New York State Budget Still Supports Illegal Aliens Despite Coronavirus
By David Jaroslav | FAIR Take | April 2020
In the midst of being the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York briefly flirted with scaling back some of its financial aid and other backing for illegal aliens. In the end, the Empire State’s budget still continues providing incentives for illegal immigration at the expense of taxpaying, law-abiding New Yorkers.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said that in light of the sudden dramatic economic upheavals caused by shutting down so much of the economy, “[t]he budget was difficult because the state has no money.” His initial budget proposal eliminated the $10 million the state has spent annually since 2017 on defending illegal aliens from deportation through its so-called “Liberty Defense Project.”
The reaction from the open-borders lobby and their legislative allies was predictable. Organizations like the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC) said the budget “abandons immigrants.” NYIC and others then successfully waged an intense campaign to get the funding back into the budget. The funding to defend illegal aliens from deportation was included in the final version of the budget that passed on April 3.
The budget also included other state benefits for illegal aliens like in-state college tuition and student financial aid under the so-called “New York State DREAM Act.”
In addition to providing funds for illegal aliens, the budget also made a few tweaks to the state’s “Green Light Law,” the 2019 law which allows illegal aliens to get New York driver’s licenses. In response to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ending new applications by New York residents to the “Trusted Traveler Program,” the “Green Light Law” will now allow some federal access to drivers’ license records. However, driving records will still remain inaccessible for other purposes without a warrant or other court order.
State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) blasted both the process and the substance of the budget, saying “unprecedented times demanded concentrated focus, (but) Democrats rushed out a cluttered state budget that offered nothing of the kind. Concocted behind closed doors and advanced under the cover of darkness, the state’s final spending plan drifted too far from our current crisis, and was entirely bogged down by misguided political policies.”
Likewise, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) condemned the budget as “full of policy initiatives that seek to promote a radical liberal agenda over the common good of all New Yorkers,” and added, “[n]ow is not the time to … provide millions in funding for free college tuition for illegal immigrants … while cutting essential programs that help veterans and seniors.”