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After months of pressure from activists, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has agreed to set aside $40 million in coronavirus relief for workers in the U.S. illegally.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Seattle’s city council sought $100 million in relief funds from the state for illegal immigrants who didn’t qualify for the federal government’s coronavirus stimulus. The city passed a resolution in May that called for the creation of a “Washington Worker Relief Fund” that would provide “economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
At that time, the resolution passed the city council unanimously – 9-0 – and Mayor Jenny Durkan signed it.
“Looking out for the most vulnerable in our community is even more critical in times of crisis,” Durkan said at the time. “It is all the more important to ensure we are not pushing people further into the shadows.”
Now Inslee has agreed to set aside $40 million for those efforts, though activists are somewhat dismayed they didn’t get more.
“We’re excited to have a good chunk of money allocated to our community,” said Alejandra Perez, a Seattle-area activist who was working with the governor’s office. “Even though our [original] ask was $100 million.”
The Pew Research Center estimated that Washington has about 240,000 illegal residents – who reportedly pay around $368 million in state and local taxes each year.
“Washington follows California and Oregon among that states developing relief funds for their undocumented residents,” The Associated Press reported. “The state next will look for a foundation or nonprofit to manage and distribute the money. The funds are expected to be distributed to immigrant families and individuals this fall with an estimated $3,000 per household and $1,000 per person.”
California, Fox News reported previously, provided about $25 million in aid to illegal immigrants as part of the coronavirus relief efforts, even though California has five times the population of Washington. California is allowing illegal immigrants to apply for a $500 payment for individuals or $1,000 for families, under a program PJ Media reported took funding from state funds and private donations.
“There are at least two million illegal aliens in California. The fund may help up to 150,000 illegals with emergency relief,” the outlet reported.
“Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the House passed a Democrat-driven bill last week that would include illegal immigrants in the next round of stimulus checks to most Americans. It would do this by allowing those who are ineligible for Social Security numbers, and who file taxes instead by using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), to receive the checks,” Fox reported. “Each eligible person would receive $1,200 stimulus checks, up to $6,000 per household, according to the newly released legislation.”
In May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested the next coronavirus relief package should include money for illegal immigrants, including a guaranteed minimum income.
Democrats have been calling for this kind of funding for illegal immigrants for weeks. As The Daily Wire previously reported, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the House could consider a guaranteed minimum income for individuals that would extend to illegal immigrants. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) also called on the federal government to include non-citizens who have an ITIN in the coronavirus relief package. He said during a Univision segment that “Millions of undocumented [immigrants] who work hard, and they’re outside on the streets now exposing themselves to getting sick, should also receive this kind of protection.”