Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to give New York taxpayer money to undocumented immigrants. Many undocumented workers lost work during the pandemic, but due to their status as non-citizens, they did not qualify for the stimulus checks put forward by leading Democrats. Now, Cuomo and other New York politicians are proposing a plan to give undocumented workers who lost their job during the pandemic a one-time payment of $15,600 to help them get back on their feet.
The fund was a hotly debated topic in the budget that split Democrats apart. Progressive Democrats wanted to give undocumented immigrants support, while conservative Democrats wanted to reserve taxpayer money for citizens of the country.
However, protestors made their voices heard when advocating for the relief fund. They held protests outside of government buildings and even hosted hunger strikes to show lawmakers that they were serious about making this change to the state budget.In a briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo said that New Yorkers need to show “compassion” for people who have had a hard time during the pandemic but did not qualify for federal relief. Workers will need to prove eligibility to receive the relief money and, according to Daily Mail, will be able to show the following to qualify: “driver’s licenses, state-issued IDs, birth certificates, school transcripts, utility bills, bank statements, a letter from an employer, pay stubs, wage statements or wage notices, and a previous W-2 or 1099 tax form.”
However, Cuomo did voice his concerns that the undocumented worker relief fund could attract fraud. Before the plan goes into action, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and New York State Attorney General Letitia James will review the plan in its entirety to make sure it is strong.
He added: “In this case, we’re asking the comptroller to look at the program first to make sure the way it is designed, there are fraud protections. And we’re asking the Attorney General to specifically review the program, the guidelines, the rules, to make sure there are anti-fraud protections.”
What do you think about this plan to give money to non-citizen workers?