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Newsom cautioned that migrants could overwhelm California, but Democrats now propose providing unemployment benefits to undocumented individuals.

California Democrats Consider Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers

Months after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) said California would “break” from the migrant crisis, Democrats in the state are mulling unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. The Safety Net for All Workers Act, set to be reviewed by the state legislature this week, would grant illegal immigrants up to $300 per week for a maximum 20 weeks. The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution in March that supports the proposal.

A Post-42 World

California is considering the bill after Newsom in December warned his state could “break” from a surge of migrants after the expiration of Title 42, the pandemic-era rule that allowed agents to turn migrants away and expired last week. “The fact is, what we’ve got right now is not working and is about to break in a post-42 world unless we take some responsibility and ownership,” Newsom said in December.

Newsom also said at the time that California is struggling because the federal government is sending migrants to the state because it’s “taking care of folks.” “The more we do, the burden is placed disproportionate on us,” Newsom said.

The Cost of Offering Benefits

California Democrats argue the money migrants contribute to the state balances out the cost of offering them unemployment benefits. Payroll taxes on providing unemployment benefits to undocumented individuals.”>illegal immigrants contribute 5 million a year to the state’s Unemployment Insurance system, according to the Safety Net for All Coalition, a group of over 120 organizations across California seeking to expand welfare programs for undocumented workers. The weekly checks plus administrative expenses in the proposed legislation is estimated to cost $356 million in state funds.

Undocumented Workers’ Contributions

“Every day, undocumented immigrants contribute to California’s economic prosperity in agriculture, construction, clothing and other industries,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. María Elena Durazo. “Yet immigrants continue to be shut out from California’s economic success due to unjust exclusions from the safety net.”

Benefits for All Workers

The Safety Net for All Workers Act aims to provide benefits to all workers, regardless of their immigration status. The bill’s supporters argue that undocumented workers have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and should have access to the same safety net as other workers. The proposal has received criticism from Republicans who argue that it rewards illegal immigration and could encourage more people to come to the state illegally.


As California continues to grapple with the migrant crisis and the economic fallout from the pandemic, the debate over providing unemployment benefits to undocumented workers is likely to intensify. While Democrats argue that it’s a matter of fairness and economic necessity, Republicans are likely to push back against what they see as a reward for illegal immigration.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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