Chicago Mayor Extends City’s Coronavirus Relief Benefits to Illegal Immigrants

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attends a news conference where Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an order Tuesday ensuring illegal aliens have access to the city’s coronavirus relief benefits.

The order essentially guarantees those residing in her city unlawfully will be able to access aid programs offered by the city. Those include housing assistance grants, providing grants of $1,000 to go toward a mortgage or rent, access to the Small Business Resiliency Fund, which provides low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and access to “online enrichment learning resources, including more than 100,000 devices for families who lack access to technology for remote learning,” according to CBS Chicago.

“As the federal government tried everything under the sun to stigmatize and scare them into the shadows, Chicago stood up and fought back. We upset some people, but we did so because it was really the only moral choice,” Lightfoot said.

“We are all in this together is not just a nice sentiment, it is an imperative for who we are and who we will remain as a city,” she continued:

Lightfoot, who last year moved to bar Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from police databases ahead of coming raids, also promised the information provided by illegal immigrants accessing the programs will not be given to federal agencies.

“Our city is a city of immigrants, built by immigrants, enriched by immigrants, and we will always stand with our immigrant communities, no matter what,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot’s move comes as key progressives continue to criticize the bipartisan CARES Act, which, in part, provided cash benefits to most American citizens. An individual needs a Social Security number in order to access the benefits — something several Democrats took issue with. As a result, several Democrats, led by Reps. Lou Correa (CA), Judy Chu (CA), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ), introduced a measure to amend the CARES Act and extend cash benefits to those residing in the United States unlawfully.

“The Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act amends the CAREs Act to ensure that all taxpayers are eligible for their $1,200 relief check,” the release stated:

Every individual taxpayer irrespective of citizenship status should receive government assistance. With more than 140,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, it is imperative we come together. This pandemic has led to the closure of many small businesses, which will have a disproportionate impact on immigrants. The “Leave No Taxpayer Behind” Act will ensure immigrants critical to our economy are not forgotten.

Far-left members of the “Squad” — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — cosponsored the bill.

Several Democrats, including Omar, believe it is imperative for the next emergency relief measure to “ensure that all noncitizens, whether holding a SSN or not, can access these relief payments.”


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