Chicago mayor unveils $5M coronavirus relief fund for undocumented immigrants, college students

Chicago mayor unveils $5M coronavirus relief fund for undocumented immigrants, college students
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) unveiled a $5 million coronavirus relief fund aimed at giving checks to residents who were excluded from the federal stimulus aid. 

The fund will provide $1,000 per household for eligible Chicago residents, including undocumented individuals, mixed-status families, dependent adults, residents who recently left prison and college students living in poverty, Lightfoot said Wednesday. 

“This fund serves as a critical resource for the thousands of Chicagoans who so sorely need support and relief from the impact of COVID-19, but are unable to receive it through the federal government’s own stimulus channels,” Lightfoot said in a statement

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The aid will be released in mid-June, according to the city. 

The news from Lightfoot comes after the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed into law by President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE in late March, excluded undocumented immigrants and college students from receiving economic aid.

The legislation allowed individuals who earn less than $75,000 to receive a $1,200 check. The bill also granted $500 per child under the age of 17 for families. 

The federal relief bill, however, excluded undocumented immigrants. In order to receive the checks, beneficiaries must have Social Security numbers, which undocumented immigrants lack. The legislation does not provide funding for adult dependents claimed on tax returns, many of whom are college students. 

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The city is launching the Chicago Resiliency Fund in partnership with The Resurrection Project, a nonprofit aimed at creating healthier communities in the city, and Open Society Foundations, a grant-making network founded by George Soros. 

The Resurrection Project will convene a group of community-based organizations to conduct outreach and identify households excluded from federal stimulus relief checks. 

Chicago received $1 million from Open Society Foundations as part of a $130 million commitment to global coronavirus relief, according to Lightfoot’s announcement.