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Rantz: Seattle wants $100 million coronavirus fund for illegal immigrants

Seattle City Council. (Seattle Channel)

The Seattle City Council and mayor’s office want to give $100 million in taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants for coronavirus relief.

In a 9-0 vote on Monday, a council resolution pushed the governor to create a “Washington Worker Relief Fund” for illegal immigrants who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Jay Inslee’s Office is investigating if this fund can be established without legislative approval. He’d prefer that.

Illegal immigrants do not qualify for federal assistance. There was a way to craft a resolution that is reasonable, but this council rejected that notion, pushing for an extreme position that could very easily fall victim to fraud.

Coronavirus tax dollars to illegal immigrants

The move is the latest instance of inconsistency from the city and state. While asking people to obey directives to stay-at-home, even suing businesses that don’t comply, they want to reward illegal behavior with taxpayer funds.

Rather than help the folks who pay the most taxes, the Seattle Council and Inslee hope to funnel funding to people who came to this country illegally and may even be working under the table to begin with. While the council may be OK with the potential that illegal immigrants are exploited for cheaper labor, I’m not.

Council President Lorena González and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, the resolution’s sponsors, will have you believe this is simply intended to go to illegal immigrants working in essential jobs. It’s not — it’s meant to go to anyone in this country illegally.

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Fraud waiting to happen

The council recommends a distribution mechanism that could and would very easily be abused.

According to the resolution, “administered by community-based organizations to provide emergency economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians.” That’s it.

Random fringe organizations, with no government accountability, hand-picked by Inslee, get to hand out $100 million taxpayer dollars? Seriously? How would that work? Show up, claim you’re in this country illegally, then get your cash?

This would be the height of irresponsibility. But given the way this council throws money at problems — without earning any results — we shouldn’t be shocked.

And given the state can’t even handle legitimate unemployment claims from taxpayers — sending out $1.6 million to fraudsters — something tells me this whole system would be ripe for abuse. But it’s not about making the system work. It’s all about the appearance that the council cares about you.

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Aspects can make sense. But this was meant to be extreme

This idea is a bad one because, obviously, you should not reward illegal behavior. I know that’s a controversial position in Seattle where the law isn’t generally applied to drug dealers and users, prostitutes, or repeat offenders.

But what’s sad is that this is an idea that could work, if the council chose to be reasonable, rather than go into woke-overdrive. If they offered a less partisan objective, it wouldn’t be controversial.

I think stimulus checks should go out to mixed-status marriages where one person is currently undocumented and the other is an American citizen who pays their taxes. There was disagreement in Congress because Democrats insisted all illegal immigrants get the cash. They made mixed-status families suffer. There was reason to believe they could have enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass that bill.

I also support stimulus checks to DACA participants without criminal records. And if you file federal taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, I’d give you a stimulus check. Again, so long as you don’t have a criminal record.

This seems reasonable and compassionate. But Seattle does neither. They’re seldom reasonable (this is a good example of that) and only feign compassion. But, hey, they’ll play to their base of fringe progressives, even if they pass up an opportunity to pass something that makes sense.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook
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