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Maria Elena Durazo
Sen. Maria Elena Durazo. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

California Legislature Proposing Unemployment Benefits For Illegal Immigrants

‘Excluded workers’ who are not eligible for regular state or federal unemployment insurance benefits due to their immigration status

By Katy Grimes, May 16, 2023 4:06 pm

The California Legislature is proposing a program to provide unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants coming to and residing in the state.

Senate Bill 277 by State Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) proposes income assistance to unemployed “excluded workers” who are not eligible for regular state or federal unemployment insurance benefits due to their immigration status.

Perhaps even more horrifying, this program would be administered by the Employment Development Department and implemented upon appropriation by the Legislature of sufficient funds to carry it out.

Currently, the state’s employers pay for unemployment insurance.

This is the same EDD the massive fraud was perpetrated against during the pandemic. “The current estimate is that the EDD lost about $40 billion to illegitimate claimants, including prisoners (and not just from California prisons), garden variety local scammers, and international fraud rings, all of whom simply walked right into the department’s completely unprotected system,” the Globe reported.

“While the EDD has claimed it did the best it could, it should be noted that the EDD—even though it could have purchased basic fraud protection software that would even work with its antiquated IT systems for about $5 million—had no way to prove if an applicant was who they said they were until the end of 2020, months after the pandemic began.”

The Senate Committee on Labor bill analysis explains that SB 277 Prohibits the EDD, in administering the program, from taking any of the following actions:

    1. Requesting, orally or in writing, an individual’s nationality, place of birth, or eligibility or ineligibility for a social security number.
    2. Compelling or requesting an individual to admit in writing whether they have proof of lawful presence in the United States.
    3. Contacting an individual’s current, former, or prospective employer for any purpose, including to verify employment status. However, does not prohibit the department from using other means to verify past employment.
    4. Recording an individual’s immigration or citizenship status.

The bill also authorizes an applicant to self-attest to being eligible for the program and requires them to submit documentation with a value equal to at least four points to establish proof of work history. (emphasis ours)

Did lawmakers learn nothing from the rampant fraud of the EDD during COVID? “Self-attest to being eligible for the program?

“Every day, undocumented immigrants contribute to California’s economic prosperity in agriculture, construction, clothing and other industries” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles). “California is set to be the world’s fourth-largest economy in large part thanks to immigrant labor, yet immigrants continue to be shut out from California’s economic success due to unjust exclusions from the safety net. That is why I am authoring SB 227, the Safety Net for All Workers Act. California must include a life-saving unemployment benefits program for these workers.”

Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that the state’s budget deficit has ballooned by $9 billion, going from the initial January estimate of $22.5 billon to $31.5 billion, leading to more major cuts being implemented next fiscal year.

Approximately half of California’s income comes from the top 1% of earners as well as businesses in the state.

The perfect storm for recession may be upon us with high inflation, high taxes, high energy costs, high food costs, a sizable budget deficit, and tens of thousands of big tech layoffs, which is the other issue California lawmakers and governor need to address, the Globe reported. And now taxpayers will be expected to financially support more illegal immigrants into the state with the expiration of Title 42.

Senator Durazo never acknowledges where the funding will come from – and it’s not from the Appropriations Committee.

“Title 42, a Trump administration era policy suspended rights to seek asylum, expired Thursday evening, bringing an influx of migrants to the border,” Fox News reported. “A record 83,000 migrants crossed the border last week in anticipation of the policy’s expiration, but U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said border agents saw a 50% drop in the number of border crossers over the weekend.”

“Just south of San Diego, roughly 15,000 migrants had gathered in Tijuana last week, filling hotels and shelters or sleeping outside in a makeshift camp while waiting for Title 42 to expire in the hopes of making it into the Golden State, The New York Times reported.”

The state is bleeding businesses and losing hundreds of thousands of residents to other states. The California exodus to other states is even worse than we realized; the state’s population dropped by more than 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022, with the number of residents leaving surpassing those moving in by nearly 700,000, the Globe reported in February – taking $29.1 billion with them to other states.

And California Democrats are proposing to pay illegal immigrants unemployment.

Last year Gov. Newsom vetoed AB 2847, a similar bill also proposing providing unemployment benefits to illegal aliens, saying, “this bill needs further work to address the operational issues and fiscal concerns, including a dedicated funding source for benefits.” Perhaps his veto pen will work on SB 277 given his concerns, as well as benefits already provided to illegal immigrants. According to the governor, last year, “California made historic investments to ensure more undocumented Californians have access to health care, food assistance, and to provide inflation relief regardless of immigration status.”

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33 thoughts on “California Legislature Proposing Unemployment Benefits For Illegal Immigrants

  1. Democrat State Senator Maria Elena Durazo never acknowledges where the funding will come from? Maybe wealthy Democrats like her should fund it? She became wealthy from being in political office and by being a former union boss.

    1. So, some legislators think that people who are in the U.S. illegally, and have jobs illegally, should tap into our welfare system for “unemployment benefits”. The argument is they pay into the unemployment systems. That’s like saying a thief can keep most of his stolen goods if he gives a small fraction back. Don’t we live in a great country?

  2. NO. Absolutely, positively NOT. SB 277 — unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants, and from the infamous fraud-enabling and infested EDD yet (!!!) — is simply UNACCEPTABLE. Completely, thoroughly, on so many levels and for so many reasons, UNACCEPTABLE. Just exactly how out of touch is Sen Maria Elena Durazo for even THINKING this was a good idea?

  3. Si, se puede!!!
    Another MeChA monster pandering bill to ensure that the illegals will stay on the Democrat ranchero in gratitude for all these freebies…

  4. Absolutely not!!!!! And the next article is about borrowing money from the Federal government because it can’t pay unemployment …….is this absolutely NUTS? Not legal in this state no money and go back where you came from….enough is enough FUERA!

  5. There IS a limit, you know, although many of these entitled conscience-less Dem/Marxists in the legislature clearly think they can get away with anything that randomly pops into their heads. How about we see some Dems show us what they’re made of, if anything, and stand up and fight for clean elections in this state? (Are these constant absurd proposals themselves circumstantial evidence of dishonest elections? – I say YES.) Or maybe they could bother themselves to occasionally put the brakes on Gov Gruesome’s endless destructive chutzpah? Or perhaps even stand tall, take a deep breath, and defend confused minor children against being hormone-injected and surgically mutilated to fulfill some lying fantasy sadists want to impose on our once-sane society? Etc.?
    SB 277. Unemployment benefits for everyone who is in our state and country illegally.

    1. Bbbbbbut . . . it’s only fair. I’m certain if I break into Mexico the Mexican government would fall all over themselves to provide me with unemployment payments, right? In return I’m sure they would let me vote in Mexico as long as I promise to vote for whatever corrupt cartel is in power when I break into Mexico. Lastly, in my California community people of unknown legality love to drive around town with huge Mexican flags attached to their vehicles. I’m also certain when I break into Mexico and put a huge American flag on my vehicle the Mexicans will welcome me with open arms.

      1. Oh yeah, no kidding, Fed Up, you and everyone with you would get the red carpet and gift basket treatment for sure, no question! NOT

  6. In 2021 no covid vaccination many got fired and many got denied unemployment. This is bad government

  7. In 2021 if you had no covid vaccination you got fired and got denied unemployment. But these unvaccinated illegals get benefits? The optics on this are atrocious.

  8. Seems as though these public servants have nothing else to do than dreaming up hairbrain schemes in order to justify their jobs and soak up as much of the California residents money as possible. Love California, have been living in Georgia for 15 years. Looks as though I got away from Ca. just in time.

    1. The CA legislature should be part-time and paid accordingly. Maybe then, they would focus on important issues instead of things like this which insult every tax-paying citizen in the state.

  9. Oh hell NO.

    This is what Republicans, running in the state, need to point out. The majority of the CA public never know what the hell is going on in Sacramento!!!!!!

    1. You make an excellent point, Enough Already.
      I think Repub candidates should always run on this stuff, too.
      At least make it a part of their campaigns.

  10. If we don’t get the Democrats out of office, this state will be going into an economic collapse. In 2000, the state budget was $84 billion. In 2022, just 22 years later, it has quadrupled to $330 billion. During that time the population had only gone up by 15%. In the past three years, taxpayers have been leaving the state in droves. The California Democrats are completely irresponsible. Get them out before we all go down with them.

  11. The article refers to SB 277 but its actually as the title says, SB 227, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB227
    This preferential treatment of illegal immigrants and doesn’t provide the same to legal citizens and residents. The use of government money to enrich private citizens and enterprises is against the law. Illegal immigrants are being trafficked by pedophiles and rogue manufacturers. Taxpayers being made to support criminal organizations.

    1. You’re right, it is actually SB 227. Fortunately the link in the article does go to the bill in question.
      SB 227 is moving through the legislature as we speak.
      Find and contact your state reps about this outrageous nonsense.
      Reference SB 227.

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