Apr 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

California providing $500 in coronavirus relief to 150,000 unauthorized immigrants

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with his hand out
California Governor Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Unauthorized immigrants in California can apply to receive $500 of coronavirus relief provided by the state starting in May, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The undocumented population was left out of the federal cash assistance provided in the CARES Act passed by Congress. They also do not qualify for unemployment insurance benefits.

  • Around 150,000 adults — out of 3 million unauthorized immigrants in California — will receive the one-time cash assistance from the state.

Between the lines: Of the $125 million being provided to help the unauthorized population during the coronavirus pandemic, $75 million will come from the state. $50 million will come from other private philanthropic sponsors, according to Newsom.

  • The governor said the aid will be dispersed "through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities."
  • There is a $1,000 household cap.

The bottom line: "Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis," Newsom said.

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