$2.1 Billion NY Unemployment Fund Set Up for Workers – Including Illegal Entrants

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New York State’s $212 billion budget passed this month is a 20 percent — $18 billion — increase over last year and includes $2.1 billion for undocumented immigrants who didn’t collect Covid-19 stimulus checks or unemployment benefits from the federal government.

The provision gives cash to workers, including undocumented immigrants, as long as they can prove their New York residency, identity and loss of income, according to the Times Union in Albany, New York’s capital.


People could receive payments ranging from $3,000 to $15,600, depending on how much income they lost.

While that is great for independent contractors and others who had trouble collecting benefits during the pandemic, the funding to an estimated 725,000 undocumented immigrants is rubbing some people the wrong way.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague called the idea “well-intentioned” and said, “I think that everyone has compassion for people and would love to help folks out,” but the state should be saving in a rainy day fund some of the billions it has received from the federal government.

“We’re (spending) $2.1 billion and we don’t know who this person is or why they’re here or what they’ve been doing? I mean everybody’s been hit hard by this Covid crisis and we want to help everybody, but it also gets to the point where we have to protect the state of New York, we have to protect the people of the state, we have to take care of them first," Tague said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is fighting sexual harassment allegations and scandal from allegedly misleading the public about how many people died from Covid in nursing homes, acknowledged the spending plan is vulnerable to fraud.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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