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California To Launch COVID-19 Relief Fund For Undocumented Workers

The state will use the fund to offer $500 to 150,000 undocumented adults.
Posted at 2:06 PM, Apr 16, 2020

California will be the first state to launch a coronavirus disaster relief fund for undocumented workers. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the program on Wednesday.

He said: "We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear for deportation, that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians. And that's why I'm proud as governor to be the first state to announce a program for direct disaster assistance to those individuals."

Newsom said undocumented workers — who make up 10% of California's workforce — paid $2.5 billion in local and state taxes last year. But, even though they disproportionately work in some of the hardest-hit industries, they're not eligible for state or federal unemployment support. They also don't qualify for federal stimulus money.

California will provide $75 million for the fund, and private philanthropists are contributing another $50 million. The state will use that money to offer $500 to 150,000 undocumented adults.