State of California would offer food stamps to immigrants without documents

California lawmakers are seeking to expand the State of California's food stamp program, which currently serves more than 35,000 authorized immigrants.

The California State Food Stamp Program provides supports to all people who live in California and meet income requirements, regardless of immigration status.

The proposal to extend the program would become a reality until 2023, when funds of about $ 550 million a year are used. Through the bill of the state legislature, they seek to expand the benefits that coupons provide, especially to undocumented people.

Photo: EFE/Anna Almendrala/KHN

Although the California government has not yet approved any programs, everything seems to indicate that the expansion of the program for residents who do not have papers could come soon. Additionally, California's state budget for 2021-22 includes low-income food access programs regardless of immigration status.

The Democratic senator of the state legislature, Melissa Hurtado explained that the undocumented "are working and risking their lives, not only because of the pandemic, but right now because of the heat wave." She also recognized that they should be invested in as they do risky work for growing and producing food. Undocumented immigrants make up 8.1% of California's workforce according to 2016 data from the Center for Migration Studies.

For families to be eligible for food stamps, income must be 200% below the federal poverty level, for example, a family of four with an income of less than $ 4,368 per month.

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