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Mayorkas: Domestic violent extremism is our greatest threat




Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday during a House Homeland Security hearing that domestic extremism is the most threatening to national security.

“Right now, at this point in time, domestic violence extremism, the lone wolf, the loose affiliation of individuals following ideologies of hate, other ideologies of extremism, that are willing able to take those ideologies, execute on them in unlawful, illegal, violent ways, is our greatest threat in homeland right now,” Mayorkas told the House panel.

Mayorkas also spoke via Zoom about the crisis at the U.S. southern border and the plan to crack down on illegal migrants.

Moreoever, he confirmed that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials were executing a plan to address the crisis at the border.

“We have a short-term plan, a medium-term plan and a long-term plan and we’re executing on all fronts,” Mayorkas said. “To address the situation at the border that’s upon us right now takes time and we are working around the clock to do it. This is what we do and we will succeed. I believe in the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and I believe in our commitments, our capabilities and we will get the challenged tackled.”

“But we will not waver in our commitment to succeed. That is our job. We will also not waver in our values and our principles as a nation. In the Department of Homeland Security, we can and we will tackle the many challenges we face while complying with our legal obligations and honoring our nation’s values and principles.”

“We are a nation of laws but we are also a nation of immigrants,” Mayorkas said.

The influx of unaccompanied minors at the border is of high concern to DHS officials. Mayorkas said that DHS officials are doing everything in their power to keep the young children safe and secure.

“I was on the border a few weeks ago and I saw the heroism, the true heroism of the men and women of the United States Border Patrol. I saw them undertake personal sacrifice to not only ensure that the border is secure but that the needs of the very young children are taken care of,” Mayorkas said.

In a statement Tuesday, Mayorkas said that the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to reach its highest peak of the past two decades.

DHS officials expect the number of unaccompanied migrants children to continue increasing throughout the year and estimate that more than 117,000 will arrive to the U.S. this year, making it the largest number of migrant children to have arrived since President Obama was in office.

Watch the House Homeland Security Hearing here.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants



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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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