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NYC Creates $20 million COVID-19 Fund for Undocumented Immigrants

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

April 17, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

The city has joined forces with a prominent foundation to create a new COVID-19 relief program for undocumented immigrants that will see some families receive up to $1,000, Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced.

The Open Society, a progressive philanthropic foundation, has donated $20 million to the city and together they have formed the COVID-19 Immigrant Emergency Relief program. The fund will provide one-time payments to undocumented immigrants workers who have suffered economic hardship due to the coronavirus and who have been excluded from the federal bailout.

Up to 20,000 undocumented workers and their families will receive direct, one-time payments from the fund. The fund will provide $1,000 for a family with children; $800 to couples–or a single parent with children; and $400 will be available to single adults.

“Immigrants are the heart of this city – they are our friends, neighbors and colleagues,” de Blasio de Blasio said Thursday.

“This crisis has shown it is now more important than ever for New Yorkers to look out for each other,” he said.

There are around 360,000 undocumented workers and 48,000 undocumented business owners in New York City, according to the mayor’s office.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive relief under the recent $2 trillion federal stimulus plan, which saw payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child given to low-and-middle income Americans and green card holders.

The mayor said that the Immigrant Emergency Relief program will contribute to ensuring that all New Yorkers get the financial support they need, regardless of their immigration status.

Money from the fund will be disseminated through a network of community-based organizations and work centers – although it is unclear what the criteria will be to qualify for payment.

This network will also help immigrants sign up for other forms of relief like unemployment, SNAP, cash assistance, or emergency food delivery programs, the mayor’s press office said.

“This crisis has laid bare just how much we depend on low-wage workers who stock our grocery shelves, harvest and deliver our food, staff society’s essential services,” Open Society President Patrick Gaspard said.

Open Society is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world and was founded by billionaire businessman George Soros.

The foundation has also committed to providing $15 million to the New York City Fund for Public Schools to help families of essential frontline workers. These funds will be used for emergency childcare support and to help young and school-age children with remote learning.

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59 Comments

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Eddle

How do we know when is this going to materialized?Hopefully you guys will publish again a notice informing people who are qualified to have this Benefit.

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Anonymous

Because your county “took away your human rights” doesn’t mean you should break the laws of THIS COUNTRY!!! ALLPY FOR A REFUGEE VISA just like other millions of people did, waiting to escape wars and persecution. Did you think about them?!! Don’t think so, they are suffering and following the law. If they are admitted, they are always WELCOME IN USA because they came here LEGALY!!!!!!!!!! If you are an illegal immigrant YOU made your choice and dare to dictate what should be done while many Americans live in poverty?! Outrageous!!!

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John Bowne

Why is it “Undocumented”? Illegal Immigrant. I do not see any “Undocumented Driver’s” they’re driving illegally, I do not hear of “Undocumented Doctors” they are practicing illegally. Who is the PR team and marketing group that came up with this malarkey?

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Public School Teacher

Let’s use the funds to deport ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS instead of giving away more tax payer money and wasting it in areas we should not be. Schools are overcrowded, underfunded and teachers are underpaid. Perhaps if we had less children of illegal immigrants in there they would have less crowding and then more funding.

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Linda

All immigrants that came into this illegally, should be deported! Simple as that! No discussion!

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Natalie M.

Immigrants are people!! They are hard-working and have been the most affected by Covid-19. It’s very sad to witness how help is being determine by your status in this country. By this time we all know someone who has virus, survived the virus or even died from it. Bless the people who fight and work hard to help immigrants and their families. Always remember where you come from, respect and give back to your people.

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Omar adjimi

Ain’t need no money but I need
My freedom like everyone else why I’m hiding like a rat everytime I see a cop when I’m. Not doing anything illegal all I did that I come on a visa and that I didn’t went back to a country that it took all my rights and humanity ain’t need money during this pandemic I still work 12h a day with no cover or protection and ain’t going to bag you for nothing but I want my freedom like everyone else on earth

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Akbar H

My family contains 4 people me my wife and my 2 daughters (they are below 12)and one of my daughter is intellectually disabled. Actually we are undocumented and we are facing a lot of financial problems and I need this support for my family .

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Someone should really build a border wall, huh?

Lots of immigrants coming in, deportations down compared to Obama, like the “one-time” payment from Mexico was a lie his lovers believed.

4 years, a Republican senate, 0 inches of Great Wall. Now that there’s a problem because of Trump’s failures, it’s time to blame the libs?

So border security is soft, and game show hosts have no idea how to govern during pandemics. NOW Trump encouraging everyone, including the immigrants he let in, to go outside and spread the virus.

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Trump obsessed -

your nuanced understanding of the article and comments really highlight your reading comprehension and contribution to this discussion, so heck let’s just throw words like racist, anti semitic and blame Trump for everything, that always works. Shocker!

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Just because Trump didn't act on the info he had on January doesn't mean he's to blame

Sure he’s encouraging millions of Americans to hold large gatherings without masks, but other than that (and crashing the economy) doing a job.

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Jose Mercado

When this issues implemented and how can we get those one time payment relief of $1,000.? Do we need to register or fill up the form?

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RWB

Hey DB, 100 years ago the United States wasn’t looking for millions of scholars, drs or scientists. They needed people to do manual labor and help build the country as the United States was still developing. We no longer manufacture much in this country, therefore we don’t need millions of uneducated unskilled people.As far as the Irish and Italians entering illegal, all people that entered Ellis Island or any other port received papers allowing them to enter the US. I know this because I have my family’s papers. There is a difference between legal and undocumented. The US was asking people to come here 100 years ago, now people show up and expect to be able to live here.

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Mac

@#hashtagger- Did you have a problem with Florida Governor DeSantis or Rep. Bevin Nunez ? It’s not what’s said that matters to you only who said it. You’re a phony.

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DB

When millions of people came legally through Ellis Island, all you had to do to be coming legally was to show up. Today, legal paths are the green card lottery, marriage to a US citizen or be a higher educated person who gets sponsored for work. Basically, none of the Irish or Italians who came 100 years ago would meet the criteria. So people come illegally to avoid misery, war and crimes at home. Again, no wall will ever change that.

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Anon

Im a US citizen but I need money, can I just go say that Im an undocumented immigrant and get some of these benefits?

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Trump lovers actually believe this

Yes that’s exactly how it works. Your nuanced understanding of the issue really adds a lot to the discussion, thanks!

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Elite love the sheep

@Tolerant- don’t make me laugh. Illegals do live off the system, especially taking advantage of our healthcare system. The US took in many legal refugees from war torn counties like Syria, Somalia who were escaping war and misery, who came here LEGALY under special program and granted asylum by the USA. Why are illegals here if they are living crappy lives, do they enjoy living crappy lives? They are here because they live better than in their own county, supported by special programs in sanctuary cities like NYC. Supported by our local politicians who create programs for illegals from taxpayer money. Who do you think is in charge of those programs getting nicely paid? Meanwhile many citizens live in poverty, veterans homeless. Soros CHOSE to donate millions to Illegals instead of Citizens and Legal aliens who lost jobs and need help. Ask yourself why, if you cannot answer, keep being played by Soros and clown deBlasio like a puppet.

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I agree, Trump is soft on border security

Deportations are down, no wall has been built at all. As you said, Trump is to blame for the illegal immigrants.

The anti-semitic “Soros causes all my problems” rant is especially out of place here though.

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Jamie C

Seriously?!
And what in these 3 words ‘undocumented’ ‘illegal immigrants’ does it state anywhere AMERICAN CITIZEN, AMERICAN TAX PAYERS, TAX RETURNS?!!!!!!!
What entitlements do these people have in our country that allows them to come in and LEECH off our tax dollars!???? I’m so sick of it! I’m sick of these politicians giving away my tax dollars and yet other politicians saying people on social security are the leeches but yet WE PAID FORWARD VIA JOBS WE WORKED FOR 50-60+ YEARS!

These politicians are ruining our country!

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Richard Fernandes

It will be help to me an my family because we have no income right now, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

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People

I love people- There are many immigrants that came here legally from many different counties and of all races that respect the law and work in low wage jobs. There are special work visas that foreigners can apply, hence starting the LEGAL IMMIGRATION process from their country, if the US employer is not able to find Americans to fill the so called low skill jobs like cleaning toilets or piking up apples as you described. Unfortunately just because someone is poor, that does not give them the right to seek asylum in another country. There many US citizens, again of all races, that live in poverty and need help. If you are still not convinced I urge you invite as many illegal immigrants into your home and share your resources, including donations from your paycheck.

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Why didn't Trump build any wall at all?

4 years in and not a single inch has been built? He campaigned on it, said Mexico was paying for it.

Trump wants open borders…and NYC taxpayers have to pay for it? Now he’s encouraging millions to go outside without masks. Guess we gotta pay for them too…

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Wrong vs Right

The Irish and Italians and all others who came here 100 years ago, were granted permission to enter this country when they were processed at Ellis Island. They did not enter illegally. Yes, their stories are the same. You will always be behind the eight ball when you don’t play by the rules. I don’t feel sorry for any of these illegal aliens. They brought their situations on themselves.

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Daniel lopez Guzman

good thank you mayor de Blasio you have god in your heart to help people because we are all human so a lot immigrant they pay tax by ITIN number

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#wheresjimmy?

Wow! Trump lives in your head. Did you have any problem with DeBlasio telling people to go the Luna Year celebrations and stating that if you do not go you are a racist?

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I agree, Trump is encouraging millions of Americans to break quarantine

Thanks for comparing Trump’s decisions to other terrible ones.

You make a great point: Trump is putting American lives at risk by encouraging large maskless public gatherings. And once de Blasio did something.

(there aren’t any hashtags on this site FYI, do you know what those are?)

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Paul

could you please let me know which network of community-based organizations and work centers i should go to get $400 help? please provide address/phone.I am polish undocumented immigrant.

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David

Reggie- What charitable giving has Fox News, Trumps or Hannity or Rush Limbaugh done for anyone?

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Tolerant

Most of you have no idea what you are talking about when you say they live off the system. Illegal immigrants live a stressful and crappy life because they have no rights. They would love to pay taxes and live more freely but have no path to that. The reason they broke the law in the first place is that they fled misery and war in their home country in the first place and had to provide for their family. This is no different from Irish or Italian migrations of a hundred years ago. No wall, ocean … is going to stop that. Human beings will always fight for survival and do whatever it takes to make sure they put food on their kids’ table. You can’t comprehend that because you were born here privileged. I am not saying we should give them the world. But they are largely helping our economy and are hard workers, and not a bunch of cry babies full of hate

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They made a CHOICE

TO SNEAK IN HERE!

My grandparents weren’t born into a life of privilege they received that privilege when they CAME HERE LEAGALLY!

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I Love People

All you racist with your negative comments. Didn’t you know immigrants build this country? I bet 90% of you negative people with your 👎are immigrants also. How is this taking away from you? This is a donation that was given by a private organization for people. People that GOD made equally. Not by skin color or country of citizenship. Don’t believe me. Look what corona is doing worldwide. Why not apply for the jobs the undocumented are doing? They are looking workers to pick apples and cut cucumber ect. Why some of you don’t apply for the jobs and the undocumented will be unemployed. Go for it. Go clean the old people shit and get the money. Go clean houses for little of nothing like the undocumented do. Some of you who were born here, parents came as undocumented immigrants and GOD pitied them and gave them a green card and you are now talking. Shut your traps and learn to love people just for being people. I pray corona don’t kill some of you because if it does you have an appointment with the devil. Some undocumented immigrants pay more taxes than some of you talking. The money not coming out of the taxpayer’s money. It is from people who know how to love and have a compassionate heart that is donating to people in need.

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Anonymous

They don’t pay taxes so why this? They live off the system and tax payers money fund the system and when a tax payer needs help there denied. This is not right. Again hard working tax money going to waste.

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Jasmine

This should help our economy. Unless many of them just end up sending most of it back home to family and friends in other countries. This happens many times with the money that they make and that is why most undocumented immigrants live in small crowded Apartments so they they can share rent and utilities.

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Ruth Tellez

Thank you Mayor De Blasio! I am Supporting ITIN users who pay taxes , they should have access to Relief Programs. Their work is part of USA economic. They are hard workers families affected by Covid 19. They need help, they deserve it

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mac39bps

trump/Fox News is directly & personally responsible for the needless deaths of 10s of thousands of Americans and unfortunately, also likely tens of thousands to come. his dereliction of duty, corruption, self absorption, and malfeasance are a lethal national threat to public health and safety.

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RWB

We wouldn’t have these problems if NYC wasn’t a sanctuary city. This policy must end.

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David

Breaking the law pays for employers who hire illegal aliens, wealthy men with sham foundations who stole $2 Million from veterans and defrauded students at Trump University of $28 Million.

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David

Juan- Again you fail to even mention the people hiring illegal aliens. Broken system? You’ll never have any credibility until you stop protecting shifty employers and politicizing the issue.

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Daughter of immigrants

The fact that there are millions of illegals aliens in this country that are uneducated and unskilled is a giant step backwards for this country. When Europeans came to this country, they were granted permission to enter. There were no handouts. If immigration is going to continue, it should be merit base for only the most highly skilled and educated. The saying that immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do is nonsense. Pay them a fair wage and they will. There will always be a segment of the American population that drops out of school, or doesn’t go to college. They will need the so called jobs immigrants do.

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Wake up

NYC is a sanctuary city, started by liberal politicians. They created this mess. Illegals have been sneaking into the U.S. since Reagan gave 3million illegals amnesty in the 1980’s.

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Why is Trump so soft on border security?

He pretended Mexico would make a “one-time payment” for the Great Wall. Even begging a republican senate for more taxes didn’t work.

He completely botched the virus response, he had all the info in January.

Now it’s NYC’s job to clean up his mess?

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Juan Figueroa

“Immigrants are the heart of this city – they are our friends, neighbors and colleagues.” Yes they are. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, are opportunists who took advantage of a broken system and who cost the overall system billions more than they produce in taxes.

Stop conflating the two terminologies. Wanna know why Elmhurst Hospital was overrun with patients? Well, from a doctor friend who works there, “we are seeing 10-20 undocumented individuals coming in, all from the same address, testing positive.” But hey, who cares about the grotesque housing violations that are going on in Elmhurst/Corona, as it would be racist to do something about that for the sake of actual hard working CITIZEN immigrants.

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Carol vanbelle

This is where my lifeguard money is going I call bs He’s closing beaches n pools way to soon he is the worst They should not be in this country any way send them back.

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David

Dave – These people haven’t received money from the foundation yet either. Don’t begrudge.

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A Friscia

A lot of things have been said about DiBlasio. Just add compassionate to the list

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Stop immigration immediately

The reason we have to live like this right now is from foreigners.

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Mac

If the mayor’s office really thinks there are only 360,000 thousand illegals working in this town he’s more out of touch than I ever imagined

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