Op-Ed: Liberal governors want stimulus funds for illegal immigrants

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”

– Frederic Bastiat

There have always been differences of opinions about illegal immigration in the United States, but never more so than in the past few decades. Republicans see illegal immigration as a critical threat to American security. They feel it exposes us to serious health ailments and sabotages our safety network. They support tougher enforcement of immigration laws with increased border security. They also want more federal agents to stop unwelcome migrants from entering our nation illegally.

Many Democrats, on the other hand, do not consider illegal immigration a threat, and in fact welcome all illegal immigrants that wish to come to America. They claim they do jobs Americans do not wish to do. They say the U.S. benefits from their labor. And since we need to replenish our nation with new younger workers and more “Democratic voters,” naturally they welcome all who can make their way across the border. They believe they are entitled to welfare, health care and even the right to vote.

The GOP’s stand on illegal immigration is shared by most Americans since these laws are in place to protect us as a nation. On the other hand, the left has been justifying their position on illegal immigrants for decades. They claim since they work here and pay taxes they are entitled to the same benefits as citizens. This tired argument that the left has used for decades to increase members of their party is deceiving and is only half the truth and even worse.

“A half truth is a whole lie.”

– Yiddish Proverb

Many illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes since they do “labor” for cash. Those who get a paycheck must have a Social Security number. These are either forged or the numbers of deceased citizens. Employers withhold taxes and report those earnings to the Social Security Administration. When the numbers don’t match up with the numbers issued by SSA, they go into an intangible file called the “Earnings Suspense File.” And that money vanishes into federal “never never land” never to be found again.

Since federal law requires non-citizens who work here to file a tax return, those who do not have a valid SSN obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS and everything looks legal. And since those numbers look similar to an SSN, illegal immigrants use them to obtain American jobs. More than 9.8 million ITINs were issued between 2005 and 2015. And between 1985 and 2015 the SSA issued 13 million “non-work SSNs.” These cards clearly state “not for employment” but are used anyway.

“Undocumented workers’ rights are abused under capitalism.”

– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The federal government’s Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) denies illegal immigrants access to all government-funded programs. Since illegal aliens are considered criminals for being here without a green card, a work permit or a visa, they are not entitled to any federal or state benefits. Yet according to the Center on Immigration Studies, 63 percent of all illegal immigrants in America are enrolled in federal and state financial and health support systems.

While most new green card immigrants and temporary visitors are barred from welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates. According to Census Bureau data, despite these barriers designed to prevent welfare use for all of non-citizen populations, data show that the majority of non-citizen families’ access the welfare system almost twice as much as U.S. citizens for benefits for their U.S.-born children.

When Senate Republicans approved the COVID-19 federal stimulus plan, they included provisions to ensure illegal immigrants couldn’t get federal stimulus checks. But that has made little difference to Democratic governors and mayors. They have found ways to do an end run around our lawmakers.

“I think the federal government is obligated to help everyone regardless of status.”

– Gavin Newsom

By the time the first checks were sent out, Newsom said illegal immigrants will be able to draw on a $125 million public-private fund since they comprise 10 percent of the state workforce. In Minnesota, small businesses and employees, regardless of immigration status, will get millions in state assistance. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot extended COVID aid programs for housing and small businesses to illegal immigrants. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is working on a similar proposal right now.

These maneuvers by Democrats are an effort to discredit President Donald Trump and the GOP Senate for limiting eligibility to those that possess a Social Security number. The non-partisan Migration Policy Institute claims Congress acted according to Constitutional law limiting eligibility to those who have a Social Security number because you must be a citizen or a legal alien to qualify for federal benefits.

Rep. Lou Correa, D-California, just introduced a bill to extend eligibility to all illegal immigrants claiming they are the most vulnerable residents in his state. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is proposing a similar bill. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced he formed a partnership with George Soros’s Open Society Foundations to create a $20 million emergency relief program for immigrant workers.

“There’s money available for everyone regardless of their legal status.”

– Bill de Blasio

While every Democratic state governor is openly criticizing President Trump and the GOP Senate for excluding illegal immigrants from the stimulus bill, one blue state governor is actually being truthful. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “We are at a point financially where we have a $15 billion deficit. We have real financial problems right now and cannot afford to give any more money away now.”

Saul Alinsky wrote, “Confusion hides the truth.” With the vast number of illegal immigrants that already get state and federal assistance illegally, this controversy over federal stimulus funds is nothing more than another leftist attempt to poison the political waters for the GOP before the next election. People in this country illegally are not entitled to anything but a free ride back to where they came from.

Leftist politicians fueled the fires of COVID so “they did not let a crisis go to waste.” But they can’t justify their demands with a record number of Americans filing for unemployment without enough money to pay their bills. The left has been out-maneuvering the GOP since Trump became president. When they cry for more, the GOP gives in. Now the debt has ballooned, they blame the GOP? When will the GOP learn: “You can’t please a liberal unless you are more liberal than them.”

The Constitution guarantees every American the opportunity to catch their share of the American Dream if they wish. It does not make that guarantee to illegal immigrants. It is time for the GOP to move on and continue to govern within the law. They don’t need any more distractions in an election year. The new left will keep this chaos raging until the last vote is counted on Election Day. We better get used to this until the “fat lady sings” Election Eve.

“Anyone who studies the history of ideas should notice how much more people on the political left, more so than others, denigrate and demonize those who disagree with them, instead of answering their arguments.”

– Thomas Sowell

The Center Square – William Haupt III

Contributing Columnist

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.

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