Golden State Stimulus Deal is Step Toward Equity for Immigrant Communities, But Does Not Fully Address Gaps

The stimulus package builds on the Governor’s proposal by providing an additional $600 to ITIN filers with incomes up to $75,000. 

Los Angeles—The California Immigrant Policy Center applauds Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature for increasing the Golden State Stimulus to provide direct financial relief to individuals and families. Under the new agreement, immigrant workers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will be eligible for an additional $600 if they have incomes under $75,000 a year. This builds on the governor’s original proposal, which provides $600 payments to everyone eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). The CalEITC now includes ITIN filers, who have traditionally been excluded from this anti-poverty tool and tax credit in California, after a lengthy campaign led by the CalEITC coalition.

This budget deal is a step in the right direction, providing critical relief to the over 2 million Californians who have been shut out of federal stimulus payments. Undocumented workers in California represent 10 percent of our workforce, are integral to our communities, and are overrepresented in frontline industries responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this deal accounts for only a fraction of the federal stimulus relief afforded to all other Californians. For example, a single-parent household headed by an ITIN filer with two children was shut out from $4000 in federal stimulus relief. Under this deal, they could get up to $1200 in state relief, or about 30% of what families with Social Security Numbers (SSNs) currently receive. Additionally, those without ITINs or SSNs still continue to be left out of relief entirely.

“Targeting resources to those who have been excluded from federal relief is a significant step toward equity and we applaud the Governor and the Legislature’s efforts,” said Sasha Feldstein, economic justice policy manager at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “But with a multi-billion dollar surplus we should be creating a real California for All. And that means filling in all of the gaps left by exclusionary federal relief efforts, not just pieces. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor, the Legislature, and our partners to achieve full and real equity for all Californians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”