Politics

NYS Lawmakers, Cuomo Negotiating $2.1B Fund For Illegal Immigrants, Ex-Cons

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New York state lawmakers on Thursday were negotiating a $2.1 billion fund that would give unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants and former inmates — possibly providing some recipients with around $28,000.

Legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office were hashing out details of the “Excluded Worker Fund,” which would be part of the now-overdue 2021-22 state budget, sources told The Post.

The proposal, introduced in the Senate and Assembly two weeks ago, aims to help residents who are otherwise ineligible for federal aid, such as people living in the country illegally or those recently sprung from jail.

Advocates — who are pushing for the fund to be closer to $3.5 billion — have stressed that these so-called “excluded workers” were hit-hard by the pandemic but didn’t receive COVID-19 stimulus checks or jobless aid.

The proposal would impact an estimated 275,000 workers across the Empire State: 173,000 in New York City; 187,000 undocumented immigrants; and 87,000 recently incarcerated people.

Payments would be calculated to mirror the weekly amounts from federal or state unemployment insurance, or roughly about $500 a week.

Recipients would reap an estimated $12,600 on average, assuming they were unemployed for 24 weeks from the start of the pandemic in March 2020, according to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“The maximum benefit anyone could receive, if they were unemployed for the entire time covered, would be $28,600 for the first year of the pandemic, March 2020 through March 2021, and $17,500 for April through December of 2021,” the organization found.

Opponents argue that the plan is fiscally irresponsible at a time when the state is hemorrhaging money due to the pandemic.

“This outrageous scheme is the latest i… (Read more)

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