May 9, 2019
For immediate release: May 9, 2019
Sacramento, CA – In response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s release of his “May revise” budget proposal, Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, released the following statement:
As our state continues to grapple with the worsening imbalance between rich and poor, we must ensure that our state budget honors our values of inclusion and compassion for all Californians, including immigrants.
Today’s proposal contains many high points for California’s diverse immigrant communities. We applaud the Governor’s continued investment in the “One California” program which provides funding for urgent and critical legal services, including removal defense, and education and outreach to affected community members. Additionally, we commend the Governor’s proposal to establish two pilot programs. One would provide mental health services to immigrants and asylum seekers facing immigration-related legal proceedings; another would connect children and families affected by separation with key services. Furthermore, the Governor’s continued commitment to expanding access to Medi-cal for all low-income young adults moves us one step closer to universal health care.
Yet in other respects, today’s proposal remains a work in progress. Our budget should work for all Californians and reflect the principle of equity. Immigrants should not be excluded from the significant economic prosperity which their contributions have helped generate. All Californians who pay taxes, including immigrants, should have access to the CA earned income tax credit, a crucial tool to lift working families out of poverty.
Moreover, the fact that immigrant workers who inhaled toxic smoke from the wildfires six months ago still cannot get the care they need is an injustice that cries out for action. We call upon the Governor and the Legislature to make sure that undocumented Californians, especially seniors, who meet the same criteria as their U.S. citizen neighbors are not shut out of the Medi-Cal program and from live-saving care.