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A medical staffer takes a swabs as she tests for COVID-19.

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Seattle launched a $9 million COVID-19 relief fund Thursday that will give cash grants to undocumented immigrants unable to access federal stimulus money.

The city fund, which will accept applications until Nov. 5, adds to $40 million the state is making available to undocumented immigrants for help during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Both the city and state funds are offering $1,000 to $3,000 grants per household, and people can receive money from both.

Only a small number of Democratic governors and mayors have created such funds for undocumented immigrants.

President Donald Trump and other Republicans have strongly opposed providing relief benefits to immigrants living in the country illegally — or even children who are U.S. citizens but have an undocumented parent.

“We want to give the checks to the American people,” Trump said at a September media briefing.

Democrats and immigrant advocates argue that many who come here illegally still pay taxes and are essential workers keeping society running during the pandemic. As such, COVID-19 has taken a greater toll on their communities.

This article originally ran on union-bulletin.com.

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