Editor’s note: When it comes to immigration — illegal or otherwise — the American people have a right to be concerned. Each week, Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard examines a contentious issue related to today’s hottest topic.
Sometimes one must wonder if the politicians in the Golden State think their pockets are lined with the shiny metal associated with their state’s nickname. They spend their constituents’ tax money as if it’s their own, with little or no regard for the people who have contributed to that illusory, never-ending fund. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) exhibits this with his contradictory and highly controversial decision to provide illegal aliens COVID relief while at the same time demanding the federal government help his state meet its deficit troubles.
Back in April, Liberty Nation first reported on the plan to provide financial assistance to the illegal aliens in California because of the pandemic. Now, the undocumented can apply for Newsom’s Coronavirus relief, which will give aliens a one-time payment of $500 per person, up to $1,000 per household. So far, about $75 million has been set aside for the fund, which is estimated to reach about 150,000 immigrants of the more than 2 million residing in the state.
There’s something about “free money” that attracts the populace, and that includes illegal residents, too. In fact, so many bombarded the relief website, trying to sign up for American taxpayer-funded money, that the site crashed for several hours. Others attempted to get through on hotlines; the sheer numbers of people calling on opening day, May 18, made it impossible to get through.
The state’s Department of Social Services’ spokesperson, Scott Murray, said the site is up and working now, and the government is trying to increase its capacity. “We understand that the demand is high for the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants program,” he explained.
Supporters of the aid suggest the number of people flooding the hotlines to apply for assistance further proves how desperately the money is needed. Kim Ouillette, attorney and fellow with Legal Aid at Work, said this demonstrates why the state needs “to step in and do something more significant.”
Ouillette claimed that undocumented workers make up about 10% of California’s workforce. Ana Padilla, the executive director of University of California Merced’s Community and Labor Center, said research shows that between Feb. 15 and April 18, about 390,000 workers, both illegal and with legal status, have moved out of the state. “Our economic recovery relies on non-citizen workers, particularly in the food chain,” she said, adding that without benefits for the undocumented, there could be “consequences that the state is not prepared for.”
Dillon Savory, executive director of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council, is adamant about creating more protections and help for illegal alien workers. “We will be lobbying to expand that amount,” he promised, regarding the COVID relief monies to illegal immigrants. “Every single person in California relies on undocumented workers for food, whether they know it or not.”
At least 100 organizations, including Legal Aid, are trying to create a temporary income-replacement program, somewhat similar to the federal government’s stimulus packages, which would go beyond what Newsom has already started. If approved, it could provide a $400 weekly payment to illegal workers that are either unemployed or underemployed. Ouillette said approved recipients would be able to collect on that assistance for up to eight weeks.
Where will all of this money come from? Newsom just announced a revised budget cut last week, citing a $54.3 billion deficit. And should the governor be able to reach deep into his magician’s hat and pull out a rabbit, he is still confronted by opposition that believes financial assistance should first be given to American citizens. The Center for American Liberty and Dhillon Law Group have filed a lawsuit to block Newsom’s attempt to pay out to illegals, claiming the money is “not a slush fund for the governor to spend as he sees fit.”
State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove said food banks and local governments struggling from loss of revenue should be recompensed before people residing in the United States illegally. “Instead of meeting these urgent needs, Governor Newsom has chosen to irresponsibly pursue a left-wing path and unilaterally secured $125 million [$50 million reportedly from donations] for undocumented immigrants.”
And, folks, before you shrug your shoulders and say this is just a California thing, the Seattle City Council just passed a resolution to petition Washington State to provide a $100 million Coronavirus relief fund for its illegal immigrant population.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.
For home study students and young people, Liberty Nation recommends…
All About Immigration
High School: The Story of Immigration and America
Middle School: The Story of Immigration and America
Elementary School: The Story of Immigration and America
All About Coronavirus
High School: The Spread of Coronavirus: How it Works
Middle School: A Scientific Look at COVID-19
Elementary School: Coronavirus: The Science
Video: What’s the Point of Borders?