Lawmakers in New York have agreed to provide financial aid to illegal immigrants who have lost their job during the coronavirus pandemic.
The story: The so-called Excluded Worker Fund, which aims to help illegal immigrants in the state, is part of New York’s $212 billion budget that’s meant to jump-start the economy. New York lawmakers finally found middle ground on the much-discussed aid on Tuesday. They previously engaged in public clashes including along party lines and infighting on the Democratic side of the aisle over details about the bill.
The fund dedicates a total of $2.1 billion in coronavirus relief to illegal immigrants in New York. It will send one-time payments to undocumented people who either lost work or don’t have a job. The highest amount of aid that an illegal immigrant can receive is $15,600.
Illegal immigrants who want to get $15,600, the equivalent of $300 per week for 2020, have to prove they reside in New York, were ineligible for other unemployment benefits, and lost income in the period since the beginning of the pandemic. Those who can’t verify they have lost their jobs might be eligible for $3,200, which amounts to the three stimulus checks many Americans received from Congress.
The numbers: The Pew Research Center estimates that around 725,000 illegal immigrants live in New York. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, around 290,000 workers might receive a coronavirus check, 92,000 of which will be eligible for $15,600.
What they’re saying: “Democrats are raising taxes and using your federal stimulus dollars to enact a radical agenda rather than helping veterans, small main street businesses, teachers and senior citizens,” said Republican minority leader in the State Senate, Rob Ortt.
“To deny excluded workers benefits after we relied on them to get us through this historically difficult year would be immoral and unjust,” argued Michael Gianaris (D), who serves as the deputy majority leader in the Senate.
“This nation’s economy has long been built on the backs of our undocumented workforce, and their essential labor that has helped keep our nation running throughout this pandemic,” New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos said in a statement.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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