Democratic governors and mayors are going around Congress to put money into the pockets of illegal immigrants who were excluded from receiving the $1,200 coronavirus relief checks that are part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus plan approved last month, according to a report.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom created a private-public $125 million fund that illegal immigrants would be able to draw from and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expanded city benefits, including money from the city’s Small Business Resiliency Program, for illegal immigrants.
Minneapolis, run by Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey, is creating a $5 million funding package that would be available to all residents who are eligible, including illegal immigrants.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said a fund for immigrants was “something we want to take a look at,” Politico reported on Wednesday.
More than 15 million immigrants will not be on the receiving end of stimulus checks or expanded unemployment benefits because Congress limited eligibility to workers who have Social Security numbers, the report said, citing the Migration Policy Institute.
Many immigrants — illegal and legal — file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number because they do not have a Social Security number.
The eligibility requirement was by design.
Coronavirus benefits were “limited to citizens and residents of the U.S. that are legally permitted to work here,” a Republican congressional aide told Politico.
The aide explained that immigrants — including students, spouses and legal immigrants — who file with a taxpayer number can also use it for “many different reasons related to having to pay U.S. tax” but not to work in the US.
Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would allow “2020 recovery rebates” based on an individual’s taxpayer identification number.
“These taxpayers work in critical sectors of our economy, like agriculture, and contribute greatly to our country,” Correa said.
Excluding them, he said, places “some of our most vulnerable residents in grave danger.”