SUPPORT CA SB 464 and CA AB 4/SB 56 for Equitable Access to Food and Healthcare for All Eligible Californians
June 23, 2022 – CA SB464 & CA AB 4/SB 56
|The Honorable Gavin Newsom, Governor
State of California
The Honorable Anthony Portantino, Chair
California State Senate Appropriations Committee
|The Honorable Assemblymember Chris Holden, Chair
California State Assembly Appropriations Committee
|The Honorable Melissa Hurtado, Chair
California State Senate Committee on Human Services
The Honorable Lisa Calderon, Chair
State Assembly Committee on Human Services
|The Honorable Richard Pan, Chair
State Senate Health Committee
|The Honorable Jim Wood, Chair
State Assembly Committee on Health
Re: Support CA SB-464 and CA AB-4/SB-56 for Equitable Access to Food and Healthcare for All Eligible Californians
Dear Governor Newsom, Senators Portantino, Hurtado, and Pan, and Assemblymembers Holden, Calderon, and Wood,
On behalf of Catholic Charities San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo Counties, I urge your support of two critically important and long-overdue bills that will help remedy inequities for many low-income Californians who have historically been denied access to essential safety net programs on the basis of their immigration status.
Now pending before the California State Legislature, CA AB-4 (Arambula)/SB-56 (Durazo) will grant comprehensive health care through Medi-Cal to all of California’s undocumented, income-eligible seniors; and CA SB-464 (Hurtado) will provide a lifeline to food security through CalFresh and the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for low-income, undocumented residents who routinely struggle to put food on the table.
As an essential partner and service provider to more than 9,200 immigrants annually through Catholic Charities Center for Immigration Legal & Support Services (CILSS), we witness the ongoing plight of immigrant families struggling to meet their basic needs every day. In addition to the vital legal services we provide, we partner with Stanford University students and other local community volunteers and nonprofits to distribute emergency food and provide referrals to immigrant neighbors.
While the state admirably stepped up to provide temporary financial assistance for our undocumented immigrant community during the height of the pandemic through the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) program, which Catholic Charities helped manage in 2020, California needs a long-term solution to address fundamental inequities our immigrant community experience. California is home to the largest number of immigrants in the United States, including roughly 2.3 million undocumented immigrants who contributed $3.7 billion in state and local taxes, $7 billion in federal taxes, and over $40 billion in spending power to the economy. They are overrepresented in jobs deemed essential yet excluded from receiving the state’s basic human services due to their immigration status.[i]
Catholic Charities respectfully requests your support for AB-4/SB-56 and SB-464 allowing eligible, undocumented immigrants to access State food and health care programs. These are fundamental human rights integral to California’s common good.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
cc: Assemblymember Matt Haney
Assemblymember Marc Levine
Assemblymember Kevin Mullin
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Senator Josh Becker
Senator María Elena Durazo,
Senator Mike McGuire
Senator Scott D. Wiener