Politics California poised to issue stimulus checks to illegal immigrants with $7.6B coronavirus relief package
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California is set to issue stimulus checks to illegal immigrants after the state legislature approved a multi-billion dollar coronavirus relief package on Monday.
The $7.6 billion proposal, spearheaded by Gov. Gavin Newsom,5.7 million payments of $600 each to low-income Californians making less than $30,000 a year and $2.1 billion in grants for small businesses. Of the massive sum of checks, 565,000 payments will be delivered to people who did not receive the federal government's previous $1,200 stimulus check in the Golden State, many of whom are residing in the country illegally.
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The senator has previously opposed stimulus checks being sent out and has suggested aid should be done in a more targeted manner. "When you spend trillions of dollars, it will help people but we don't have an unlimited checking account and we are not being careful," he said, speaking to WISN 12 News. "We are not stopping and considering if there is a better way to do this. That is why I think it is unwise." He also questioned the amount of people who have lost jobs in the pandemic, asking why many millions get the checks than jobs that have been lost.
Another 405,000 payments will go to members of CalWORKS, a state welfare program, through EBT cards, and 15,000 checks will be funneled into the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants.
The Democratic governorhe plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday.
“This budget is going to be creating long-term obligations to the undocumented," said Republican State Sen. Jim Nielsen, who chastised his colleagues during deliberations about the bill.
Other lawmakers lauded the legislation.
“I think it’s a great step forward. It’s an acknowledgment of all these low-wage workers … that they are working hard, and they have been disproportionately impacted through unemployment,” Democratic state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo said. “I think there is room to include more who are still not covered either by our state or by the federal [programs].”
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However, immigration activists argued the stimulus does not go far enough. Some indicated that illegal immigrants who lack tax identification numbers can't procure their government payments.
“This doesn’t cover all of the relief they have been excluded from, and we are creating inequality as a result,” California Immigrant Policy Center manager Sasha Feldstein said.
Fanelly Millan, an organizer for the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, said, “More is needed to protect thousands of undocumented workers left out."
The relief package will assist bars, restaurants, and other service industries in addition to providing $400 million for childcare, $24 million for agricultural workers, and $35 million for food banks and diapers. Legislators have also begun debating whether to add $2 billion in additional tax breaks for business, which would bring the total cost of the package to approximately $9.6 billion.
Congress is writing up Biden’s stimulus plan. Here’s what’s in it.
Stimulus checks and UI, but not a $15 minimum wage: the state of the House’s stimulus bill so far.The House of Representatives has drafted and passed its version of the budget reconciliation package, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for those making up to $75,000 and $400 expanded weekly unemployment insurance benefits through August 29. It also contains a restaurant rescue fund, money for reopening schools, and Democrats’ long-sought-after funding for state and local governments, among other items. House Democrats included a $15 minimum wage provision in their version of the bill, but that’s a non-starter in the Senate.
Newsom, who faces a mounting recallfollowing his implementation of strict COVID-19 protocols since the onset of the pandemic, thanked lawmakers for helping to make the pandemic relief a reality.
“As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most,” Newsom said in a. “From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit.”
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Stimulus bill: When will Congress pass Covid relief? .
The major order of business for President Joe Biden and Congress is to pass a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package before the round of unemployment benefits and other aid approved in December lapse, again leaving millions of Americans short of help. © Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images The Capitol is seen on a cold winter evening in Washington, DC, on February 18, 2021. What's riding on this negotiation is the $1,400 stimulus checks proposed by Biden even before he took office, as well as that extra federal unemployment money. Democrats have said they will get a bill signed by mid-March.