The California state legislature is considering a bill that would grant unemployed workers who are illegally in the country access to unemployment benefits — even though the state is running a massive budget deficit. As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, California’s fiscus has fallen in the space of one year from a surplus of $100 billion, partly based on federal cash for coronavirus relief, to a staggering deficit of $32 billion. In his revised budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) cautioned legislators to maintain “prudence.” But under SB 227, “excluded” workers who are in the country illegally would be able to receive $300 per week in benefits.
As Fox News reported, proponents say migrant workers “deserve” the benefits, despite entering the U.S. unlawfully: In March, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the statewide bill. “We cannot take people’s money, take people’s taxes, take people’s labor and then deny them the very benefits and rights that they deserve and that they have earned,” Supervisor Shamann Walton said at a protest before the board met. Payroll taxes on illegal immigrants contribute $485 million a year to the state’s Unemployment Insurance system, according to the Safety Net for All Coalition, a group of over 120 organizations across California seeking to expand welfare programs for undocumented workers. The weekly checks plus administrative expenses in the proposed legislation [are] estimated to cost $356 million in state funds.