October 14, 2021
After a long legislative season that coincided with a high-profile recall election and the ongoing pandemic, we celebrate the end of this year’s session in Sacramento. Alongside our partners and allies, CIPC collectively championed and garnered historic legislative and budgetary victories for California’s immigrant communities this year.
With a deadline to sign or veto bills by October 10, 2021, Governor Newsom signed the following CIPC priority bills into law:
These policy wins build upon important advances made in the annual state budget earlier this year, as detailed below. In addition, CIPC is proud to highlight partner-led policy campaigns we supported which resulted in critical legislation signed into law by the Governor.
Congratulations to everyone involved in these historic efforts! Thank you to our partners, community members, champions and allies who pushed to remove unjust exclusions to basic rights, and advocated for bold investments so that immigrant communities can thrive. And a heartfelt thank you to our team at CIPC, who worked tirelessly to achieve these critical wins.
Please support CIPC as we prepare for next year’s legislative session and as we continue to push for systems change that ensures a stronger California for everyone.
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.
Earlier this year, CIPC and its partners successfully advocated for immigrant tax filers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to be included in both rounds of direct stimulus payments to Californians through the new Golden State Stimulus (GSS) program. To date, almost 600,000 ITIN filing households have received over $650 million in direct relief.
With pandemic-related job losses highest among immigrants and low-income workers of color in California, $30 million were also allocated in state workforce development funding for the Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative, for community-based organizations and local workforce boards to address systemic barriers in the labor market.
In addition to our priority bills above, we celebrate the enactment of key bills championed by our partners that will strengthen workers’ rights and safety for California’s immigrant workers, including:
In addition to SB 334, CIPC celebrates the following victories that further our goal of dismantling the arrest-to-deportation pipeline and ensuring the safety and wellness of immigrants, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the state:
California made history this year by removing Medi-Cal exclusions to all income-eligible Californians ages 50 and above, regardless of immigration status, beginning May 1, 2022. This makes California the most inclusive state in the nation in terms of Medicaid eligibility, and builds on our prior #Health4All campaign wins that removed the exclusion of youth and children ages 0-26 from Medi-Cal, making our health care system stronger for everyone in California. The budget includes an annual allocation for this coverage that is expected to grow to $1.3 billion in the General Fund by 2024, which includes In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). The administration estimates this would newly extend full-scope coverage to roughly 235,000 individuals annually.
The 2021-2022 state budget also included $30 million in the General Fund over the next two years for programming costs to prepare for a possible future expansion of the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to immigrants currently excluded from the program. This investment will help us lay the groundwork for our inaugural #Food4All campaign, which seeks to expand access to nutritional services to millions of Californians experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
We also celebrate the signing of SB 65:
CIPC is proud to continue leading the One California network to expand critical legal services to underserved immigrant communities throughout the state. The final budget provided an additional $30 million disbursement over 2 years to directly support legal services provision, outreach and education, and technical assistance. This builds on an annual allocation of $45 million to support the One California program in the General Fund. Furthermore, a one-time investment of $25 million to provide DACA and naturalization filing fee coverage was added to the final budget.
The state budget also provides an additional $25 million to support legal services and programs that assist unaccompanied youth and children (building upon $20 million provided by philanthropy). It includes $105.2 million for a Rapid Response Program to support entities that provide critical assistance and services to immigrants during emerging situations that require state funds, in order to bridge the gap when federal funding is not available.