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Mis Ángeles: Some Answers To Questions Undocumented Angelenos Are Asking

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Jessica Huerta has been fielding questions related to COVID-19 from undocumented Angelenos via livestream. (Photo courtesy of CHIRLA/ Illustration by Chava Sanchez)
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Jessica Huerta is community education coordinator for the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights Los Angeles or CHIRLA, which serves primarily Latino immigrants in L.A.

"Most of our essential workers are our people, so while COVID-19 is not discriminatory, Latinos are exposed in greater numbers than others."

She spends her days going through CHIRLA's hotline where people leave their questions, or make requests for help. Here's a sampling of those questions and answers:

"If I get a COVID-19 test, will I go on a list?"

Testing is available for all L.A. County residents who have symptoms. There is no question about legal status.

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"Even if I get a positive test, how will I pay for the treatment?"

Through L.A. CARE, Los Angeles County is covering testing and treatment for coronavirus.

"Will getting aid penalize my application for a change in immigration status under the public charge rule?"

For any health-related aid, no. It will not be used to determine a violation of the public charge rule. For other aid, it depends. You should contact CHIRLA's hotline for specific questions at 888-624-4752

"If I don't pay my rent, can my landlord call ICE?"

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It's against the law for a landlord to coerce you. L.A. is currently has some eviction protections if you are impacted by the coronavirus.

"If I get laid off, is my DACA status at risk?"

Not immediately. DACA is however in danger of ending this summer by court order so make sure you renew your permit as soon as possible. There is no way of knowing exactly what the Supreme Court will decide, but there is hope that if you have a current permit, it will buy you some time.

"Can I collect unemployment if I have DACA?"

If your DACA is up to date, and you have been laid off, you qualify for unemployment.

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"Can I get government aid if my partner is undocumented?"

This is another complicated issue that can depend on your specific circumstances.

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