Press Statements

California Immigrant Policy Center: Governor’s Budget Avoids Cuts to Vital Investments for Low-Income Immigrants but Falls Short in Putting Immigrant Families on Equitable Footing

“Californians deserve a people-centered budget that provides food security, cares for people when they are out of work, and lifts people out of poverty – all in service of a healthier, stronger, and more resilient California for all.” – Connie Choi, Managing Policy Director

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed budget for 2023-2024, responding to an anticipated budget gap of $22.5 billion. 

The budget demonstrates and defines where our priorities are as a state. Thankfully the budget avoids dramatic cuts to life-saving programs and services that immigrant Californians value the most, such as California’s promise to expand full-scope Medi-Cal to all income-eligible Californians, regardless of immigration status. However, the budget falls short of meaningfully putting immigrant families on equitable footing with their neighbors for the long-term, so that all Californians have the dignity, fairness, and respect needed to thrive. 

“During the pandemic, California invested in removing immigrant exclusions from vital programs, providing a model for the rest of the country for how to bring all people – no matter their economic standing, racial background, or immigration status – forward together,” said Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “We cannot step back from these long-term investments without undermining the gains we’ve made in creating an inclusive state. There’s no going back.”

“This year, despite a budget shortfall, California is set to be the 4th largest economy in the world, and Californians deserve a people-centered budget that provides food security, cares for people when they’re out of work, and lifts families out of poverty – all in service of a healthier, stronger, and more resilient California for all,” said Connie Choi, Managing Policy Director at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “Ensuring our budget and spending tackle current inequities in the short term will lead to a more stable, more equitable state in the long term.”

While CIPC is disappointed to not see the following in the January budget, we will continue to advocate for these investments towards immigrants and their families in the May Revision: 

  • The January budget proposal fails to include unemployment benefits for excluded immigrant workers, which are essential to creating an equitable and resilient economy. Unemployment benefits are a lifeline for California’s families, communities and industries, and state investment is needed now to prepare for an uncertain future. This is a missed opportunity that will continue to exacerbate inequities for immigrant communities when the next crisis strikes. 
  • The January budget proposes delaying the inclusion of all Californians ages 55 and older, regardless of immigration status, in CFAP (the California Food Assistance Program) to Jan. 1, 2027. By putting off this commitment made in last year’s budget, the Administration fails to ensure food assistance for those most in need and fund timely, tangible solutions to inequality and poverty. The budget also fails to provide any food assistance to Californians under the age of 55 who are grappling with the rising cost of food but remain excluded from CalFresh and CFAP.


The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants and their families throughout California. CIPC combines legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, statewide organizing, and regional coalition capacity building to pursue its mission of advocating for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social, and economic justice.


Ian Moor
(323) 303-4372