The newly passed New York State budget is now bigger than that of Florida and Texas combined. It makes clear that the Left cares more about illegal immigrants than they do the long-suffering citizens of New York.
In the middle of the night this week, the New York State legislature passed and Governor Cuomo signed a $212 billion budget that includes $2.1 billion specifically for illegal immigrants claiming they were unemployed during the pandemic. The eight-figure appropriation for illegal immigrants is part of a $5 billion “excluded workers” fund set up for those who were not eligible for unemployment insurance or other federal funds during the pandemic but who became unemployed during the pandemic.
For the citizens and lawful residents of the state who, for example, drive for Uber, this funding makes sense. But to allow illegal immigrants to get a $15,000 or $20,000 check is indefensible. But indefensibility doesn’t matter. The supporters of this spending don’t need to defend it on the merits. Anyone who questions it, including moderate Democrat lawmakers who spoke out, are slurred publicly as “racist” by legislators.
Making matters worse, the program begs for fraud. The illegal immigrant must apply to the Department of Labor and show that he or she lived in New York during the pandemic. The legislation lists a series of documents including a driver’s license and high school diploma that will suffice to prove residency.
At first, I was concerned about the identification requirement for fear Major League Baseball would get wind of it and ship the Yankees and the Mets off to Colorado as they did with the All-Star game after Georgia required identification to vote. But the three people in the negotiating room, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, crafted the language of the budget to cover their bases. The legislation allows the state to accept, “any other document the commissioner of labor deems relevant.” It appears this documentation requirement is more for show and the labor department can create exceptions that are guaranteed to devour the rule.