ZOOM conference. “I hope that corporations, foundations and individuals across the country will join us in providing the emergency relief these members of our community need to weather this challenging time.”
Applications will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis until funding runs out.
The California Department of Social Services estimates that the funding will help up to 150,000 undocumented adults.
According to The California Department of Social Services website, Applicants must be over the age of 18 and will need to show proof that they have faced financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Those approved will receive a one-time payment of $500 per adult, with a cap of $1,000 per household.
Beginning at 8 a.m. May 18, hotline operators will begin assisting applicants with the process. The program will run through June 30 or until all the funding is spent.
“Considering the scrutiny that immigrants are receiving right now, I think it’s great that they are able to receive government funding,” said SJCC student Victoria Tapia, 22. “They are risking their lives just like us (citizens), maybe even more. They deserve funding.”
For more information on funding and how to apply, visit the state’s website.