Washington state diverted $340M in federal COVID funds to immigrants, including via $1,000 checks

 A new report is shedding light on how federal COVID funds were used to give $1,000 checks to illegal immigrants in Washington state who were eligible to receive federal economic impact payments during the pandemic because of their immigration status. Were ineligible for.

The report, from the Economic Policy Innovation Center (EPIC), points to money administered by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), which was created by the American Rescue Plan Act and was intended to help state and local governments recover from their . Response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington state received a total of $4.4 billion in funding from that program.

The group's report, which calls for a smaller federal government, highlighted how $340 million of the money went into a program that sent $1,000 checks to illegal immigrants in the state. The funding, approved by the Washington state legislature in April 2021, provided "another round of funding for undocumented Washingtonians," according to an impact report on the program.

The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund was first established in 2020 to deliver checks to people ineligible for government assistance programs due to their immigration status. Treasury documents confirm that the state has since provided an additional $340 million in federal relief funds for one-time cash grants, with 10% of the funds going to community-based organizations to administer the program.

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EPIC reports, "The $340 million project is classified as a 'cash transfer' expenditure under the SLFRF approved for Washington State. This means the Biden administration has directly funded the COVID-19 response. “Subsidized ‘undocumented’ immigration under the guise of pandemic relief.” Said.

The state said it had previously earmarked $128 million from the Trump-era CARES Act for the 120,000 immigrants who did not qualify for economic relief, but the funding was not enough for the number of applications the program received.

The fund has now been exhausted, with the final payment due in early 2023. State officials said the fund was "an opportunity to help those who may have been left out of other federal and state resources to address the economic impact of the pandemic."

The Economic Policy Innovation Center report highlights several other projects related to illegal immigration for which federal funds were used, including programs in Arizona for art, music and dance classes for immigrants and the expansion of shelters in Massachusetts. .

"The Senate is releasing a budget supplement that includes a bipartisan deal on the border. However, the Administration plans to use COVID money from the SLFRF to provide cash assistance, housing, legal aid and other benefits to undocumented immigrants who are illegal. is actively encouraging immigration," EPIC President and CEO Paul Winfree told Fox News Digital.

Winfrey also emphasized that $120 billion from the fund remains unspent, and she called on lawmakers to freeze those funds.

"Unless Congress takes this money back, it will continue to serve as a magnet for illegal immigration," he said.

The report comes amid ongoing concerns in the US Congress about the flow of illegal immigrants. Congress is currently negotiating a supplemental funding bill, which would include aid to communities receiving migrants. But Republicans have sought to include restrictions on asylum and the administration's use of parole.

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