California Gov. Gavin Newsome announced the creation of a $125 million Disaster Relief Fund, specifically meant to assist undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for federal relief efforts.
According to a press release released by the governor’s office on Wednesday, the state itself will provide $75 million in disaster relief, while the remaining $50 million will be contributed by philanthropic partners and charities, including the Emerson Collective, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The James Irvine Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and others.
“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together,” Newsome said in the press release.
As a result, some 150,000 undocumented adults will receive a one-time $500 check per adult, with a cap of $1,000 per household in order to help soften the blow of that the pandemic has had. The funds cover undocumented Californians who are not able to receive unemployment insurance benefits and other disaster relief, including from the CARES Act, because of their immigration status.
State funds will be given out through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience of serving undocumented communities, the press release notes.
“During this moment of national crisis, undocumented immigrants are risking their own health on behalf of the rest of us, saving lives as health care workers; caring for our loved ones; and growing much of the food we depend on,” Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective said in the press release. “With the federal government and so many states failing to provide undocumented immigrants the economic and health supports all Americans deserve, 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.”
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