This week, a California bill that would grant unemployment benefits to illegal migrants is scheduled for review as the Golden State prepares for an influx following Title 42 expiration.
SB 227 (Safety Net for All Workers Act) would give illegal immigrants laid off $300 per week for a maximum of 20 weeks, using funds from the state coffers. The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution in March supporting the statewide legislation.
Shamann Walton, the Supervisor, said during a protest held before the meeting that “we cannot take the money of people, their taxes, and the labor they put in and deny them benefits and rights they have earned.”
According to the Safety Net for All Coalition (a group of more than 120 organizations in California that seek to expand welfare services for undocumented employees), the state Unemployment Insurance system receives $485 million annually from illegal immigration payroll taxes. According to the proposed legislation, the weekly checks and administrative costs will cost $356,000,000 in state funds.
Maria Elena Durazo, the sponsor of the bill, said that undocumented migrants contribute to California’s economy every day in industries such as agriculture, construction, and clothing. “Yet, immigrants are still excluded from California’s success because of unfair exclusions from its safety net.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee, which includes SB 227, will review any proposed legislation costing the state over $50,000 on Thursday. They will either send the bill to the Senate floor for consideration or table it.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed the same bill that was passed by the California legislature last year. He said, “The bill requires further work in order to address operational and fiscal concerns.”
California is facing significant financial stress this year. Newsom announced on Friday that California’s budget deficit has risen to almost $32 billion – about $10 billion higher than expected.
Newsom said, “This budget was not easy. But I hope you can see that we will do our best to maintain the line while taking care of those who are most vulnerable and in need. We will also be prudent.”
A large influx of illegal immigrants could also result from the termination of Title 42.
Title 42, an Obama-era policy that suspended the right to seek asylum in certain circumstances, expired on Thursday evening. This influx of migrants at the border was a result. In anticipation of its expiration, 83,000 migrants crossed into the United States last week. However, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reported that border agents had seen a 50% decrease in the number of border crossers during the weekend.
The New York Times reported that, just south of San Diego in Tijuana, about 15,000 migrants gathered last week. They filled hotels, and shelters, or slept outside in a makeshift camp, while they waited for Title 42’s expiration in hopes of getting into the Golden State.