Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton announced legislation Tuesday that would prevent state and local governments from using public funds to make coronavirus assistance payments to individuals living in the United States illegally.
Cotton plans to introduce the No Bailouts for Illegal Aliens Act, an amendment to the CARES Act that would restrict any future payments to states or municipalities until they certify they’re not distributing stimulus checks or other payments to illegal aliens.
“Congress passed the CARES Act to help workers impacted by the China virus pandemic, not to give a handout to those who broke our immigration laws,” Cotton said in a prepared statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The federal government shouldn’t be subsidizing states’ efforts to send cash to illegal aliens.”
Under the auspices of the bill, states or municipalities would be deemed ineligible for further funds provided by the CARES Act if they are not compliant with the certification requirements.
Congress passed the CARES Act to help workers impacted by the China virus pandemic, not to give a handout to those who broke our immigration laws. The federal government shouldn’t be subsidizing states’ efforts to send cash to illegal aliens. https://t.co/oG8Yrvd7YO
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) May 19, 2020
Cotton’s office specifically singled out California, which on Monday began accepting applications from illegal aliens for direct cash assistance.
Cotton’s bill does not affect the loans offered to companies and non-profit groups under the CARES Act, and also does not affect the unemployment measures or relief checks given to American under the CARES Act.
“States and municipalities that refuse to comply with the certification requirement will not be eligible for CARES Act funds,” Cotton’s office said in a news release.
“The bill will not affect any of the Paycheck Protection Program loans offered under the CARES Act to companies and nonprofit organizations,” the release added.
“The bill also will not affect the unemployment provisions or the relief checks offered to Americans under the CARES Act.”
Introduction of the legislation marks the latest back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of coronavirus relief for those living in the U.S. illegally.
The CARES Act, the first major stimulus bill passed by Congress to provide economic relief to the country, did not allow illegal aliens to be eligible for assistance, sparking protest from some Democratic lawmakers.
The House of Representatives, controlled by the Democratic Party, has since passed the HEROES Act, which if signed into law would make many illegal aliens eligible for cash assistance by way of Taxpayer Identification Numbers.
On the day the House Democrats introduced their bill, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy called it a “liberal wishlist that has no chance of becoming law.” The White House has also indicated that the Democrats’ coronavirus package is a no-go.
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