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California Expands Its Relief Programs To Help Gig-Workers and Include Undocumented Immigrants

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Since the shutdown, 2.7 million Californians have applied for unemployment. And today, there’s good news if you are self-employed, or an independent contractor: The state is developing a one-stop website to make it easier to apply. 

The new site is set to open April 28th and will allow workers to get certified and receive payments within 48 hours.

There is also good news for undocumented people who do not qualify for unemployment benefits. California will be the first state to offer financial relief —  500 dollars per person — to immigrants living here illegally. The state will rely on regional nonprofits to distribute the money. 

In his announcement Governor Newsom noted that illegal immigrants paid 2.5 billion dollars in state and local taxes last year.

He also said, "we feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportation that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians."


Victor Tence is the Production Manager for Crosscurrents and Coordinator for KALW's Training Programs. He is a graduate of City College of San Francisco's journalism program and the 2020 KALW Audio Academy cohort. He transitioned to journalism after spending 6 years cooking in Bay Area kitchens. He is passionate about covering the local hospitality, food and agriculture industry, as a way to advocate for the community he loves. Now, he works as a producer for KALW's award-winning news magazine, Crosscurrents. He also organizes and facilitates KALW's various training programs.