PM Jacinda Ardern, President Donald Trump

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While overstayers in New Zealand remain cut off from government financial assistance, illegal migrants in California will receive government financial aids.

The money will go to illegal immigrants who do not qualify for assistance under the US$2.2 trillion federal Covid-19 stimulus package.

It has been estimated that there are about 10,000 Tongan migrants living in Los Angeles County, about a third of whom are undocumented, or, in New Zealand terms, overstayers.

Poverty rates among the Tongan population are higher than average.

On Wednesday California governor Gavin Newsom said the state government would spend US$75 million in taxpayer funds sending US$500 to 150,000 adult immigrants.

The New York Post described the migrants as reeling from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to the Public Policy Institute of California there are more than 2.5 million illegal migrants in California. Nearly 25 Percent of the United States’ undocumented immigrants reside in California.

Ten percent of California’s workforce consists of immigrants living in the country illegally according to Newsom. The state’s illegal immigrants paid over $2.5 billion in state and local taxes last year, the governor said.

“We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportations that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” Newsom said.

California’s state government will send the money to a coalition of regional non-profits, who will in turn vet potential recipients and disperse the money to those who qualify.

Overstayers in New Zealand have access to free Covid-19 testing, but Kaniva News has been contacted by large numbers of people seeking help.

Many overstayers are in extremely difficult situations because they have lost their jobs and are relying on friends for help.

Kaniva News has called on the New Zealand government to institute a blanket amnesty for overstayers to allow them to receive the full range of government assistance during the current crisis.

The main points

  • While overstayers in New Zealand remain cut off from government financial assistance, illegal migrants in California will receive government financial aids.
  • The money will go to illegal immigrants who do not qualify for assistance under the US$2.2 trillion federal Covid-19 stimulus package.

For more information

California will pay illegal immigrants not included in coronavirus stimulus

Undocumented Immigrants in California

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