With House Democrats assembling a new coronavirus relief package, immigration enthusiasts are lobbying to get more assistance to illegal aliens.
The first three stimulus bills—the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA); and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — contained provisions that could aid illegal migrants and their families.
The CARES Act included $100 billion to reimburse health-care providers for serves to COVID-19 patients, regardless of immigration status. The measures also authorize refundable tax credits to employers who extend paid-leave for illegal-alien workers and their families.
Not nearly enough, progressives complain. Upset that illegal aliens weren’t entitled to stimulus payments and jobless benefits, the leftist Center for American Progress wants Congress to follow California’s lead and dispense relief checks to illegal migrants while putting them on unemployment insurance rolls. Expanding Medicaid eligibility is also on the to-do list.
The center calls these add-ons “a smart investment in the nation’s economy,” without hazarding a price tag.
Migration Policy Institute (MPI) modeling of this country’s illegal immigrant population suggests that such munificence could run well into the hundreds of billions.
Assuming a “medium unemployment scenario” of 17.5 percent jobless (U.S. was at 14.7 percent last week), MPI estimates that 5,152,000 illegal aliens would be medically uninsured. At 25 percent unemployment, that number grows to 5,993,000.
“Regardless of their immigration status, leaving millions of people uninsured and unable or afraid to access COVID-19 testing and treatment could lead to further spread of the virus,” MPI says.
Fear mongering is a ritual pose of the left, and it’s especially disingenuous here. Public hospitals do not turn away people suffering serious medical conditions; nor do they check immigration papers. In 2017, FAIR found that illegal aliens received more than $29 billion government-funded medical services per year. Those outlays have risen in a time of coronavirus.
Furthermore, since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stopped conducting operations “at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities.”
As for the reputed “smart investment in the nation’s economy,” paying benefits to illegal aliens does nothing to help American workers, while it erodes public trust. It is not the obligation of U.S. taxpayers to fund unemployment programs for individuals who lost jobs that they were explicitly barred from holding in the first place.
Exploiting the coronavirus crisis to perpetuate an illegal, underground economy only begets more bad behavior and more illegality. That’s far from a “smart investment.”