San Diego fund to help unauthorized immigrants out of work due to pandemic

Tribune Content Agency

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego fund is ready to start granting money to immigrants who have lost work during the coronavirus pandemic, prioritizing those who would not be eligible for other types of aid.

Many immigrants work in the hospitality industry and similar sectors that have been widely impacted by the statewide stay-at-home order, which has shut down San Diego for more than week already. The majority of those jobs do not offer paid time off or support to workers whose hours are cut or whose positions disappear in layoffs.

Some immigrant workers are eligible to receive unemployment or other aid, but others, particularly unauthorized immigrants, are not.

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium hopes to address that gap with new $500 grants that the organization announced Friday morning.

“When the most vulnerable in our community are at risk, our whole community is at risk,” said Lilian Serrano, chair of the organization. “Without access to unemployment and other cash assistance benefits, many immigrant families are left without resources to cover their basic needs.”

An immigrant can receive the money from the San Diego Immigrant Relief Fund once, and priority will be given to families whose members have not yet received a grant.

The fund is launching with $10,000 donated from Oxfam America, and the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is asking those who are able in the community to contribute as well.

“This fund will ensure that families who are ineligible for other resources have immediate support at a critical time,” said Cristina Garcia, advocacy adviser at Oxfam America.


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