A poll released Monday by the progressive Data for Progress found support for a measure that would make immigrant workers eligible for pandemic cash assistance regardless of their legal status and increasing taxes on billionaries to pay for it.
The Excluded Workers' Fund proposal would create a $3.5 billion pot for immigrant workers who do not qualify for unemployment and federal tax rebates, immigrant families who have lost their key breadwinner and cannot replace that income or small businesses who lack documentation and barred from federal relief programs like the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
The fund's creation is backed by Democrats Jessica Ramos in the state Senate and Carmen de la Rosa in the Assembly.
The poll shows 61 percent of voters surveyed by the group back the proposal; 25 percent do not.
“One need only go to the nearest food bank to witness the desperation being felt by thousands of immigrants and Black and Brown New Yorkers being left to survive in a pandemic with zero economic assistance from the state or federal government," said Angeles Solis, the lead organizer at Make the Road New York.
"The legislature and Governor Cuomo must do their part by taxing New York’s 118 billionaires and creating an emergency income fund to provide direct cash assistance, so excluded New Yorkers can pay their rent and put food on the table for their families.”
A push to increase taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers has been gaining ground in the Legislature amid concerns over sharp cuts to the state budget if direct federal aid is not approved.
Last week, 99 state lawmaker signed onto a statement backing higher taxes on the rich in order to offset the loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.