Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Starts Next Week

Starting on May 18, those who qualify can apply to the one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance

Associated Press

Undocumented immigrants who live in California and are affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to apply next week to the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) Project announced by Governor Newsom last month.

Starting on May 18, those who qualify can apply to the one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance.

Those who qualify can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household. The aid will be distributed until the funding is spent or until June 30 at the latest. Applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify you must provide information that you are an undocumented immigrant adult over the age of 18, are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like the CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits, and have experienced hardship as a result of COVID-19.

DRAI will be operated by the Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) for San Diego and Imperial counties.

The federal government does not list this assistance as a public benefit for public charge consideration. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have not issued specific guidance related to this assistance. The state recommends consulting an immigration attorney if you have questions about this assistance program.

On April 15, Gov. Newsom said the program, the first of its kind in the nation, will include $75 million in state funding and another $50 million donated by various organizations and foundations, including The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

"California is the most diverse state in the nation,'' Newsom said. "Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together.''

On May 18, those who wish to apply for assistance can contact JFS by visiting its website.

For additional information about California services and programs for immigrants, click here.

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