President Donald Trump made clear on Wednesday the reason the millions of unauthorized immigrants residing in the United States will not be sent coronavirus payment checks: “They came in illegally.”
“Over five million immigrants in this country do pay taxes through their IT numbers, yet they will not receive any money in the stimulus package,” one reporter told the president.
“And no undocumented immigrant will receive any aid from the government during this crisis. How do you suppose they survive during the COVID-19 [outbreak]?”
“Well, you know, you’re saying ‘undocumented,’ meaning they came in illegally,” Trump answered.
“A lot of people would say we have a lot of citizens right now that won’t be working, so what are you going to do? It’s a tough thing,” the president said.
Trump went on to acknowledge it is a sad and difficult situation that illegal immigrants are in.
“You say Undocumented, meaning they came in Illegally…” pic.twitter.com/jpUkJ2ogTR
— ACTforAmerica (@ACTforAmerica) April 2, 2020
“It’s a very sad question, I must be honest with you, but they came in illegally and we have a lot of people that are citizens of our country that won’t be able to have jobs,” he said.
Do you agree with the decision not to give illegal immigrants stimulus payments?
97% (173 Votes)
3% (5 Votes)
Trump predicted a “boom economy” once the coronavirus outbreak is quelled, allowing jobs to come back.
“It’s a really sad situation, and we are working on it,” he reiterated regarding illegal immigrants. “I’m not going to give you a hard and fast answer, because I just want to tell you it’s something I think about, and it’s something we’re working on.”
The Pew Research Center has estimated there were 7.6 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. labor force or looking for work in 2017, making up 4.6 percent of the nation’s workers.
Legal immigrants — i.e. those with green cards, as well as the hundreds of thousands of people in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — will receive the stimulus payments because their legal status, the Miami Herald reported.
The United States allows over 1 million people to legally immigrate into the country per year.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York accused Trump and GOP lawmakers of cutting checks to Americans off the backs of “taxpaying immigrants,” highlighting specifically illegal aliens.
“To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers, NOT immigrants w/ tax IDs (ITINs),” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on March 26.
To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers, NOT immigrants w/ tax IDs (ITINs).
Thanks to GOP, these checks will be cut off the backs of *taxpaying immigrants,* who get nothing. Many are essential workers who pay more taxes than Amazon.
Wall St gets $4T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 26, 2020
“Thanks to GOP, these checks will be cut off the backs of *taxpaying immigrants,* who get nothing. Many are essential workers who pay more taxes than Amazon. Wall St gets $4T,” she added.
In the legislation signed by Trump on Friday, $300 billion goes in direct payments to Americans.
An additional $260 billion goes to enhanced unemployment benefits, so workers — including those in the gig economy — get 100 percent of what they were earning when they lost their jobs.
Another $350 billion goes to small businesses employing 500 or fewer as loans they do not have to pay back if they keep their workers on the job at least until the end of June.
The payments were designed to help employers be able to make payroll so they do not need to lay people off.
Finally, $500 billion will go to large corporations like Boeing and others in the airline industry in the form of loans and grants to keep them afloat through these challenging economic times.
Those corporations, however, must pay back the loans to the government with interest.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.