Governor Kathy Hochul promised us a clean break from Albany's disgraceful past upon taking office in August.
But she broke that vow by immediately urging a speed up in payments to illegal immigrants under the state's $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund program passed by the legislature in April. It provides $15,600 to low earning undocumented immigrants who claim to have lost a job or suffered a 50 percent drop in earnings because of the COVID pandemic.
They are entitled to this money even if they worked off the books and paid no taxes. Moderate Democrats on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley and upstate opposed the measure, but progressives called them "racist" and rammed it through the legislative process.
State Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs chided progressives by noting that it's not racist to question a program that gives "undocumented, non-taxpaying, off-the-books workers a humanitarian grant."
Lawmakers passed the bill to benefit illegal immigrants who were excluded from the Trump and Biden
administrations' COVID stimulus programs because they are in our nation illegally. Why can't New York's political leaders follow Washington's example?
Blatant vote grabbing is one reason. Hochul plans to run for governor next year and needs left-wing voters to win her party's primary election. Many of them live in New York City, where two-thirds of the 200,000 illegal immigrants eligible for COVID benefits reside and have relatives who vote.
I don't know which NYC legislators voted for this measure, but those who did should be rejected by voters when they face re-election next year. They betrayed their taxpaying constituents and must be held accountable for it.
Kew Gardens Hills