We Support Immigrant Workers
Natural disasters and the pandemic have underscored the urgent need for protections for immigrant workers in California.
Unemployment benefits are a lifeline for California’s families, communities and industries.
Undocumented immigrants contribute to our communities and California’s economic prosperity. They grow our food, build our homes, take care of our loved ones, and ensure the movement of goods and services in crises and every day, yet many California workers do not have access to unemployment benefits solely due to their immigration status.
Unemployment insurance helps millions of Californians get through the biggest challenges we face, from climate emergencies, to natural disasters and economic volatility. Yet more than one million workers are currently excluded from critical unemployment coverage on the basis of their immigration status.
California is the world’s fifth-largest economy, in large part because of immigrant labor, it makes sense that California would include all workers in life-saving unemployment benefits.
We know that our state, our local businesses, and our schools bounce back faster when all Californians are better supported. Unemployment benefits are a key part of economic stability when workers face unexpected job loss.
We are fighting for a safety net for all that will provide temporary wage replacement for undocumented workers who have lost their jobs.
The Safety Net for All Coalition is working to create the first-ever Excluded Worker Program in California. The program would provide unemployed workers who are ineligible for regular unemployment insurance due to their immigration status with $300 per week for up to 20 weeks. The coalition is also calling on state officials to include funding for the program in the state budget.
A $356 million investment for the program would provide excluded immigrant workers the same economic security other workers receive when they lose their job.
Across the nation, from Colorado to New York, states have successfully created excluded worker programs that have provided unemployment benefits for excluded immigrant communities, allowing them to pay down utility bills, take care of medical expenses, or keep their families afloat. California, more than any other state, should adhere to its values of putting our people before profits.
Header Photo Credit: Brooke Anderson