Ten months of a pandemic that has disproportionately sickened immigrants and devastated some of the industries that rely on immigrant labor, combined with years of anti-immigrant policies by the Trump administration have exacerbated insecurities for undocumented people and immigrants working low-wage jobs across California.

For immigrants at the bottom of the economic ladder, it’s never been easy in the US, said Luz Gallegos, the executive director of the immigrant advocacy group Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (Todec).

“But California was also always a place where my family – my parents and grandparents – believed they could build a better life,” said Gallegos who was born into a family of immigrant activists and organizers. “It was always a place with potential.”

Until this year.