Los Angeles Councilman David Ryu sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday, urging him and the state Legislature to provide funding for California's undocumented immigrants affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Undocumented immigrants are taxpayers. They are the backbone of our economy. They are our neighbors and friends and they need our support,'' Ryu said. "In California, we don't leave anybody behind -- and our state must act to help undocumented Californians.''
Last week, Newsom announced he was considering aid for undocumented immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic and would work with state leaders on an economic relief plan to support them.
The latest federal aid package, which included a $600-a-month increase to unemployment benefits and $1,200 checks for most Americans, excluded anyone without a social security number, leaving many immigrants without support, Ryu said.
The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that more than 2.3 million undocumented immigrants live in California.
On Tuesday, UCLA released a study that found 56% of Latino-majority neighborhoods in Los Angeles County have "large proportions'' of people who are ineligible for federal relief funds because they don't have a social security card.
The study recommended local governments should step in to help people who won't receive the funds, regardless of someone's citizenship status in the middle of a pandemic.