Sunday, April 11, 2021

California to Issue Stimulus Checks to Illegal Immigrants in New COVID Relief Package

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Illegal immigrants will get a piece of California’s $7.6-billion COVID-19 relief bill.

About $470 million of the bill approved Monday by the state legislature will go to 565,000 individuals who have tax ID numbers but did not get federal stimulus payments in the past and have incomes under $75,000, according to FOX Business.

During the Trump administration, individuals in the country illegally were not eligible for federal stimulus checks.

Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen said that although the state was able to afford the spending right now, it was setting a dangerous precedent.

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“This budget is going to be creating long-term obligations to the undocumented,” Nielsen said during a legislative debate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Advocates for illegal immigrants said they need more.

“I think it’s a great step forward. It’s an acknowledgment of all these low-wage workers … that they are working hard and they have been disproportionately impacted through unemployment,” Democratic state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo said. “I think there is room to include more who are still not covered either by our state or by the federal [programs].”

“This doesn’t cover all of the relief they have been excluded from, and we are creating inequality as a result,” California Immigrant Policy Center manager Sasha Feldstein told lawmakers during a budget hearing.

“More is needed to protect thousands of undocumented workers left out,” added Fanelly Millán, an organizer for the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center.

Some on Twitter pushed back against the plan.

Although supporters said the bill will help small businesses that have struggled during the state’s lockdowns, Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher said it was Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s policies that actually caused the damage.

“This governor arbitrarily and unilaterally decided to shut down mostly small business in this state and as a result many small businesses have already gone out of business,” he said.

The California stimulus plan doles out $2.1 billion in grants and waivers of fees for small businesses.  About $2.3 billion goes directly to low-income residents.

Some illegal immigrants are included in the federal stimulus proposal that is currently making its way through the Democrat-controlled U.S. House.

The package would send $1,400 stimulus checks to mixed-status families that include illegal immigrants, according to Fox News.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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