SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he is working with the Legislature on an economic stimulus package for immigrants in the country illegally and others not covered by the federal stimulus package approved by Congress.
The federal government is dividing up about $30 billion to roughly 14 million California households this month, part of the federal CARES Act. But the checks - $1,200 per adult earning less than $75,000 and $2,400 per couple under $150,000 - only go to those who file their taxes using a Social Security number.
Those who use an individual Taxpayer Identification Number, including most living in the country illegally, are excluded.
The $2.2 trillion federal aid package also includes money to boost unemployment benefits by an extra $600 per week, money also unavailable to people living in the country illegally who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
About 2 million undocumented people are living in California, according to the California Latino Legislative Caucus. The group has asked Newsom to create a “Disaster Relief Fund” for cash payments to those immigrants until the state’s emergency proclamation is lifted or they are able to return to work.
Newsom said “all of that is being considered,” adding it is part of a broader package he plans to unveil in May that will include “some economic stimulus strategies at a state level, not just waiting for the federal government to do that for us.”
“Californians care deeply about undocumented residents in this state,” he said.
California has been aggressive in expanding government-funded benefits for immigrants living in the country illegally. Last year, lawmakers made California the first state in the country to offer government-funded health benefits to low-income adults 25 and younger living in the country illegally.
Republicans have opposed those changes, noting the state taxes people who choose not to purchase health insurance while at the same time providing taxpayer-funded health care to non-citizens.
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that advocates lower taxes, said the taxpayer money in any state stimulus should... (Read more)
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