Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons License 2.0

Wonkette Quarantine Boyfriend and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that his state would begin offering one-time payments to undocumented immigrants, because the economic downturn is affecting everyone and hunger doesn't ask to see your papers. Newsom noted that undocumented workers make up about 10 percent of the state's workforce, but are ineligible for both unemployment insurance and for the federal government's economic stimulus payments. So to help out at least some folks, California will establish a fund to provide $500 to undocumented workers (with a maximum of $1000 per family), to be funded by a combined $75 million in public funds and another $50 million in private donations.

The aid is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented Californians, out of an estimated 2 million to 3 million undocumented California residents. Undocumented workers in the state paid over $2.5 billion in state and local taxes last year.

Nonetheless, the usual rightwing idiots lost their shit over the outrageous waste of Our Tax Money, because they are terrible excuses for human beings.


In a statement, Newsom said,

We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportations that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians.

Newsom explained the new aid would be "dispersed through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities," and now we can't love him anymore because that should be disbursed. It was never going to work out anyway, what with his insistence on always saying "the state of California" on TV, though we still like his "nation-state" trope.

Organizations giving to the $50 million private part of the fund include the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the California Endowment, the James Irvine Foundation, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative and "an anonymous donor," so let's assume that's George Soros, for recruiting caravans. And if you want to make a donation to that fund, here's the linky.

Also among the contributing groups is the Emerson Collective, an outfit headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, who said,

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.

OK, she's cool and can be part of Joe Biden's cabinet, but not as Education secretary. Jesus, Tom Friedman, that has to be a teacher.

The emergency fund is just one of several initiatives aimed at helping immigrants get through the COVID-19 crisis; Newsom's press release also highlighted an immigrant resource guide that provides information specially geared toward immigrants, including links to assistance that immigrant Californians qualify for despite restrictions on federal aid. The state also offers a Spanish-language public-health website on the outbreak.

Newsom has also made a priority of making sure all Californians have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment regardless of income or immigration status:

Given the current public health emergency, COVID-19 testing, evaluation and treatment services are being deemed as emergency services under Medi-Cal, regardless of the location where it is received. Deeming COVID-19 testing and related treatment services as an emergency will entitle all Medi-Cal beneficiaries, regardless of their scope of coverage under Medi-Cal or their documentation status, to receive all medically necessary inpatient or outpatient services related to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Beyond the state's efforts to reach immigrant families during the crisis, check out this cool NPR story about how California activists are working to get health information specifically to migrant farm workers — not just in Spanish, but also in a variety of indigenous Central American languages spoken by the state's agricultural workers. We suppose someone probably finds that outrageous, too, but fuck 'em, we think California's doing this like a civilized nation-state should.

[Gov. Gavin Newsom / Axios / CNBC / NPR / Mixteco.org / California Disaster Relief Fund / Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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