JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Inslee gives illegal immigrants $40 million as unemployment still a mess

Aug 12, 2020, 8:13 PM | Updated: Aug 13, 2020, 5:45 am
Inslee, LeVine, inslee unemployment, job...
Gov. Jay Inslee alongside ESD Commissioner Suzie LeVine. (ESD, Facebook)
(ESD, Facebook)

Governor Jay Inslee still owes legal Washingtonians unemployment benefits, yet announced he’ll hand out $40 million to illegal immigrants in a new coronavirus relief fund.

“We have to ensure that no one in our state is left behind as we fight this pandemic,” Inslee said in a statement.

But apparently, he forgot the legal residents he left behind since March. Despite claiming that the Employment Security Department (ESD) has cleared backlogs of owed unemployment benefits for Washingtonians, tens of thousands are still, in fact, owed unemployment benefits.

It’s bizarre optics. And it appears there would be little meaningful accountability to how the money would be distributed.

Funds to illegal immigrants with little accountability

Under pressure from local activist groups, Inslee recently announced a taxpayer funded $40 million COVID-19 relief package to people in this country illegally.

Washington is a sanctuary state, and government officials are generally prohibited from cooperating with federal officials on immigration enforcement. As such, it’s become easier for illegal immigrants to find work in Washington, so they’ve come here. And, like everyone else, the illegal immigrant community has been hit hard by the coronavirus. So now they’re hurting and need help. Cue the fund.

But how would the $40 million be handed out exactly?

The state is looking for a nonprofit group to administer the funds on its behalf. That’s problematic to begin with. While the group has to detail eligibility requirements they’d use before handing out the money, how does one show they’re in this country illegally? And knowing that illegal immigrants are reluctant to be honest about their status, how does the state ensure a group doesn’t hand out taxpayer dollars casually to people to account for someone’s distrust and reluctance? This seems like it would be rife with fraud.

This is also obviously controversial

While wokescolds will have you believe otherwise, this move is obviously controversial since taxpayer dollars are going to the fund.

It is true that many illegal immigrants pay state (and federal) taxes, but many also do not. And the taxes that are paid are not as high as they would be if they were in this country legally. Pointing out that some taxes are paid does not absolve someone this of being controversial.

Side note, since I envision criticism by people who read halfway before angrily tweeting reaction: It should be noted that the woke, white Progressives outraged that I use the term “illegal immigrant” versus “undocumented immigrant” are the same ones seemingly OK with a system that takes advantage of these human beings, paying them slave wages under the table to get away with the illegal, exploitative work. I’d rather fix the broken immigration system than propagate a mess that encourages illegal behavior to serve as a literal White Knight.

However …

That all said, I also don’t want people in this country and state illegally to suffer during the pandemic.

I likely break from many Republicans on this issue. I am generally OK with a fund set up to help, though I prefer it privately funded because this state has a racist system in which all illegal immigrants are treated as worthy of protection from deportation and assistance. They shouldn’t be.

People who are contributing members of society, particularly those brought to this country by their parents, should be offered help to get through tough economic times. Illegal immigrants who commit crimes? They are unworthy of our protections.

Given the criminal, dangerous element are not reflective of the greater population, it’s deeply racist that Progressives — be it Inslee or any of the Democratic leaders that backed the sanctuary state law — offer a retail worker in this country illegally the same protections and respect as an illegal immigrant who raped a woman in a wheelchair. They’re not the same. That Democrats refuse to acknowledge that is why I can’t buy into their system and can’t back their plan.

A bigger issue

Can we also acknowledge how incredibly ridiculous it is to offer this fund while legal residents still haven’t even received a phone call or email from ESD? Despite claims that the state has addressed the backlogs, people are still saying they are without their unemployment checks. And they’re getting increasingly desperate.

Meanwhile, Inslee is hiding from the unemployment scandal. The local press is making it easy, too. On this topic, with some exceptions, I don’t think most outlets have been especially good at pressing him on it. He’s taking advantage of it and getting off easy.

I think it’s reasonable to at least expect Inslee to prioritize legal residents above illegal immigrants. Or, at the very least, acknowledge we have many Washingtonians without unemployment after months of waiting. The optics here are bad. And it’s starting to get national attention.

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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Rantz: Inslee gives illegal immigrants $40 million as unemployment still a mess