Workers can register over the phone and funds will be available until they are finished.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) announced that financial aid for undocumented immigrants will begin Monday, May 18 through the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project (DRAI).

This aid comes after Governor Gavin Newsom announced in April state-funded disaster relief assistance for undocumented adults who are not eligible for other forms of assistance, such as assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. (CARES) or unemployment benefits due to the pandemic due to their immigration status.

A qualifying undocumented adult can receive $ 500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $ 1,000 in assistance per household. Since the announcement, many undocumented immigrants have been pending to be able to apply as soon as the application period opens.

Among them is Mrs. Magdalena, 47, who is undocumented and identifies herself as an essential worker since until recently she worked making mouth masks in a sewing factory.

"But I haven't been working for a week now because my 74-year-old mother became ill and we don't know if it is from the coronavirus," said Magdalena, who preferred not to give her last name for safety. "My daughter already took her to the clinic on Monday, but they didn't want to do the (coronavirus) exam."

Magdalena said the week she lost from work delays her payments and if she received help from the state government, she could close the gap in this lack of income for her family of four.

"I already took information from CHIRLA and they said we can do it by phone," Magdalena said. "This would help me pay the rent."

Another possible beneficiary is Mr. Julio Peralta, who is the single father of a 16-year-old teenager and a 12-year-old girl, who has a spina bifida condition.

Peralta said that neither he nor his children have legal documents in the country since they arrived in Los Angeles, Guatemala, five years ago, hoping to obtain a better cure for their daughter.

"But right now with the pandemic I already fell behind on my rent payments for April and May," said Peralta, who is not working.

The Guatemalan immigrant indicated that, if he received financial aid from the government, he would use the money to find a place to live in Los Angeles since his daughter is receiving treatment at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital (CHLA).

"But I don't know how it is applied," said Peralta.

The process of applying for aid

Unai Montes-Irueste, director of communications with the United Ways California organization, which has financially supported undocumented immigrants without bank accounts during the pandemic, said it is important for those interested to know where to go to get help and avoid being scammed.

The $ 75 million from the state government will be distributed to 12 organizations throughout California through CDSS. Additionally, the Governor offered $ 50 million from philanthropy, which will be supervised through the organization Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR).

However, of this second part, until Thursday only $ 13 million has been collected through the page created to raise funds

And while the numbers may seem large, Irueste said that the benefited undocumented Californians will be very few.

"In the best case, these funds would reach one in 10 people who need help," said Irueste.

The organizations were selected from among the Immigration Services Financing (ISF) contractors who have existing agreements with CDSS and are reputable.

CDSS also selected nonprofits that have the ability to provide a high volume of application assistance services to undocumented populations in specific geographic locations.

Those interested should contact their local organization. Applications will be available in each region until funds for each region are exhausted and applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.


To apply for the support, the applicant must be undocumented, over 18 years of age, not have been eligible for federal assistance related to COVID-19, such as the federal stimulus check or unemployment benefits and demonstrate that they have faced difficulties as a result of COVID- 19.

Organizations will verify the applicant's documents to ensure they match the information provided and will make the final application approval decisions.

Funding is limited and not guaranteed to all applicants.

To know which organization is the one that corresponds to the area where you live, you can check the following list:

Organizations where immigrants can register:

In Northern California:

California Human Development Corporation

(707) 228-1338

Covering Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Pleasure, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma Tehama , Trinity

In the Bay area:

Catholic Charities of California

Alameda and Contra Costa:

Marín, San Francisco, San Mateo:

Santa Clara:

On the Central Coast:

Mixteco / Indígena Community Organizing Project

Santa Barbara: (805) 519-7776

Ventura: (805) 519-7774

Community Action Board Santa Cruz

(800) 228-6820

Covering Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz

In the Central Valley:

United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF)

(877) 527-6660

Covering Ash, Kern, Kings, Wood, Merced, Tulare and Mono

California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)

(877) 557-0521

Covering Mariposa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne Yolo and Yuba

In Los Angeles:

Orange Asian Americans Advancing Justice

(213) 241-8880

In Los Angeles and Orange

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

(213) 201-8700

Los Angeles Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)

(213) 315-2659

In the Inland Empire:

San Bernardino Community Service Center

(888) 444-0170, (909) 521-7535

Covering Inyo, Riverside, San Bernardino

TODEC Legal Center Perris

(888) 863-3291

Covering Inyo, Riverside, San Bernardino

In San Diego:

Imperial, San Diego

Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Imperial County: 760-206-3242

San Diego County: 858-206-8281


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