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Immigration

Undocumented migrants released without bail after brutally beating two NYPD police officers

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A group of undocumented migrants were released without bail after brutally beating two NYPD police officers in Times Square. Now, GOP representatives are calling for their deportation.

The Center Square reports:

The officers were assaulted attempting to break up a disorderly crowd outside of a Midtown migrant shelter on Saturday night, video released by the NYPD shows. Five suspects were arrested but were later released without bail.

The Police Benevolent Association of New York City, the NYPD’s largest union, said it was outraged the suspects were released without bail.

“Attacks on police officers are becoming an epidemic, and the reason is a revolving door we’re seeing in cases like this one,” PBA President Patrick Hendry said in a statement. “It is impossible for police officers to deal effectively with crime and disorder if the justice system can’t or won’t protect us while we do that work.”

Staten Island Borough President Vito J. Fossella, a Republican, said the migrants responsible for the beating should be “deported immediately” and called the city’s response to the incident “madness.”

“What universe are we living in where migrants, who are living rent-free in our city, are allowed to brutally attack police officers and then are released without consequences,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Too often, we protect violent criminals and punish victims.”

Members of the state’s congressional delegation also weighed in on the beating and the release of the suspects.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who represents Staten Island, echoed calls to deport the migrants during an immigration roundtable in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with House Speaker Mike Johnson and law enforcement officials.

“We cannot accept in this country people who have paid the cartels thousands of dollars to be smuggled here, and they’re in our city committing crimes,” she said in remarks. “Why are they in New York? Well, because our Mayor decided to provide housing, education, legal services, laundry services, food – you name it. It’s incentivizing more people to come to New York City.”

Asked about whether the migrants should be deported, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters on Wednesday that it’s something that “should be looked at” by federal authorities.

“I think that’s actually something that should be looked at,” Hochul said, the New York Post reported. “I mean, if someone commits a crime against a police officer in the state of New York and they’re not here legally, it’s definitely worth checking into.”

Despite the uproar, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is defending his prosecution of the case and urging witnesses to come forward.

“Violence against police officers is never acceptable. It is paramount that we conclusively identified each defendant and specify each participant’s role in the incident,” Bragg said in a statement. “Every defendant charged so far is facing felony charges that carry a penalty of up to seven years.”

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Economy

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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