Explaining "America"s immigration amnesia" 04:09 The billions in commonwealth relief spending during the coronavirus pandemichas markedly to exclude, millions of human being in America: undocumented immigrants. However one U.S. State is acquisition the the opposite tack, moving to sell these excluded employees who shed jobs throughout the situation up come $15,600 each.

You are watching: How much money is spent on welfare for illegal immigrants


"This is the first time any kind of kind of services for undocumented immigrants method the level the what other kinds of workers get," said David Dyssegaard Kallick, deputy manager of the Fiscal plan Institute (FPI) a nonprofit plan research group.

Under a $2.1 billion plan approved critical week, nearly 300,000 undocumented civilization in new York will be eligible for the lump-sum payments, which start at $3,200. Together workers make up 5% the the state"s workforce, mostly in frontline industries, and also pay an approximated $1.1 billion in state and also local taxes. Professionals say offering them urgently required financial relief will help energize new York"s economic climate as companies look come shake turn off the impacts of coronavirus lockdowns.


Coming ~ a months-long pressure project from immigrant advocacy groups that contained a hunger strike and also protests targeting prominent legislators, brand-new York"s relocate is additionally spurring activists in neighboring new Jersey to seek funds for undocumented people.

Undocumented immigrant are typically shut out of society safety-net programs. Castle don"t qualify for unemployment benefits, although countless employers that hire undocumented world pay into the joblessness insurance system. (Nationally, those payments comes to $13 billion over the past decade, according to an previously FPI study.) and also last year"s multiple ring of commonwealth pandemic aid, including stimulus checks, additionally excluded not simply immigrants but additionally citizens concerned immigrants.

Meanwhile, the Trump management publicly clashed with says like brand-new York after ~ it allowed undocumented immigrants to acquire drivers" licenses.

Major security boost

New York"s fund, while falling short of what activists had dubbed for, is enough to make a "real difference" come a family, Kallick said. Undocumented employees can apply for a lump-sum payment of as much as $15,600 as long as lock can show they stayed in the state before the pandemic and lost money since of it.


That sum quantities to about fifty percent of what the average new Yorker receiving unemployment benefits would gain over a year. Workers who can"t accomplish the requirements to get the full $15,600 might potentially qualify because that $3,200, or the amount lock would have received in three federal stimulus checks.

The Fiscal policy Institute approximates that around 290,000 workers, or a 3rd of the undocumented people in new York, will get help under the bill. Nearly all that money will certainly be spent, with about $1.5 billion in benefits earmarked for civilization in new York City and also another $271 million for those on lengthy Island, additionally home to a significant number of undocumented workers. The remainder would it is in spent across the state.

That money will certainly be invested and assist lift the local economy, FPI predicts. "hen employees gain, so do the neighborhoods where castle live. Shops, grocery stores, gas stations and local businesses in basic will view an uptick in sales," the firm claimed in a plan brief.

"Before the pandemic, I constantly had work"

"The first thing I"m walk to carry out is to salary my ago rent," Rubi Correa, who has been out of work due to the fact that last spring, told CBS MoneyWatch.

Correa, 48, commonly cleans houses and also babysits top top Staten Island in brand-new York City. However the 48-year-old has been the end of work since the coronavirus struck critical spring. She said she has supported herself by walking "from food pantry come food pantry" and now owes numerous months" worth of rent.

"Before the pandemic, I always had work, but it"s very difficult to have a task now," said Correa, who was one of an ext than 70 workers that went top top ahunger strike to pressure brand-new York State to happen the bill.

Sixta Leon, a 58-year-old housekeeper, turned to collecting cans and also bottles throughout the pandemic. Prefer Correa, Leon shed all her cleaning job-related last spring; she has actually recently gone earlier to working sooner or later a week.

Sixta Leon poses in front of a hill of cans. Leon turned to collecting cans and bottles to do ends accomplish when she lost her work as a housekeeper in feather 2020. Sixta Leon

"When lock told united state the news that we had won I began to cry the happiness. I simply thought the the many civilization that are going to obtain help," stated Leon, who has lived in the U.S. Because that 33 years.


Immigrant neighborhoods are overrepresented in the frontline workforce. In new York, one-fifth that undocumented workers are in the hard-hit food service and also accommodation sector. Another fifth work in sleeve or wellness care, according to the Migration plan Institute.

"These are farmworkers, taxi drivers, restaurant workers, delivery workers, home wellness aides, grocery store workers, the people who carry out the warehousing, stocking, the delivery workers," claimed Fahd Ahmed, executive, management director of drum - Desis increasing Up & Moving, among the groups that pushed for the brand-new York bill. "The people who we were cheering because that as necessary workers are the very same ones that were being left the end of any type of benefits."

Republican opposition

New York"s move raised objections from republicans nationwide, that say that citizens should be prioritized. To represent James Comer the Kentucky and Jason smith of Missouri wrote to the White home to accuse new York that "prioritiz illegal immigrants over American families."

"This is madness," Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalisetweetedafter passage of the measure.

See more: How Much Is A Mega Million Ticket, Mega Millions

Some brand-new York legislators had actually other concerns with the package. Some were concerned that part undocumented human being might move to the state in wishes of acquiring the money, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. One legislator initially said the parcel wasn"t fair because it excluded functioning mothers who had actually to drop the end of the workforce to care for children, the outlet reported. (The lawmaker finished up voting for the aid.)

Meanwhile, activists in neighboring brand-new Jersey space pushing because that a repeat. Immigrant proponents in the state launched a hunger to win to draw attention to their plight. New Jersey policy Perspective, a left-leaning think tank, point out outthat undocumented workers represent an also larger re-publishing of the workforce in brand-new Jersey than in new York, and that they"re concentrated in the frontline workforce. Governor Phil Murphy has available tentative assistance for such a fund.

"It"s something that we"re really trying come address," Murphy said at a press conference last week.