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An adjunct immigration professor in New York responded to my article titled, "NY state to give $15,600 payments to illegal immigrants."

As you know, the Democrat-controlled NY legislature approved $2.1 billion in funds to provide $15,600 payments to undocumented workers who are in this country illegally.

Nearly 100,000 undocumented immigrants in New York are eligible for the $15,600 "first tier" payments.

An additional 200,000 undocumented immigrants will qualify for the second tier of the program that pays $3,200 per worker.

Rosemari Mealy JD, PhD made a strong argument that Americans should foot the bill for Covid relief payments to illegal immigrants.

Rosemari writes:

Greetings Ms. Rose:

As an adjunct professor who teaches Immigrant Rights and the Law at one of the CUNY colleges, I support this measure passed by the NY Assembly which provides COVID relief to NY's Undocumented Workers from a set-aside-designated fund. The intent of those payments comprise a sense of respect and compassion for the lives of human beings i.e. "workers" who are faceless to most people, including, if you read closely, many of those who commented with such selfish hostility on your site. Yet, these same undocumented men, women and families of the undocumented play a key role in keeping the wheels of commerce rolling in NY and throughout the nation.

In addition to working in underpaid and often critical jobs, they provide care and support to sustain the comfort and life to many. Let us not forget that many of these workers, especially women are often entrapped in the employment of the wealthy who depend on them to ensure their luxury life styles while exploiting the labor of the undocumented immigrants.

Can you even Imagine trying to live in NY on 15,000 a year? If NY State lawmakers (Democrats) exhibited that level of humanity during COVID 19, by recognizing this emergency to extend a hand to that sector of our community, then they have my vote.

Also, on a more personal note, I know now that I will have in my class at least "One More Dreamer" whose parent may be Haitian, or from one of the African or Latinx nations and is the daughter or son of an undocumented worker. She /he /they will now be able to study and focus on their coursework and will not have to drop out during the semester as a result of once again being homeless.

I close again with the following question, Can you even Imagine trying to live in NY on 15,000 a year? While the payments stipulates up to $15 000, most will probably not qualify. However, any amount of the grant could make an important difference in the lives of so many of NY's undocumented workers. The same worker(s) that we all have come to depend on.

Stay safe.
Peace.

Sent from my iPhone
Rosemari Mealy JD, PhD

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Congress is close to making a Covid relief deal that could include $600 checks for Americans who face hardship if their unemployment benefits expire on Dec. 26.

Congressional leaders were close to making a $900 billion Covid relief deal on Wednesday morning. Negotiations include a new round of stimulus checks.

Sen. John Thune told reporters he believed stimulus checks of $600 or $700 were part of discussions. He said the amount of the checks would be "double that for family and kids."

He added that the extra unemployment benefit under discussion was about $300 per week -- half of the $600 per week sent out earlier this year.

Lawmakers say the Corona relief package could "hitch a ride" on the government spending bill that must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

The $600 stimulus checks could arrive in the mail or via direct deposit by Dec. 31 if lawmakers can make a deal this week.

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Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris shared advice for people taking advantage of the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Harris noted the empty racks and shelves at high end stores, and he advised his followers to stop spending money on brand names and buy property instead.

"All y'all getting all this money from the government... ain't no more mink coats in the stores. And it's summertime - ain't that some sh*t? Ain't no more Cartiers. It ain't no more Louboutins, no more Louis [Vuitton]... Go get you some property please! Please y'all, go buy some property."

T.I. held up a baseball cap with the word "Owner$hip" on the front, before urging his followers to buy a "patch of dirt" in their neighborhood. "It ain't got to have a house on it," he said. "Just buy it. Just buy it and hold it.

In unrelated news, there are reports that federal agents are knocking on doors and arresting people who fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits using false information.

Residents in California report that agents are disguised as utility workers and census workers to catch people who committed unemployment fraud.
 

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NFL wide receiver Josh Bellamy is among 57 people charged with Covid-19 relief fraud after FBI officials say he misused PPP funds to buy Gucci and other high end luxury goods.

The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the $2 trillion Cares Act, which provided $349 billion in PPP loans to struggling small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic via the Small Business Association (SBA).

The FBI says Bellamy participated in a scheme to fleece the federal government out of $24 million in Paycheck Protection funds.

Bellamy, 31, was cut by the NY Jets 2 days ago. It isn't clear if his termination is linked to his arrest.

Prosecutors say Bellamy and his associates applied for $24 million in PPP funds for their businesses. They received $17.4 million - but neither Bellamy nor his associates used the money for their businesses.

Instead, Bellamy spent $95,000 on custom jewelry, $5,381 at Gucci and $2,014 at Dior. He also dropped more than $62,000 during a recent trip to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, TMZ reported.

Authorities say Bellamy recruited others to apply for giant loans using false information -- then took kickbacks from each borrower.

Bellamy owns Drip Entertainment - an events promotion company - that hasn't been active since 2019.

Bank records show Bellamy withdrew large amounts of cash - around $302,000 between May and July 2020.

If convicted on all charges, Bellamy faces decades in prison.

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President Donald Trump bypassed Congress by signing four executive orders at his golf club in New Jersey on Saturday.

One of the executive orders extends unemployment benefits to $400 per week instead of the $600 unemployed Americans received in addition to state unemployment benefits.

The $400 per week benefits are retroactive to the week of August 1.

When a reporter asked if $400 would be a "hardship" for people who were getting $600 plus state benefits, Trump said, "Well, no, this is not a hardship, this is the money that they need."

He added: "This is the money they want. And this gives them a great incentive to go back to work so this is much more than what was originally agreed. The 600 was a number that was there and as you know, there was, there was difficulty with the 600 number because it really was a disincentive."

A second executive order creates a payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than $100,000 annually. And a third executive order freezes evictions and foreclosures for some renters and mortgage holders until the end of the year, beginning September 1.

A fourth executive order waives penalties and interests for federally held student loans through the end of the year.

In announcing his executive orders, Trump took aim at Congressional Democrats, accusing them of "holding aid hostage" because they want "bailout money for states that have been badly managed for many years".