The White House is saying there is ‘no such thing as secret flights’ about bodycam footage showing, well, secret flights. Through a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, footage was obtained showing migrants being transported on charter flights in the middle of the night.
The story first unfolded in October when the New York Post captured video of the charters at the airport in White Plains, New York. The flights arrived from areas near the southern border such as McAllen, Texas and Houston, Texas.
The flights “only stopped after the outlet captured footage of the landings in October” reports Fox News. The White House, however, claims not only that it’s “not news” but also that the “not news” is “not new.”
“There are no such things as secret flights” a White House official responded to Fox News’ White House correspondent Peter Doocy. “The video footage your network has been running endlessly is from six months ago in August. Which by the way, Jen [Psaki] and others in the administration addressed this then too, Not new or news.”
The White House claimed “the footage is of unaccompanied minors being transported…either to a vetted relative or [to] a sponsor, and yes they passed through Westchester County, New York men route to their final destination.”
On the recorded footage released from an officer’s body camera on the tarmac of the Westchester airport on August 13, 2021, a federal contractor can be heard saying, “the government is betraying the American people.”
In the 51-minutes of footage, Westchester Police Sgt. Michael Hamborsky is “peppering federal contractors early in the morning with questions about the after-hours flights and why local police were not provided details” reports Fox News.
“You’re on a secure facility here; we really don’t know anything and we’re in charge of security…this is anti all our security stuff” Hamborsky tells a contractor.
NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants
New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.
The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.
Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.
In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.
The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.
The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.
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