House GOP questions NY’s unemployment program for illegal immigrants

House Republicans want a federal review of New York’s $2.1 billion program to give illegal immigrants unemployment checks — saying the money apparently came from President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package.

In a Thursday letter, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) called on the White House to “protect the integrity of American Taxpayer Dollars and put American families first.”

“It now appears that New York is using its state budget, recently bolstered with billions in federal dollars, to funnel money to illegal immigrants,” they wrote.

New York’s controversial “excluded workers fund” — part of the state’s $212 billion budget for 2021-2022 — provides payments of up to $15,600 each to illegal immigrants, who were ineligible for coronavirus stimulus money.

Advertisement

Smith and Comer called the cost of the program “quite peculiar” in their letter, first reported by Fox News.

The GOP representatives said it’s “exactly the same” as “the amount of federal dollars New York appears to be receiving” due to a change in the distribution formula for Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.”

They also said the Biden plan “allocated monetary relief to states using a new biased formula that resulted in New York, and other states run by Democratic officials, receiving disproportionately more aid than in previous coronavirus relief bills.”

Advertisement

New York got $12.6 billion in federal aid, which a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said was enough to balance the budget — before state lawmakers this week increased spending and raised taxes on high earners and big businesses by $4 billion.

Smith and Comer’s letter seeks a response from American Rescue Plan coordinator Eugene Sperling by April 16.

Advertisement