Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, shown during a news conference in June.

OLYMPIA, WA - Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the creation of the Immigrant Relief Fund. The fund will provide $40 million to assist illegal immigrants in Washington who are unable to access federal stimulus programs due to their immigration status, and the Food Production Paid Leave Program will provide $3 million of financial resources to certain food production workers who remain home when ill.

In April, California's governor announced a similar program with $125 million in aid for undocumented workers impacted by the pandemic.

According to a release from Inslee's office, the governor and his staff worked closely with a coalition representing 430 immigrant rights and social services organizations, and labor advocacy leaders, to develop the funds.

“We have to ensure that no one in our state is left behind as we fight this pandemic,” Inslee said. “COVID-19 doesn’t care what your immigration status is. We must support every family affected by the virus, especially those who lack the necessary means to quarantine or isolate and prevent further spread. This is the right thing for the well-being of individuals, the health of their colleagues and the safety of our communities.”

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services has issued a request for proposals to select a nonprofit that will administer the Immigrant Relief Fund. The institution will then partner with community organizations to manage applications and awards of $1,000 per eligible individual. Initial awards are expected to be made later in the fall.