Coronavirus in California: Lawsuit filed to stop $75M in economic relief for undocumented workers

SAN FRANCISCO -- A petition was filed with the California Supreme Court in San Francisco to stop the $75 million disaster relief allocated by the state for undocumented workers.

The lawsuit claims the disaster assistance program is in violation of California and federal law because undocumented workers are ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The Center for American Liberty and the Dhillon Law Group filed the suit against Governor Gavin Newsom and Keely Bosler, the director of the California Department of Finance.

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"We are a nation of laws and California perhaps its own 'nation-state' of laws as Governor Newsom might say, but regardless of Governor Newsom's noble intentions, he may not grant unemployment benefits or other cash benefits contrary to the law," the petition reads.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Center of American Liberty, Harmeet K. Dhillon, said there is also concern over the state distributing taxpayer dollars to unnamed non-profits.

Last week, the governor announced the $125 million in aid would be provided for undocumented workers as part of a public-private partnership; $75 million would come from the state, and an additional $50 million would come from donors.

The payments would be similar to the federal economic impact payments, with undocumented workers receiving a one-time payment of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household.

Applications for the relief funds were to start next month.

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