- The Washington Times - Friday, April 9, 2021

When congressional Democrats changed a formula for doling out coronavirus relief money to states, New York ended up with a $2.1 billion extra windfall, Republicans said.

Now those Republicans say it’s striking that New York has just approved spending $2.1 billion in state money to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.

“The $2.1 billion price tag of this fund is quite peculiar,” wrote Reps. Jason Smith and James Comer, the top Republicans on the Budget and Oversight committees.

They pointed out that the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package approved last month specifically banned states that took cash from implementing tax cuts using their own money — something that’s being challenged in courts.

But there was no similar restriction on using federal tax money to help illegal immigrants, the lawmakers said.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Comer asked the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief coordinator to look at the spending and “protect the integrity of American taxpayer dollars.”

The $2.1 billion fund was a goal of immigrant-rights advocates who have said illegal immigrants are working during the pandemic, many in jobs deemed essential, but have not been granted federal stimulus checks or other benefits, save for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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