COVID-19 has impacted our daily lives, including the lives of undocumented immigrants. We want families to know that there are resources that can support them in this time of need. Below, are some of the resources that we have compiled to support undocumented immigrant and mixed-status families. We have also compiled a list of six critical resource areas with links to information and organizations that can speak directly to the needs of undocumented individuals regarding their rights during COVID-19.
Please note that most of this information is meant to provide up to date information and guidance, not legal advice. Everyone’s situation is unique, and for that reason, it is very important to speak to an attorney or appropriate organization to ensure your rights are protected.
Worker’s Rights in California
If you have lost your job due to COVID-19 check out these resources:
Legal Aid at Work has workshops, frequently asked questions, and other resources to help all workers including undocumented workers. Please visit their page.
While undocumented immigrants cannot receive Unemployment Insurance, they may be eligible for Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave. File with the EDD.
If you are authorized to work (DACA, TPS, or another work permit) or have a green card, you can apply for unemployment compensation. Unemployment does not affect you under the new public charge rules. Visit the EDD website.
Additional Workers Rights Resources
Legal Aid At Work – Worker’s Rights Clinics
Immigrant Policy Center – Resources for CA Immigrants
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance – Resources for CA Immigrants
California Rural Legal Foundation – Information and Resources for Immigrant Communities in the Central Valley
Know Your Rights
The following steps were provided by the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area.
A. If ICE comes to your door, ASK for a warrant signed by a judge. If the ICE agent does not have one, you DO NOT have to open the door. If they say that they have one, DO NOT open the door to see it. Have them slide it under the door.
B. If an ICE agent confronts you, remain silent. You have the right to remain silent and do not have to give them your name. DO NOT sign anything that ICE gives you without consulting an attorney.
C. DO NOT say anything about where you were born or how you entered the United States.
COVID Testing and Medical Treatment
The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus bill enacted to provide economic relief and health care options in the midst of the growing COVID-19 pandemic. While the Act expands the availability of free testing for COVID-19, it does not directly pay for the costs of treatment. Rather, it falls on states to use their Medicaid programs to cover free testing to uninsured persons.
California is one of several states to offer “emergency” MediCal to provide free testing, diagnosis, and treatment for COVID-19. It will not count against undocumented persons under the new public charge rules. Learn more.
In California, undocumented immigrants are entitled to emergency and pregnancy-related services. Please contact your county human services agency.
Immigrants can continue to access services at community health centers, regardless of their status, and at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their income. Learn more.
For a map of free clinics across the U.S. for the uninsured see this link.
CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles) has a free hotline you can call if you think you have the Coronavirus at 888-624-4752.
In California, immigrants have access to emergency care regardless of immigration status. More information here.
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order allowing local governments to ban landlords from evicting tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19. The order is good through the end of May unless it is extended. Renters are still responsible for paying their rent.
To be eligible, renters must notify their landlord in writing up and no later than seven days after the rent is due. Proof of a change in financial circumstances will be needed, such as a signed letter or statement from an employer.
See the form provided by the Attorney General’s office that can be printed and completed by filling in the blanks and checking off boxes. It is advisable to check with your local government to see if they may have added local measures to give extra protection for renters who are undocumented.
Relief Funds & Resources
Los Angeles – Mayor’s Fund, FamilySouce Center $300 grocery cards for 1-2 family members, $500 3 or more family members per household. Call 3-1-1 to connect to the nearest FamilySource Center
One Fair Wage is offering cash assistance to service workers and tipped workers.
Restaurants Care is offering grants for restaurant workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been quarantined.
Children of Restaurant Employees is offering funds to restaurant workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have children at home.
Americans for the Arts has a lengthy list of places offering funding and grants for artists.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance has set up a fund for in-home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners.
Savi and Student Debt Crisis are offering help to those who are having trouble paying their student loans because of the Coronavirus’s impact on their income.
Legal Aid At Work created a comprehensive list of fund distribution. Most of the funds in this list have been exhausted, but it is a good idea to keep your eyes and ears open in case they open up again.
On April 6th, SoCalGas announced the company would launch a campaign titled, “SoCalGas CAREs” for customers whose income may have recently changed due to COVID-19 or other reasons. The campaign aims to let customers know of their eligibility to qualify for SoCalGas’ assistance program, California Alternate Rates for Energy or CARE, saving them 20 percent on their monthly natural gas bills. The CARE online application is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
College and Career Resources
- DACA News and FAQs for Undocumented Students
- List of scholarship opportunities for undocumented students
- MALDEF’s scholarship resource guide
- Best College provides a guide for undocumented students to help them navigate and learn about the college options available to them.
- College and financial aid resources by First Gen Empowerment Project
- List of scholarships for undocumented students