May 20, 2021
Governor Gavin Newsom released his May Revise of the state budget last week, which included vital investments to support communities left behind during the pandemic. CIPC applauds the Governor for listening to our communities, which have shouldered an undue burden during this pandemic, and addressing immigrants’ needs. None of this would have been possible without our partners, who have consistently supported our efforts. We offer a heartfelt thank you to our allies who have courageously shared your stories, called your legislators, and made your voices heard during a tremendously challenging year.
Given the state’s $75 billion surplus over two years, and with the additional $26 billion in federal funding, we urge the Legislature and the Newsom administration to do more in this year’s budget to address pre-pandemic inequities. Undocumented Californians working on the front lines of the COVID pandemic have been excluded from thousands of dollars in federal aid and safety net programs. In the last year, undocumented workers have been excluded from $3,200 in federal stimulus payments, an average of $13,308 in unemployment benefits, $1,992 worth of CalFresh benefits for food assistance, and $5,000 worth of health coverage through Medi-Cal.**
With so much still on the line, and money available to fund it, we can’t stop now! Join us on May 25th for Immigrant Day of Action, where we will continue to advocate for all Californians. If California wants to roar back, then we cannot merely return to pre-pandemic conditions with systemic inequities and limited access to resources and safety net programs. We must envision and advocate for a California that uplifts the humanity and dignity of everyone who calls our state home.
**This resource has been updated. The data above was incorrectly attributed to the California Budget & Policy Center. The estimates cited are from CIPC’s analysis and that of our other partners.
Health4All: The governor’s May Revision proposes to extend Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible Californians age 60 and above, regardless of their immigration status, beginning May 1, 2022. The budget includes $69 million ($50 million General Fund) in 2021-22 and $1 billion ($859 million General Fund) ongoing for this coverage, which includes In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). The administration estimates this would newly extend full-scope coverage to roughly 80,000 individuals. CIPC celebrates this historic win, the result of tireless work by advocates and directly impacted communities to end the unjust exclusion of immigrants from Medi-Cal.
The Health4All Campaign has advocated for a more equitable and inclusive safety net for many years, but the pandemic exacerbated the urgency over the last year. We cannot ignore the low-income, undocumented Californians ages 26-59 who would remain uninsured even with the May Revise proposal. Given the state’s enormous surplus, we invite you to join us in advocating for more in this year’s budget to address coverage gaps for those who continue to go without basic health care.
Golden State Stimulus and Funding for Excluded Workers: In January, Governor Newsom announced a new Golden State Stimulus (GSS) program that would send $600-$1,200 payments to California tax filers. The Governor’s May Revision proposes a second round of the GSS, which would provide an additional $1,000 for immigrant families who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer ID number (ITIN).
While this is an important step, the Governor’s proposal still leaves out thousands of Californians —specifically those without ITINs, ITIN filers without children, and people who do not file taxes. Additionally, it still leaves a large gap for people who are excluded from unemployment insurance and federal relief.
With strong revenue growth and $26 billion in federal funding support, CIPC joins our partners in calling on our leaders to do what the federal government should have done all along: include all residents in full COVID-19 and worker relief. We will continue to advocate with our partners to fill the stimulus gap and fund wage replacement for excluded Californians, to create a safety net for all of us.
Sign the Safety Net for All Coalition’s letter to call for equity for excluded Californians in this year’s budget.
One California: The Governor’s May Revision maintains the ongoing allocation to the California Department of Social Services for qualified immigration services to immigrants—including deportation defense, naturalization, counsel for unaccompanied minors, and other services. The budget also proposes an additional $25 million one-time investment to be used for DACA and naturalization filing fees, and devotes an additional $25 million to support legal services and programs that assist unaccompanied youth and children. This builds upon a $20 million commitment from philanthropic partners for a California Dignity for Families Fund (CDFF) to support efforts in the border region and in destination communities across the state. The budget revision also includes earmarks of $105.2 million for the Rapid Response Program to support entities that provide critical assistance and services to immigrants during emerging situations that require state funds to bridge the gap when federal funding is not available.
Despite these significant additional investments in legal services, the Governor’s May Revision fails to provide disbursements that will directly support legal services provision, outreach and education, and technical assistance. Sign onto our letter requesting additional funding to support service providers around the state.
Food4All: This year, Nourish California and CIPC launched the Food4All Campaign to change current laws that exclude Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, immigrants with status, and undocumented immigrants from CalFresh and the state-funded California Food Assistance Program (CFAP). We are disappointed that the May Revise does not address this issue and continues to exclude many immigrants from accessing vital food assistance. Check out the campaign page to learn more and join the Food4All Coalition’s ongoing efforts this legislative session.
Additional Details of the Governor’s May Revision Budget Proposal: