New York to offer COVID relief payments up to $15,600 for undocumented workers
New York will offer one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost work due to COVID-19, the state legislature announced this week.
Why it matters: Part of the state's 2021-2022 budget, the $2.1 billion fund is the biggest of its kind in the U.S., signaling the state's progressive-driven agenda, the New York Times reports.
- As many as 290,000 people can benefit from the fund, according to the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute.
How it works: Undocumented workers will be able to receive the equivalent of $300 per week for the last year, up to $15,600. They must verify that they were New York residents, ineligible for federal unemployment benefits and lost income because of the pandemic.
- Those who can prove at least their residency and identity with some work documentation are eligible for a smaller sum up to $3,200.
For comparison: California set up a similar fund last year but capped it at $75 million, offering immigrants a $500 one-time payment on a first-come, first-served basis.
The big picture: The fund was an issue of contentious debate among lawmakers.
- Republicans accused Democrats of enacting a "radical agenda" rather than helping other struggling New Yorkers, per Spectrum News.
- Some Democrats from swing districts privately said the program could be weaponized against them in future elections, according to the Times.
- A group of progressive lawmakers camped out overnight in the Capitol after budget discussion broke down.