California considering unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants

EL PASO, TEXAS - MAY 08: Immigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait near the U.S. Mexico border fence, hoping to be processed by U.S. border agents to make asylum claims on May 08, 2023 in El Paso, Texas. A surge of immigrants is expected with the end of the U.S. government's Covid-era Title 42 policy, which for the past three years has allowed for the quick expulsion of irregular migrants entering the country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
11:00 AM – Tuesday, May 16, 2023

California is set to review a bill that would provide unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants as the state is bracing for a dramatic increase in the number of crossings at the southern border.


Senate Bill 227 would establish the Safety Net for All Workers Act, which would provide benefits for laid-off illegal immigrants, such as $300 per week for up to 20 weeks.

“The program would provide workers who are excluded from Unemployment Insurance solely due to their immigration status with $300 per week, for up to 20 weeks, for each week they are unemployed between January 1, 2025 and December 21, 2025,” the bill stated. “In addition, the bill would: Require the department to promulgate regulations on or before January 1, 2025. Prohibit disclosures of personal information obtained through the program. Require the department to report to the Legislature specified information describing program participation, including outreach efforts and administrative costs.”

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors had adopted a resolution that supported the bill in March, with Supervisor Shamann Walton saying that the workers have earned those benefits.

“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,” Walton said.

Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Calif.), who had introduced the bill, said that immigrants “contribute to California’s economic prosperity” but they continue to be shut out from the state’s success.

“Every day, undocumented immigrants contribute to California’s economic prosperity in agriculture, construction, clothing and other industries,” the State Senator said. “Yet immigrants continue to be shut out from California’s economic success due to unjust exclusions from the safety net.”

The bill would require California, which is already in a deficit of nearly $32 billion, to financially support a massive increase of immigrants into the state as Title 42 expires.

In anticipation of the expiration of Title 42, 83,000 migrants crossed into the United States last week alone. Meanwhile, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has claimed that border agents have seen a 50% drop in border crossers over the weekend.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will review the bill on Thursday and decide to either forward or bench it.

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