Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) is operating the State of California Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) project for San Diego and Imperial Counties. The DRAI Project is one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance for undocumented adult immigrants impacted by COVID-19. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household.
Please contact DRAI Hotline for San Diego and Imperial Counties at the following numbers:
San Diego County: 858-206-8281
Imperial County: 760-206-3242
For additional information about California services and programs for immigrants, please visit the Guide for Immigrant Californians, which includes information about jobs, wages, and benefits, and small business and housing supports. Visit covid19.ca.gov/ and learn more about California's response to COVID-19.
How do I apply for the DRAI Program?
Starting May 18th, if you are eligible to apply for this assistance, you may seek assistance with Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), the nonprofit organization(s) assigned to your county of residency. Individuals will only be allowed to receive DRAI application assistance from nonprofit organizations assigned to their county or region. JFS will help you fill out an application and confirm your eligibility. Please contact JFS directly via the indicated phone numbers or website to ask about assistance availability. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis.
How do I know if I am eligible to receive DRAI?
To apply you must be able to provide information that you (1) are an undocumented adult (person over the age of 18); (2) are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like the CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits; and, (3) have experienced a hardship as a result of COVID-19.
What documents do I need to apply for DRAI?
You must provide information and documents to verify your identity, home or mailing address, and to show they have been impacted by COVID-19. Contact JFS for more information about the application process and the verification documents required.
Will receiving this assistance make me a public charge and affect my ability to apply for a green card (i.e. legal permanent resident status)?
This disaster relief assistance is not means-tested and is one-time assistance. The federal government does not list this assistance as a public benefit for a public charge consideration. However, USCIS has not issued specific guidance related to this assistance. If you have questions about your immigration status and this assistance project, please consult an immigration attorney.
Is the personal information I give to the nonprofits to apply for this disaster relief assistance protected?
The information you provide to JFS will only be used to confirm your eligibility and provide the assistance to you. JFS will provide general demographic information (e.g. age, gender, preferred language, etc.) to the State of California about applicants, but none of your personal information (e.g. name, address, etc.) will be given to any government agency.
How will I receive this disaster relief assistance?
JFS will deliver the payment card to you either by mail or arranged pick-up. JFS will provide you with additional information after you have completed the application process and your application has been approved.
How long do I have to apply for this disaster relief assistance?
Direct assistance will be available starting May 18, 2020 and distributed until the funding is spent or until June 30, 2020 at the latest. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Given the economic hardship undocumented adults are experiencing due to COVID-19, this disaster relief assistance may run out within a very short period, so we encourage you to apply early.
Please note: Disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed. Applicants may only seek application assistance with the organization(s) assigned to their county of residency.
Know Your Rights Presentations & Friend of the Court Assistance
The federal government's Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, commonly referred to as "Remain in Mexico") forces asylum seekers to return to and remain in Mexico to await their U.S. court dates, depriving them of resources and assistance in the U.S., including legal aid. Of more than 38,000 asylum seekers enrolled in MPP, only about 1% have legal representation. Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which leads the legal services for and is a core partner of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, requested the ability to provide "Know Your Rights" presentations and "Friend of the Court" assistance, in which an attorney informally guides an individual during their hearing, at San Diego Immigration Court. In June 2019, the Department of Justice denied the request.
Because of this denial, and now that all local immigration court cases have been postponed from the docket except for MPP, JFS and San Diego immigration attorneys joined together to advocate for these critical services. The San Diego Union-Tribune explains what happened on Day 1.
Read The Union Tribune Article ››
Read Our Statement ››
The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region.
San Diego is the largest land border crossing in the world and has been a highly active location for deportations, rights violations, and abuse by Customs Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The SDRRN was activated to respond to increased immigration enforcement activities within San Diego County and humanitarian issues arising at the border, including widespread family separation and unjust deportation of asylum seekers presenting at the Port-of-Entry.
To view the Core Partners, Legal Partners, and Participating Organizations, please click here