New York will give payments of up to $15,600 to workers who were living in the country illegally. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Top Story: New York COVID Aid
Marina Villeneuve And Karen Matthews, writing in the Associated Press, report: “In the largest program of its kind, New York lawmakers have created a $2.1 billion fund to aid workers who lost jobs or income during the coronavirus pandemic but were excluded from other government relief programs because of their immigration status.
The fund, which passed [last] week as part of the state budget, will give payments of up to $15,600 to workers who were living in the country illegally and weren’t eligible for federal stimulus checks, unemployment aid, or other benefits.
As many as 300,000 workers might benefit, according to some estimates.
Other states have offered aid to unauthorized workers, but nothing on this scale. California’s relief fund offers cash payments of up to $500.” Here’s what both sides are saying about New York’s decision:
On The Left
The left sees justice in the delivery of a benefit meant for all Americans- not just those with documentation.
Annie Correal and Luis Ferre-Sadurni outline the issue in the New York Times. They note how service and construction jobs that kept many undocumented workers “afloat” were decimated by the pandemic. In their reporting, they highlight how these workers believe they deserve financial assistance too. According to estimates, up to 290,000 people would benefit from the funds set aside for undocumented workers. Although Republicans and more conservative Democrats are critical of these payments, many justify them by citing previous tax payments made by the recipients, as well as their experiences dealing with illnesses resulting from COVID-19. Correal and Ferre-Sadurni note that “Republicans instantly criticized the measure as out of touch at a time when many other New Yorkers were still struggling, while some Democrats from swing districts upstate and on Long Island said privately that a publicly funded rescue program for people who are not in the country legally could be wielded as a cudgel against them in future elections.” Keep reading: $2.1 Billion for Undocumented Workers Signals New York’s Progressive Shift.
On The Right
The right sees payments to illegal aliens as yet another example of New York’s recent decline.
Liz Peek writes in The Hill that this is just one in a long series of terrible policies originating from Albany and NYC’s City Hall. Peek highlights that NYC’s top marginal tax rate is now 52% and going higher “if President Biden succeeds in raising the federal income tax rate.” At the same time, New York lost 31% of small businesses over the last year, tied with Pennsylvania for the worst in the nation. Meanwhile, “New York’s labor and tax policies make it the 49th worst state to do business in” and have “the fifth-highest cost of living.” Peek concludes that, while the people of New York “should have marched on City Hall,” they instead “moved to Florida.” Keep reading: New York City’s suicide mission should alarm the entire nation.
A Pulse of the Primary: 2021 NYC Mayor’s Race poll in mid-March found that 52% of New Yorkers hold a positive attitude with respect to the direction of the city, while 34% say it on the “wrong track” and 14% are “not sure.” Residents of The Big Apple are known for their civic pride and so these numbers might seem disappointing to some. That being said, the city has come back before so don’t count it out just yet.