New York state lawmakers plan to hand out COVID-19 checks of over $15,000 to illegal immigrants they say have been “excluded from government-issued payments and insurance.”
Illegal immigrants are entitled to a payout of up to $15,600, which equates to roughly $300 per week for one year, state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who spearheaded the $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund, wrote in an announcement on Tuesday.
The payment will be available to those who are “ineligible for federal unemployment benefits” and “suffered a total or partial loss of work-related earnings” following the impact of COVID-19 in the Empire State.
“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. This long overdue relief will offer hundreds of thousands of New York’s excluded workers the financial support they need to be able to provide for themselves and their families,” Ramos said in a statement. “The fund created in this budget will go a long way in recognizing the vital contributions our undocumented New Yorkers have had on our state’s response and recovery, and I am hopeful other states will begin to do the same.”
To receive the sum, parties must have evidence of employment, which could be a letter from a supervisor, or a valid tax return in the past three years. If they are able to provide only evidence of state residency, they will be entitled $3,200, the sum of all federal stimulus payments issued so far.
The Fiscal Policy Institute estimated a total of 290,000 people, most of whom reside in the New York City area, will receive cash from the program.
The initiative was part of the state’s $212 billion budget, which passed on Thursday. The sum will be funded through the legalization of marijuana and sports betting in addition to tax hikes on high-income earners.
Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa, a co-sponsor of the illegal immigrant fund, said the move was “past due.”
“Immigrant communities across the state will finally feel a sense of relief after almost a year of being excluded from all government aid in the middle of a global pandemic. I am proud to have worked with a diverse coalition of advocates, workers and Senator Ramos in creating this first in the nation Excluded Fund to ensure that an investment of $2.1 billion delivers just relief for our communities,” De La Rosa said in a statement. “It is past due time for us to put people first and transform our state’s history of austerity into a future of investment.”
Author: Jake Dima
Source: Washington Examiner: New York offering up to $15K payments for illegal immigrants