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Last month, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said that he was open to the idea of providing illegal immigrants with $600 a week, despite the state “quite clearly running out of money.” Starting on Monday, California will provide up to $75 million to illegal immigrants. The money will be available to the illegal immigrants despite Gov. Gavin Newsom slashing $19 billion in funding for California schools this week.
Newsom’s Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project will provide $125 million to illegal immigrants, $75 million will be paid by the state of California and $50 million from private philanthropic groups.
Each adult will be eligible for a one-time payment of $500, and caps out at $1,000 per household, according to the Mercury News.
In order to qualify for the stimulus check, recipients must be at least 18-years-old, an undocumented immigrant who experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, and did not receive payments from federal COVID-19 support programs such as the CARES Act.
California will not distribute the money; instead a dozen community organizations will dispense the funds to illegal immigrants. This is being done so that the government can’t collect any information about the illegal immigrants who receive the money.
The money will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and is available until the funds run out or until June 30. The California Department of Social Services estimates the funds will be handed out to 150,000 illegal immigrants. The Public Policy Institute of California estimated that the state was home to 2.4 million illegal immigrants as of 2017.
The project, which was first announced in April, will go into effect on Monday.
“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,” Newsom said in a statement in April.
This comes at the same time that the Democratic governor of California has had to significantly cut the state’s budget. On Thursday, Newsom unveiled his revised state budget plan that was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Newsom cut funding over the next two years for public schools and community colleges by $19 billion, or nearly a quarter, compared to projections provided in January. California is projected to have a budget deficit of $54.3 billion following the economic carnage caused by the months-long stay-at-home order.
A survey from last month found that unemployment has spiked so much that less than half of people in Los Angeles still have jobs. Newsom warned that the unemployment rate in California could peak as high as 24.5%.