Monday, April 15, 2024

New York Lawmakers Weigh $500M Fund for Unemployed Illegals

'People who ... are legal American citizens and legal residents of New York, who pay some of the most exorbitant taxes in the country—maybe even in the world ... they should be the priority...'

() New York lawmakers are considering a Democratic proposal that would create a new multibillion-dollar fund to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants.

The proposal, which is currently before the state’s Senate Finance Committee, would create a $500 million trust fund to pay jobless benefits for workers ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public benefits.

It comes despite growing outrage from New York residents over Biden administration’s open-border policies and their impact on New York City in particular.

Mayor Eric Adams, once an outspoken critic of the border crisis, has become mysteriously mum—even supportive of the ongoing immigration—since the Biden Justice Department announced that it was investigating him for illicit campaign funds.

The amount of the immigrant fund, coincidentally, tracks closely with what the state hopes to force former President Donald Trump to pay following a series of adverse verdicts in lawfare attacks waged by leftist political operatives including state Attorney General Letitia James.

However, the backers of the plan claimed that it would be funded through a proposed a new tax on Google, Amazon and other “big tech” companies that would charge them a fee for digital advertising.

The so-called Unemployment Bridge Program proposal was being championed by state Sen. Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat who chairs the powerful Labor Committee. She claimed that newly arrived illegals, while awaiting the disposition of their dubious asylum claims, were authorized to work, pay taxes and contribute to the state’s economy but couldn’t get unemployment benefits if they were let go by their employer.

“The federal government has let unemployment insurance for freelancers expire. The Excluded Workers Fund has long since run out,” Ramos posted on social media. “We need a safety net that reflects the reality of our labor market.”

Some illegals, such as Venezuelan TikTok user Leonal Moreno, have brazenly acknowledged that they did not come either to work or seek asylum, but rather to collect the overly generous welfare benefits that blue-run “sanctuary states” are using to incentivize their arrival.

@leitooficial_25♬ sonido original – Leitooficial

The proposed New York fund would be available to “domestic workers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, day laborers and domestic construction workers who are paid off the hooks; street vendors, freelancers, self-employed workers: and workers recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention who cannot use their prison or detention labor to qualify for unemployment benefits,” according to a summary of the bill.

“The new fund establishes in-depth requirements and procedures making it possible for members of these communities to apply and receive benefits for their ongoing unemployment,” it claimed.

New York policymakers have wrangled for years over jobless benefits for illegals, nontraditional workers and others who don’t qualify for state unemployment benefits.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, New York lawmakers approved a $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund to provide support for jobless workers who were excluded from unemployment benefits, including undocumented adults and those with “gig” economy jobs. But money from that fund has dried up, lawmakers said.

Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $233 billion fiscal year 2025 budget calls for committing $2.4 billion to help tens of thousands of asylum seekers, including $500 million from the state’s reserves, or ‘rainy day’ fund.

Roughly $1.1 billion will be earmarked for New York City to house illegals and provide assistance for them to apply for asylum and secure employment. But the Democrat’s spending plan doesn’t include funding for unemployment benefits or the creation of a new fund to help jobless workers who don’t qualify for traditional benefits.

Republicans have criticized plans to offer unemployment benefits to people living in the U.S. illegally and argue that the funds should only be available to New York taxpayers.

“People who live in New York City who are legal American citizens and legal residents of New York, who pay some of the most exorbitant taxes in the country—maybe even in the world if you live in the city of New York—they should be the priority,” Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said in a recent statement.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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