Washington state officials this week announced a new fund of $40 million that will be dispersed to illegal immigrants who can’t access federal stimulus programs because of their immigration status.
Aliens will need to submit an application. If approved, they can get $1,000, or up to $3,000 per family.
“We have to ensure that no one in our state is left behind as we fight this pandemic,” Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said in a statement. “COVID-19 doesn’t care what your immigration status is. We must support every family affected by the virus, especially those who lack the necessary means to quarantine or isolate and prevent further spread. This is the right thing for the well-being of individuals, the health of their colleagues and the safety of our communities.”
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Inslee’s office said the governor and his aides worked with a coalition representing 430 organizations fighting for rights for immigrants and social service organizations on the fund.
“Immigrant community members are facing some of the worst outcomes of this pandemic and have been systematically excluded from a social safety net for too long,” Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, which bills itself as an immigrant advocacy group, said in a statement released by the governor’s office.
“A coalition of immigrant organizations came together to develop this fund that recognizes the dignity of our undocumented community members and works to get some relief to their families during this difficult time.”
According to the Migration Policy Institute, Washington state has some 229,000 illegal immigrants, primarily from Mexico. The Center for Migration Studies estimates the population is more than 271,000.
Like many states, Washington is facing a budget shortfall of $8.8 billion through 2023 amid a sharp economic downturn caused by harsh restrictions imposed to try to curb the spread of the CCP virus. Inslee has tried to pressure the federal government to give more money to states in the stimulus package lawmakers are currently negotiating.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which is described as a nonpartisan research organization “animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision,” told The Epoch Times that Washington state taxpayers are free to subsidize illegal immigrants but should think twice before committing to actions like the fund.
“Washington state taxpayers should be careful what they wish for, because this is the kind of thing that could incentivize even more poor illegal immigrants to move to Washington state,” he said.
“Why would you stop at COVID relief? Once people have been supported by the government, they’ve been essentially subsidized by taxpayers in the state, they’re going to want other subsidies, even when the virus emergency passes.”
A similar action was taken by California in May.
Under Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, state officials began distributing $500 per illegal immigrant, with a cap of $1,000 per household. Officials projected 150,000 illegal immigrants would receive assistance, which would amount to $75 million in funds distributed.
“This is a state that steps up to help those in need, regardless of status,” Newsom said at a press conference.
Illegal aliens are barred from tapping into federal funds granted through the CARES Act, a stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
Congressional Democrats have tried to alter those rules. The Democrat-controlled House voted against a motion in May that would have ensured illegal immigrants wouldn’t receive stimulus funds.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 26 colleagues wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on July 31, requesting him to let taxpaying immigrant families who have tax identification numbers access both CARES Act funds and any future CCP virus relief money.
“No one should be denied critical economic relief benefits they would otherwise be entitled to simply because they are part of a mixed-status family,” the senators wrote.