State Congress approves “excluded workers” pandemic fund for undocumented migrants: New York

New York, April 9 2021: In another issue divided along party lines, the New York congress has passed a bill approving a $2.1billion fund that will provide undocumented migrant workers with single payments between $15000 to $3000 to compensate for job losses during the pandemic.

The payments are for workers who were unable to collect unemployment benefits of any kinds because of a lack of documentation.

The largest of its kind, this fund will exceed a similar relief program in California last year, when that state set aside $75 million for $500 payments to undocumented migrants. The New York fund had been pushed by progressive Democrats and demanded by several migrant support organizations during recent demonstrations. A democrat law-maker, Carmen De La Rosa, tweeted saying, “This is what economic fairness looks like.”

Amid the huge numbers of illegal migrants streaming into the US from Mexico, this announcement has attracted a lot of criticism from Republicans and also some Democrats. According to Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican congresswoman, the idea of anyone putting non-US citizens above tax-paying nationals is incomprehensible.

Andrew Cuomo, under a cloud for sexual harassment allegations, says he agrees with the principle but was worried about potential “fraud.” While on the other end of the social spectrum, the state approved an income tax increase for New Yorkers earning more than $1 million a year, making New York City’s top tax rate the highest in the country. Business leaders complain that it might further fuel an exodus of high-earners, many of whom have already left during the pandemic.

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