Members of “The Squad” have a host of proposals for the next coronavirus relief package — and believe benefits should be extended to illegal immigrants.
On Tuesday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) called for the next package to guarantee relief for individuals who are not in the country legally or even those who are incarcerated.
“We need to continue to make federal investments in our community health centers,” the first-term lawmaker said in an MSNBC appearance, “We need to center the humanity of every individual family and workers and that includes not leaving behind undocumented and uninsured.”
“We have to continue to make investments to support vulnerable populations like those experiencing homelessness, incarcerated men and women. We’re focused right now making sure the CARES Act in its implementation is one that is in urgent need and mitigating the hurt that so many of our families are experiencing — all of our families are experiencing right now,” she continued.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) issued a proposal calling for the federal government to immediately issue debit cards pre-loaded with $2,000 to every person in the US, including to those who have been here for as little as three months. The card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly “until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis.”
She offers to pay for it by having the US Mint print two $1 trillion coins, which her plans says would then be purchased by the federal reserve “at full face value.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is calling for families with illegal immigrants and those of mixed status to be included in all relief packages, including the previous $2.2 trillion deal that already passed.
“It is absurd and cruel that a taxpaying, mixed status couple or family could be excluded from this relief. Over 140,000 Minnesotans live in mixed status families of some form,” Omar wrote in a statement Tuesday, “As currently written, many Minnesotans who are in this country legally or part of a mixed status family will not receive any stimulus money, even if one of them has a social security number but the other does not.”
“The Recovery Rebates Improvement Act will expand the eligibility requirement to ensure joint tax filers with one SSN will receive payment and provide more people with vital economic assistance. Comprehensive legislation is needed in the next package to ensure that all noncitizens, whether holding a SSN or not, can access these relief payments.”
Omar also said Tuesday she wrote a letter to the Treasury Department to “clarify eligibility requirements and request an update on the implementation of recovery rebates.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes her fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) “Medicare-for-all” proposal is the way to protect Americans during the pandemic, calling for Congress to reduce the Medicare eligibility age to zero.
“I don’t know if some of these people have the political imagination and the political will to really understand the scale of action that we’re going to have to take just to…keep things relatively preserved for everyday life,” AOC told the Queens Daily Eagle this week.
“The question is, are our elected officials going to allow people to die? Would they prefer people to die or not have healthcare than actually guarantee healthcare?
“And there are quite a few who will make that choice,” she continued.
AOC went on to agree with her fellow “Squad” members, calling for relief packages to support those in the country who are undocumented.