Los Angeles will be doling out pre-paid debit cards to residents who have faced economic hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown, and living in the country illegally won’t disqualify you from getting the cash.
Los Angeles officials have begun accepting applications for a no-fee debit card that provides cash to residents who were already living under the poverty line before the coronavirus crisis began and have since had their incomes dramatically reduced because of the outbreak, KTLA5 reported.
The “Angeleno Cards” will be loaded with $700, $1,100, or $1,500 depending on the income and size of each household.
How does one qualify for such cards? An applicant must live within the city limits, already have been living under the federal poverty line before the COVID-19 crisis began, and have seen their income fall by at least 50% because of the viral outbreak, according to the application website.
Being an illegal alien has no bearing on one’s eligibility, Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti made clear.
“Applicants will not be asked anything about their immigration status,” the mayor said Monday when discussing the program. “We are all Angelenos.”
City residents appear to be in dire need of the funds. When the government began accepting applications Tuesday morning, the site crashed due to heavy traffic volume, and people who chose to apply over the phone reported long wait times.
“HCIDLA requests your patience while we improve the site capacity. Our site is overwhelmed by the thousands of ppl attempting to access the app simultaneously. We apologize for the inconvenience,” tweeted the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“Try again later,” it added.
Depending on how many eligible applicants apply, officials might have to randomly select who gets a card.
Unlike other city-wide initiatives for victims of the economic lockdown, this program is not being funded by taxpayers. Instead, it’s a partnership between the nonprofit Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and Mastercard’s City Possible.
The funds are expected to be doled out to recipients by April 20.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom already established a relief fund for businesses in the state that are run by illegal aliens, and earlier in April he confirmed that he is working with Democrats in the California state Legislature on a “Disaster Relief Fund” for illegal aliens.
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