Advocates To Urge Governor For Inclusive Investment To Uplift State’s Immigrant Communities

In the revision of the proposed January budget, Governor Brown has included a $5 million appropriation to support application assistance, through qualified non-profits, for immigrants eligible for deferred action through President Obama’s immigrant relief initiatives. The One California Coalition issued the following statement:

We welcome the Governor’s partial recognition that to ensure a shared prosperity our budget must invest in immigrant families. This announcement comes as a result of the hard work of community members on the ground who have fought to break down the barriers to deportation relief and citizenship that could give them peace of mind, opportunities to access stable jobs and income, and provide for their loves ones.

However, missing from the Governor’s anti-poverty efforts is the inclusion of immigrants who could be eligible for citizenship and the powerful opportunities it brings, like more complete relief from deportation, economic mobility, and a voice in decisions that affect their lives and that of their children.

Unless we invest strategically and meaningfully, through culturally and linguistically appropriate education, outreach, and application assistance, our efforts to address the needs of diverse immigrant communities and streamline the road to DACA, DAPA, and citizenship will be tragically limited.

Our legislators have a key opportunity to support family stability and combat poverty in a community that often doesn’t qualify for economic support due to their immigration status; even though they are contributing greatly our economy.

By investing $20 million towards the One California proposal we can build on efforts to combat notario fraud and help immigrant communities access the powerful opportunities that deferred action and citizenship bring. With nearly 4 million Californians potentially eligible, we cannot ignore the state’s responsibility and the significant economic benefits of investing in the inclusion and economic mobility of all of our residents. Immigrants are vital to the fabric of our workforce, our communities and our state. When we support immigrants with what they need to contribute, participate in the civic process, and further succeed, we build a shared prosperity for all Californians.

“Governor Jerry Brown, by including an initial investment to implement DACA/DAPA, has  recognized the responsibility of the State to ensure a successful implementation of the program. We will work with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure the long term economic prosperity is coupled with greater, outgoing investment for immigration integration including citizenship services.” Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA

“This is a step forward for the state of California, but we can and must do more.  We need more resources to meet the needs for DACA and DAPA-eligible communities, and we must also invest in naturalization services to fully unlock our state’s potential for greater civic engagement and economic mobility.” Vincent Pan, Executive Director, Chinese for Affirmative Action

“Though the Governor has taken a first, small step towards investing in immigrant families, our state must invest in fuller inclusion of our diverse immigrant communities. As home to the largest population of immigrants eligible for deferred action and citizenship, California has a key opportunity to reap the economic benefits of community-driven immigrant integration.” Gina Da Silva, California Immigrant Policy Center

“We are heartened to see the Governor has recognized the need to support organizations providing assistance to immigrants preparing for administrative relief. While the $5 million proposed is a promising start, we know more can be done to fulfill the need for resources and services so that individuals can naturalize as well as obtain relief from deportation, and gain work authorization under the President’s programs. Santa Clara County is home to the largest eligible population for administrative relief in Northern California and the Bay Area has the second-largest eligible population who could benefit from citizenship – we know that the need for services remains great. We will continue our efforts to advocate for increased state funding as the budget process moves through the Legislature,” said Patricia Diaz, Executive Director of Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)


Members of the ONE California Coalition include:

California API Budget Partnership

California Immigrant Policy Center

California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

Catholic Conference / Catholic Charities

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles

Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center