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$300 weekly checks for illegal immigrants approved by Calif. Senate

Migrants who crossed illegally into the U.S. wait to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on June 2, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
September 15, 2023

In a move that has mostly escaped national attention, the California Senate took a controversial step earlier this year toward providing massive unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants.

In May, the California Senate voted to provide $300 weekly checks to unemployed illegal immigrants, according to The Free Beacon. The decision comes at a time when the state is grappling with a $31.5 billion deficit and heightened concerns about mass illegal immigration.

In May, Democratic state senators led by Sen. María Elena Durazo passed Senate Bill 227 with a 30-7 vote, sending the legislation to the Assembly for further deliberation. The proposed law aims to provide undocumented workers up to 20 weeks of $300 weekly unemployment checks, contingent on meeting minimal work requirements.

According to The Free Beacon, critics have pointed out that the unemployment insurance fund slated to administer these payments is already mired in $31 billion of fraud losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, California employers, who are burdened with the fund’s $20 billion debt, face the prospect of increased payroll taxes, which is a point of contention for small businesses and restaurants, as both sectors have already been strained by stringent COVID-19 lockdowns imposed by state Democrats.

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The proposed law has a unique stipulation, as it would prohibit fund officials from asking claimants for their social security number eligibility or from verifying their employment status with past or current employers. Applicants would self-certify their qualifications using documentation such as tax returns or payment app logs.

The legislative development comes shortly after California’s Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed concerns that the rising influx of undocumented migrants could “break” California.

Additionally, when President Joe Biden lifted the Title 42 health order restricting immigration earlier this year, Democratic San Diego mayor Todd Gloria noted that his city was ill-equipped to manage a new wave of immigrants, stating, “We lack the resources to address an influx of migrants,” according to the New York Times.

California, known for its liberal policies toward undocumented immigrants, already provides free healthcare and driver’s licenses to this population, according to The Free Beacon. The bill is heavily backed by a range of Democratic-aligned interest groups, including those focused on immigration, LGBT rights, environmental causes, and labor unions.

While the Assembly’s approval is anticipated, it remains uncertain if Gov. Newsom will sign the bill into law, given that he vetoed a similar proposal last year, citing “operational issues and fiscal concerns.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.