‘The coronavirus challenge doesn’t give politicians a pass to violate the law…’
But the conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch is suing to stop the illicit welfare payments.
Under federal law, illegal aliens are ineligible for state and federal public assistance benefits due to their unlawful presence in the United States. But according to Judicial Watch, Newsom is knowingly violating that clear red-line with his newly created “Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project.”
The Wuhan virus-related welfare initiative would send one-time cash payments of $500 per adult or $1,000 per household to 150,000 illegal aliens in California. The program would also cost nearly $5 million to administer and none of the cash benefits are being offered to law-abiding U.S. citizens living in the state.
“Governor Newsom has no legal authority on his own to spend state taxpayer money for cash payments to illegal aliens,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a Friday statement.
The lawsuit alleges Newsom overstepped his authority by creating a taxpayer-funded entitlement program through an executive action. Only state legislatures can create welfare programs through the normal legislative process, according to federal law.
The point is especially important given that the recipients are categorically ineligible unless special considerations apply, like a public health disaster.
Even then, that’s no excuse for California’s progressive governor to ignore unambiguous laws, says Fitton.
“The coronavirus challenge doesn’t give politicians a pass to violate the law,” he said.
“If California politicians want to give cash payments to illegal aliens, they must be accountable and transparent, and, as federal law requires, pass a law to do so,” Fitton added.
Newsom first floated the plan on April 15.
“We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportations that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” he said.