Tuesday 6 February 2024

California plans to give unemployment benefits to ILLEGALS, while their own citizens foot the bill

 California reportedly plans to extend current unemployment benefits to illegal aliens entering the country unlawfully, but some say this could increase the potential for fraud.

Senate Bill (SB) 277, dubbed the "Safety Net for All Workers Act," seeks to extend uemmployment benefits to illegals. Under the measure, the Excluded Workers Program (EWP) will be established to the tune of huge amounts of money.

A substantial $270.7 million will be earmarked to set up an IT system exclusive to the EWP from the ground up, while its maintenance cost would range between $39.3 million to $53.8 million annually. EWP claimants, meanwhile, will receive benefit payments – but taxpayers will be shouldering between $330 million and $2 billion.

California State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, the bill's author, claimed in June of last year that her proposal "would address a longstanding racist exclusion." She continued: "Millions of undocumented immigrant workers work in jobs that help California prosper; they are unable to access unemployment benefits when they experience job loss."

But veteran opinion writer John Seiler expressed opposition to the bill. In an op-ed for the Epoch Times, he warned that giving unemployment benefits to illegals will just increase the potential unemployment benefits fraud within the system. The Employment Development Department (EDD), an office under the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, is in charge of unemployment benefits in the Golden State.

"Giving unemployment benefits to illegal aliens would make the EDD system even more ripe for fraud than it already is," wrote Seiler. "Many illegal immigrants pay into the system now. But how do we know they’re actually doing the work claimed? What if they're laid off officially [and] collect EDD benefits, but then are hired back unofficially for the same jobs?"

Aside from the fraud risks, Seiler claimed that the potential $2 billion impact on the state budget may lead to detrimental consequences for all residents – irrespective of race, creed, or color.

SB 227 packed with opportunities for FRAUD

Meanwhile, a separate article by the Bailey Law Corporation expounded on SB 277. It zoomed in on the bill's relatively low benefit threshold and lack of employer verification.

If the bill is signed into law, the EWP to be established will provide $300 weekly monetary assistance for a maximum of 20 weeks. This would sum up to approximately $6,000 annually in "unemployment benefits." Unemployed illegals ineligible for state or federal unemployment insurance due to their immigration status will be receiving this payment.

"The threshold for undocumented workers to receive these 'unemployment benefits' is quite low. In essence, the undocumented workers are entitled to $6,000 if they are willing to say they worked 93 hours or earned $1,300 in the preceding year and, where they have no documentation, [if] they are able to convince the EDD through a credibility interview that they worked 93 hours or earned $1,300 in the preceding year," the law firm stated.

"The EDD has subjective authority to determine whether or not an undocumented worker is entitled to receive 'unemployment benefits.' To make matters worse, the EDD is not allowed to call the employer to verify the undocumented worker's employment."

The law firm ultimately commented that SB 277 will be bad news for employers if it becomes law. "It is likely that employers will be required to pay higher taxes to cover the increase in unemployment benefits being paid out."

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