COPA, California IAF Fights to Support Essential, Undocumented Workers


In mid-April, Governor Gavin Newsom allocated $75 million in emergency assistance to undocumented immigrants impacted by the pandemic. Philanthropic organizations and private donors pledged an additional $50 million. 

But, undocumented immigrants still don’t qualify for the federal stimulus checks and can’t apply for unemployment insurance. They are also barred from the state’s tax credit program for low-income workers.  

“Governor Newsom has come out many times to talk about the value of the immigrant community, a recognition that the undocumented are part of California and deserve to be part of the California dream. And this... this is contradictory to leaving people out of that tax break,” said McManus....

Immigrant advocates say they’re not giving up, especially now. 

“At the same time that we can see the disparity right now. We also can see how much we benefit from them,” said Maria Elena Manzo, a COPA leader.

COPA’s Tim McManus says this fight is about recognition through policy, and putting money in people’s pockets.

“So forgetting about what you think about fairness or justice or morality, this is an economic stimulus. We're gonna recover stronger if all of California can land back on their feet sooner,” he said. 

[Photo Credit: Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Voices of Monterey Bay]

No Relief HereVoices of Monterey Bay [pdf]

The Fight to Short Up The Safety Net for Undocumented WorkersKAZU [pdf]