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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Newsom’s stopgap stimulus for immigrants perpetuates their abuse

Workers plant sunflowers on a farm in Oxnard on April 1.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist George Skelton crows that Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing right by undocumented immigrants in including them in a coronavirus financial relief program.

Really? By no rational standard is California behaving ethically or morally when it supports and perpetuates a thoroughly broken immigration system that allows a vast pool of underpaid workers to continue hiding in the shadows where entire industries take advantage of them.

Instead of starting a program that allows 1.7 million workers and their 600,000 dependents to tread water through token payments, the governor should declare his measure for what it is — at best a stopgap — while at the same time showing some political guts by proposing a comprehensive immigration policy to the nation.

Why not do something more consequential than stick another thumb in President Trump’s eye?

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J. Timothy Meador, San Diego

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To the editor: We must ensure all Californians, including immigrants, are included in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). One of the most vulnerable populations in California who are struggling to make ends meet during this time of uncertainty are immigrants without status.

Because many undocumented immigrant workers file their taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number instead of a Social Security number, they are not only excluded from the federal stimulus package, but also from the CalEITC.

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Newsom has acknowledged that his public-private partnership to distribute emergency relief funds to undocumented immigrant families is not enough. The CalEITC could provide immediate relief to an additional 600,000 immigrant workers and their families.

Now it is even more critical to support immigrant workers who are in dire need of financial assistance and healthcare. Everyone in our state, including immigrant workers without status, needs to be fully included in our investments to fight poverty and the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sasha Feldstein, Los Angeles

The writer is economic justice policy manager at the California Immigrant Policy Center.


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