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Whittier councilwoman sues governor over financial aid to undocumented immigrants

WHITTIER — Whittier’s newest council member, Jessica Martinez, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom over his proposal to provide financial relief to undocumented immigrants who have suffered financial loss due to coronavirus. 

Martinez is the co-plaintiff, along with Ricardo Benitez. Both are Republicans who are running for state Assembly. 

Newsom announced last week plans to spend $75 million in financial relief for immigrants, with $500 to undocumented immigrants, and up to $1,000 per household. 

“This is taxpayer money that may only be appropriated by the legislative branch. This is not a slush fund for the governor to spend as he sees fit,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, chief executive officer for the Center for American Liberty, told the L.A. Times. The Center for American Liberty filed an emergency petition with the California Supreme Court to try to block Newsom’s plan. 

The petition can be read here.

Martinez, a public school teacher, took her seat on the Whittier City Council two weeks ago. 

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