KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Washington Dems diverted $460M to illegal immigrants into 2023

Feb 4, 2024, 6:11 PM

illegal immigrants tax dollars...

(Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

(Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

Washington State Democrats funneled hundreds of millions in tax dollars to over 100,000 illegal immigrants to circumvent the federal government. The funds were intended for COVID relief as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, but the state purposefully used the funds for illegal immigrants.

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH previously reported that COVID relief tax dollars were being misused to pay up to approximately 223,000 illegal immigrants living in the state. A new report from the Economic Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) said $340 million was doled out through 2023.

But that number doesn’t include all federal and state tax dollars the state said it paid to illegal immigrants. The taxpayer funds far exceeded $400 million as part of the Immigrant Relief Fund, according to documents reviewed by The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

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Funds to illegal immigrants more than reported

The state-funded efforts to help illegal immigrants received $45 million in 2020, $55 million in 2021, and $300 million in 2022. It translated to illegal immigrants receiving checks or prepaid cards up to $3,000 each. There were no conditions on how the money could be spent, though a statewide survey of recipients indicated the money was primarily spent on rent and/or utilities.

Washington state Democrat leaders justified the funds to illegal immigrants with an equity argument. In a post-fund recap, Kamau Chege of the Washington Community Alliance admitted that the state intended to get around federal limitations on who would receive taxpayer funds.

“When the federal government offered stimulus checks and financial support to help communities make it through the pandemic, they intentionally left out millions of undocumented immigrants in our communities. All of us who call Washington Home deserve support to make it through the pandemic, so we did something about it,” Chege said.

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$1,000-$3,000 to individual illegal immigrants

It appears that the majority of funds went to Hispanics. A state report from 2021 noted that Hispanic Washingtonians represent 29% of the COVID-19 cases, but only 13% of the state population.

“An immigrant with an unauthorized status is ineligible for federal economic impact payments or unemployment insurance. At the same time, this population is at greater risk of contracting the virus,” the report stated.

That thinking led to the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund.

“During the first rounds of the Immigrant Relief Fund (between October 2020 and May 2021), $127.6 million were allocated to the Immigrant Relief Fund. With these initial rounds of funding, 121,850 applicants received a grant of $1,000,” the Immigrant Relief Fund report said. “Each approved applicant was awarded a grant without requirements to repay the funds or impacts to completing tax returns in the future. Further details about the first iterations of the Immigrant Relief Fund can be found through Washington Dream Coalition.”

In April 2021, an additional $340 million was approved to be sent to illegal immigrants. The Washington State Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance said they received checks or prepaid cards up to $3,000 in value.

Tax dollars given to illegal immigrants well past the COVID pandemic

According to the Immigrant Relief Fund report, the dollars were handed out well after the COVID crisis ended. The report said events for the fund were held through November 2023, though the Immigration Relief website said the final funds were mailed in early 2023.

The state worked directly with the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN), a coalition of nonprofit groups that include far-left El Centro de la Raza, Planned Parenthood and MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network).

WAISN held “community engagement events” via subcontracting with 35 to 37 community organizations that the report does not name. Eschewing the traditional desire to be inclusive, the events were promoted more exclusively to certain communities. An invented threat against illegal immigrants justified the move.

“Events had to be promoted amongst prospective fund applicants while also maintaining safety, especially from potential anti-immigrant sentiments,” the report argued.

Taxpayers suffered

While Democrats closed businesses, taxpaying residents suffered.

Instead of offering as much help as possible to legal residents, Washington diverted hundreds of millions of funds to communities that did not pay into tax dollars that were redistributed. To better justify the use of federal and state tax dollars, Democrats often use a regurgitated talking point that illegal immigrants do pay taxes. Often, they’re referring to sales tax.

While illegal immigrants obviously pay sales tax, oftentimes, they’re also paid in cash for their work. It allows them to avoid the taxes legal residents pay. It also allows them to be offer subpar wages, exploited thanks to the very Democrats who claim to want to help them.

Despite those talking points, legal residents are the ones who pay for the vast majority of the assistance given to illegal immigrants. While people in this country illegally were also impacted by COVID-19, Democrats made the choice to help them at the expense of legal residents.

Political ramifications

That political decision may have a more significant impact in 2023 as legal residents around the country are losing access to taxpayer-funded facilities, recreation centers, housing, etc. to accommodate unvetted illegal immigrants streaming across our deliberately porous border.

Residents in Chicago, Denver, and New York have been vocal with their disdain for Democrat policies that encourage immigrants to come into the country illegally, rather than use the correct process. The pushback has caused some Democrats, like New York Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul, to adopt the positions of Republicans: deport illegal immigrants who are flagrantly violating our laws.

As news that federal dollars were diverted to illegal immigrants in numbers that weren’t the focus of media scrutiny until now, will voters respond in anger? We’ll know in November.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, and  Facebook.

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Rantz: Washington Dems diverted $460M to illegal immigrants into 2023