The CARES Act, which was passed in March, offered financial assistance to several sections of society. It missed a few sections as well, including illegal immigrants. However, the new proposal from the House Democrats, also called HEROES Act 2.0, offers several benefits to illegal immigrants, including coronavirus stimulus checks.
Earlier this week, the House Democrats introduced an updated HEROES Act costing about $2.2 trillion. Like the original HEROES Act, of which the cost was about $3.3 trillion, this new proposal also includes up to $1,200 stimulus checks to eligible Americans.
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However, along with eligible Americans, this new proposal promises coronavirus stimulus checks to illegal immigrants as well, according to Fox News. The bill extends the stimulus payment of up to $1,200 and $500 per dependent, to those without a social security number, including those who live in the country illegally but file taxes using an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
Moreover, the bill also offers protection from deportations to immigrants in certain “essential” jobs. As per the new bill, the illegal immigrants who work in “essential critical infrastructure labor or services” in the U.S. would be put into “a period of deferred action.” In this way, such illegal immigrants would be allowed to work provided they meet certain conditions.
Additionally, the bill also offers protections to employers who hire these undocumented immigrants. The bill states that “hiring, employment or continued employment” of such group of people would not be in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act
A description of the bill says that “such workers are deemed to be in a period of deferred action and to be authorized for employment, and employers are shielded from certain immigration-related violations for employing such workers."
Protections for illegal immigrants as well
The updated HEROES Act also includes a provision that directs the Department of Homeland Security to study the files of those in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If the Department of Homeland Security does not find an immigrant a threat to national security, then he or she should be released.
Further, the bill also requires that migrants can get access to free video calls and virtual legal assistance through nonprofits.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has criticized this $2.2 trillion bill from the House Democrats. Speaking to Fox News, FAIR’s government relations director RJ Hauman said that such provisions could take the much-needed money and jobs away from Americans.
“Once again House Democrats are trying to bailout millions of illegal aliens – and not just financially, but give them de facto amnesty as well,” Hauman said.
Initially, the House was expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday. The vote, however, was postponed to give more time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to strike a bipartisan deal.