Jobless illegal immigrants in California could receive up to $300 a week should a pilot program proposed by the Democrats make it through the state’s legislature.
Democratic Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia introduced Bill 2847, which proposes the creation of a program to offer money weekly to unemployed illegal immigrants, making them eligible for benefits because they are undocumented.
The bill, if passed, will require the state to provide $300 a week for 20 weeks to the more than five million illegal immigrants without authorization to hold jobs in the country, according to the University of Southern California.
The proposal asks the California Labor and Development Agency for $690 million in assistance, NBC San Diego reported.
“According to the nonprofit Institute of Economic and Tax Polyxes, undocumented people in California contribute approximately $3 billion annually in local and state taxes,” the publication reported.
In addition to the ask, the proposal calls on the agency to provide plans to establish permanent unemployment insurance for illegal immigrants in the state by August 2024.
Obviously, because illegal immigrants cannot hold jobs in the United States in any official capacity, the bill essentially proposes giving money to every illegal immigrant regardless of their occupational status.
“I think it's a very good idea because we know that many undocumented people will be left out of receiving benefits from the state and the federal government and the pandemic affected everyone equally,” said Pedro Ríos, of the advocacy group Friends Committee on Legislation of California.
“There are going to be people who say they don't deserve to receive any kind of benefit because they don't have documentation, but it's important that undocumented people should recognize themselves with dignity and respect for being vulnerable because they lost their jobs,” Rios said.
If passed, the bill will provide benefits to illegal immigrants from January 2023 to the end of the same year. California is currently in debt to the federal government to a tune of $20 billion, which was previously loaned for state unemployment subsidy.