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  • People asking for the protection of migrants, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2020.

    People asking for the protection of migrants, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2020. | Photo: twitter/ @CHIRLA

Published 27 March 2020

Undocumented migrants cannot access the State of California's support mechanisms.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) Friday denounced that migrants in California are at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 because they lack legal protections.

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A survey of 1,222 Latin Americans, which this NGO carried out between March 12 and 14, revealed that the Covid-19 has worsened the situation of immigrants.

For this reason, CHIRLA asked the Californian authorities to include immigrants in the state protection mechanisms.

“One million unemployment insurance claims have been filed. However undocumented immigrants, who are significant reasons why CA is the 5th largest economy in the world, are blocked out of filing a claim. Its time to include them during this emergency,” CHIRLA advocate Christopher Sanchez tweeted.

California has social protection mechanisms such as lay-off insurance for those who cannot work, part-time jobs during the social isolation period, and paid family leave.

Its authorities informed that those who are Covid-19 positive or have family members infected are prioritized to access those or other similar protective measures.

However, the law does not specify the ways to protect workers or the resources it allocates to that task.​​​​​​​ Undocumented migrants remain outside the state's protection.​​​​​​

Unemployment claims are on the rise due to the disruption of economic activities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, hired workers have paid unemployment insurance.

Nevertheless, this option is only available to legally employed workers, but not to those who remain undocumented in unstable jobs.

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