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New York to give up to $15,600 to undocumented migrants who lost work due to Covid

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers struck a deal Tuesday on a $2.1 billion fund for undocumented essential workers who lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, The New York Times reported.

The “Excluded Workers Fund” could provide payments to hundreds of thousands of people excluded from other pandemic relief.

The measure passed in the New York legislature this week with a vote of 42-21, as part of a broader $212 billion state budget agreement. New York will now offer one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost work during the pandemic.

Undocumented workers that are able to verify that they are state residents, ineligible for federal unemployment benefits and lost income as a result of the pandemic, could receive up to $15,600, the equivalent of $300 per week for the last year, according to the Times.

Others undocumented immigrants who are unable to meet the same level of verification will be eligible for up to $3,200.

The Fiscal Policy Institute, a New York based policy group, estimated that 290,000 workers will benefit from the Excluded Worker Fund. About 92,000 workers in New York state will be eligible for the full $15,600 payment.

Fox News contributor and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer slammed the Excluded Workers Fund, calling New York “one messed up state.”

“Many American taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. Businesses by law are not supposed to hire people who are here illegally. So what does NY do? It takes money from taxpayers and gives it to people who are here illegally. NY is one messed up state,” Fleischer wrote on Twitter.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Gallup poll: Immigration surges to ‘most important problem’ among Americans

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In just the last month alone, Immigration has become the most important problem facing the United States to many Americans, surging from 20% to 28%. “Immigration has now passed the government as the most often cited problem, after the two issues tied for the top position the past two months. The government ranked first each month from January through November 2023″ reports Gallup.

In the latest poll, immigration surpasses all other issues as the most pressing issue (28%); 20% of Americans name the government as the most important problem, followed by the economy (12%) and inflation (11%). Immigration is the only issue that has shown meaningful change in the past month.

The latest results are based on a Feb. 1-20 Gallup survey. Immigration has ranked ahead of all other issues as the most important problem before, having last done so five years ago when there was a surge of attempted border crossings by Central American migrants. Immigration also ranked as the No. 1 problem in July and November 2018 and July 2014.

Gallup started compiling mentions of immigration in 1981. The 28% currently naming immigration as the most important problem essentially ties the 27% reading from July 2019 as the highest in Gallup’s trend.

The latest survey was conducted at a time when a bipartisan group of congressional senators reached an agreement on an immigration reform proposal. The bill ultimately failed to pass a Senate vote, but it faced an uncertain fate in the Republican-led House of Representatives even if it had passed. The House passed a tougher immigration bill in 2023 that the Democratic-led Senate has not taken up and President Joe Biden promised to veto.

The recent bipartisan negotiations took place in response to a record number of border crossings at the southern border in recent months, peaking at over 300,000 in December. An influx of migrants in U.S. cities has also stressed social services there.

Republicans typically are the subgroup most likely to name immigration as the most important problem, and they are largely responsible for the increase in mentions this month. Currently, 57% of Republicans, up from 37% in January, say immigration is the top problem. Independents show a modest uptick, from 16% in January to 22% now, while there has been no meaningful change among Democrats (9% in January and 10% in February).

Residents of the East (36%) and South (31%) are more likely to say immigration is the biggest U.S. problem than are those living in the Midwest (25%) and West (22%). Southern residents have typically been most likely to regard immigration as the top issue.

More See Illegal Immigration as a Critical U.S. Threat

A separate question in the survey finds a record-high 55% of U.S. adults, up eight points from last year, saying that “large numbers of immigrants entering the United States illegally” is a critical threat to U.S. vital interests. The prior high was 50% in 2004.

The vast majority of Republicans already believed illegal immigration was a critical threat; 84% said so a year ago, but the percentage has now reached 90%. A larger increase, from 40% to 54%, has been seen among independents. Far fewer Democrats view illegal immigration as a critical threat, but that percentage is up from 20% in 2023 to 29%.

Continue reading: Gallup.com 

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