New State Bill May Give Cash to Migrants

( – Democrat legislators in Minnesota are pushing a new bill that would give illegal immigrants monthly cash payments worth hundreds of dollars. The plan would cost taxpayers $100 million. Democrats argue that illegals are part of the community and should be supported; Republicans say handing out cash with no strings attached is “nothing short of legislative malfeasance.”

On March 8, Democrat legislators introduced HF 2666 to the state House. If passed, the bill would redirect $100 million of taxpayer funds to local governments, tribal nations, and nonprofits, who would then use it to provide a monthly income of between $350 and $1,200 to eligible recipients. To qualify for payments, recipients would need to be earning at or below 300% of the federal poverty level, which is currently set at $12,140 per year for a single-person household. Payments could be spent on anything the recipient wanted.

Democrats are pointing to the “success” of a trial program in St Paul, Minnesota, which gave 150 people $500 a month for a year. Academics found that the program improved “financial health, sense of self and economic mobility” — in other words, if you give people money they have more money than they did before, and they like it. Controversially, the new statewide scheme would include illegal immigrants. State Representative Anthea Gollins (D) said it was “important” to make payments to “individuals who may not have documentation.” Representative Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (D) said illegals pay taxes and are “member[s] of our community.”

Republicans, however, disagree. State Representative Walter Hudson (R) pointed out that the bill prevents donor organizations from asking recipients for proof of income, residency, citizenship, or even identification, and warned that the scheme was “tailor-made to enable fraud.” He suggested that a negative income tax, which would return money to lower-paid workers, would be a better way to fight poverty. Unfortunately, the Democrats currently hold a slim majority of 70 seats to 64 in the Minnesota House.

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