Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signed an executive order that guarantees all residents, including illegal immigrants, access to the city’s assistance programs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lightfoot’s executive order Tuesday includes access to new programs specifically designed for COVID-19 economic relief such as housing assistance, online education resources for public school students, and small business loans, regardless of whether the person is in the country legally.
“This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Since COVID-19 first reached our city’s doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic.”
Chicago was already considered a “sanctuary city” under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Welcoming City Ordinance, which extended the city’s resources to illegal immigrants, and Lightfoot effectively just tacked on access to the newest benefits as well.
Although the more than $2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act will provide relief checks to families, only those with Social Security numbers are eligible, meaning that illegal immigrants and others who work under individual taxpayer identification numbers would not be able to collect benefits.
Meanwhile, on the left coast, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is also working to also extend additional benefits to illegal immigrants who don’t qualify for the federal coronavirus relief package.
With the help of the state legislature, Newsom is looking to form a “Disaster Relief Fund” to help those who are economically impacted by the pandemic among the state’s estimated 2 million illegal population, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
California continues to find new ways to extend health care to illegals, but now with the help of the state legislature, Newsom is hoping to roll out the additional economic benefit in May.
Of course, the fact that illegal immigrants do not qualify for CARES Act funds bothers Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
She and other members of the “squad” of Democratic congresswomen, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are already planning for the next bill, which they want to include more cash, benefits and of course the inclusion of illegals, according to the New York Post.
“If you don’t believe undocumented workers should have access to relief during #COVID19, does that mean you’re willing [to] return the billions they pay in taxes each year?” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet Wednesday.
If you don’t believe undocumented workers should have access to relief during #COVID19, does that mean you’re willing return the billions they pay in taxes each year? Will you defund your schools?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 8, 2020
Or, in this moment, will we recognize that we should just take care of each other?
That Post article about their proposals was lampooned in a tweet by Omar with a screenshot of the headline “‘Squad’ members want to make illegal immigrants eligible for coronavirus aid.”
The words “illegal immigrants” are crossed out and replaced with “American taxpayers.”
There, fixed it for you pic.twitter.com/Ttd2iAAlVr— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 8, 2020
While it’s true that many illegal immigrants are taxpayers — allowing people who are unlawfully in the country to work under an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a remedy that at least compensates for their share of the tax burden — ultimately they have still broken the law.
President Donald Trump recognized this when he was asked in an April 1 White House coronavirus news briefing why illegals were left out the CARES Act and gave a simple, straightforward response.
“Well, you know, you’re saying ‘undocumented,’ meaning they came in illegally,” Trump replied. “And a lot of people would say we have a lot of citizens right now that won’t be working.”
The president is spot on in recognizing that people who are in the country illegally should not be given benefits that American citizens deserve as a matter of priority.
With federal and state funds being limited, any money that is directed to noncitizens is effectively taken away from people who are following the laws of the land.
Folks who are breaking the law by being in the U.S. illegally should not be rewarded with help from the government coffers, especially when times are tough for us all.
It isn’t that Republicans are mean or xenophobic, it’s just that finite government resources are intended to help American citizens, and the surest way to get benefits intended for citizens is to become one — legally.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.