Biden Administration Decides to Allow Illegal Aliens to Receive COVID-19 Education Benefits
FAIR Take | May 2021
Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona clarified that foreign students and illegal aliens will be eligible for COVID-19 aid, reversing a previous Trump administration policy that barred illegal aliens from such benefits.
Congress passed the “American Rescue Plan” in February, injecting a $1.9 trillion stimulus into the economy. The bill passed on entirely partisan lines. The Senate used the budget reconciliation process to bypass the 60-vote threshold necessary for most legislation, sidelining Republicans and giving President Joe Biden his first legislative victory in his presidency.
Part of the American Rescue Plan included billions in aid for education, modeled after similar stimulus packages signed by President Trump during his presidency. The CARES Act – signed into law in March 2020 – issued $6 billion in aid to American colleges and universities. Then-secretary Betsy DeVos issued clarification that none of the aid could go to programs supporting illegal alien students, including DACA recipients, on the basis that American tax dollars could not benefit illegal aliens enrolled at colleges and universities. Federal judges ended up blocking this guidance in separate rulings.
During the Biden administration, Cardona’s Education Department announced $36 billion in emergency grants to colleges and universities in an effort to “mitigate the spread of the virus, and re-engage students whose academic progress was disrupted by the pandemic,” according to an analysis from Bloomberg Government.
Cardona clarified that the Education Department would not follow the guidance issued by his predecessor regarding unlawfully present students, remaking that “We want to make sure that all students have an opportunity to have access to funds to help them get back on track. There are students in need and the pandemic doesn’t discriminate.”
This in effect means that American taxpayer dollars will go to universities to help them support unlawfully present students – American taxpayers are on the hook for services benefitting illegal aliens. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the ranking member of the House Education Committee, said that this decision is “an insult to every American.”
In a statement, Foxx addressed the decision further, saying: “President Biden is fueling an immigration crisis, and this final rule exacerbates the emergency at the southern border. I call on elected Democrats to stop swindling law-abiding citizens, put Americans first, and respect the sacrifice of hardworking taxpayers.”
Rep. Foxx is exactly right. This decision by the Education Department is an insult to Americans and further confirms that the Biden administration will do everything in its power to accommodate the millions of illegal aliens living in the United States even as an out-of-control border crisis rages on at our southern border.