Assemblymembers Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco), representing the California Latino Legislative Caucuses and the California Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus respectively, have joined community organizations to announce the final recipients of “One California” grants to provide nonprofit legal services to immigrants and also came together to oppose federal actions against immigrant communities.
During last year’s state budget process, the California Latino Legislative Caucus and the California API Legislative Caucus created the One California program, securing $15 million to develop a community-based model that will assist eligible immigrants in applying for citizenship or deferred action.
“In California, immigrants and their children make up over 42 percent of our population and contribute tremendously to our economy across industries and regions,” said Assemblymember Thurmond, chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services and a member of the California Latino Legislative Latino Caucus and California Legislative Black Caucus.
“When we support immigrants it translates into economic growth and inclusive communities for California. This is a down payment to a long-term investment,” he said.
“One California will help our immigrant communities navigate our broken immigration system,” said Assemblymember Chiu, policy chair of the API Legislative Caucus. “With almost 2.5 million Californians eligible for citizenship, these services from trusted community-based organizations will prove crucial in keeping California the inclusive state that we all love.”
One California relief will empower more than 44,000 lawful permanent residents to seek citizenship, buy homes, engage, and invest in their neighborhoods and communities. One California will reduce the insecurity of immigrants and boost the security and educational achievement of our state’s future workers and leaders.
“Immigrants are the fabric of this nation, especially around San Francisco Bay,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Vice Chair of the API Legislative Caucus. “I come from a family of immigrants who came here to pursue the American Dream and create a better life. Every immigrant shares these same hopes and deserves the chance to make them a reality. We must help keep immigrant families whole to help them succeed and welcome them as new arrivals contributing to the greatness of our state.”
“With this funding, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) will be able to expand our capacity for outreach and referrals to help low-income, limited English proficient, community members access critical services so that they do not fall prey to fraudulent services and misinformation, which we see happen all too often,” said Annette Wong, Immigration Rights Program Manager for CAA.
“Support from One California is critically important because these resources will help us do more to provide assistance to immigrants who need it,” said María-Victoria Castro, Interim Executive, La Raza Centro Legal. “Ultimately, we are better able to help immigrants fully participate, and feel safe in our communities.”
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) created an application process for the One California program in 2015 and tentatively awarded $15 million for partnerships with nonprofit organizations with strong ties to immigrant communities to provide assistance in one or more of the following five service categories: (1) DACA; (2) DAPA; (3) Naturalization Application Assistance; (4) Legal Training and Technical Assistance Services; and (5) Education and Outreach Activities.
At an event on Friday, Assemblymembers Thurmond and Chiu also released a letter to the federal government signed by 44 state legislators calling for an end to immigration raids by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency against victims of violence in their home countries.
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon joined members of the California Latino and Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses at a similar event in Los Angeles to highlight the grantees that will be providing services through the One California program.