As Economy Worsens, States Funnel Unemployment Benefits to Illegal Aliens

Press Releases

October 27, 2022

IRLI report shows how states provide for noncitizens while American citizens struggle

WASHINGTON—With inflation rising and a growing number of Americans unable to pay for basic needs, a number of states are using scarce public resources to provide unemployment benefits to those here illegally, an investigative report by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has found.

Included in the report’s findings is an analysis of existing and pending laws in numerous state legislatures that provide unemployment benefits to illegal aliens at a time when American citizens and legal residents are facing increasing financial difficulties.   

Illegal aliens are not eligible for federal unemployment benefits. In fact, the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) requires states to take precautions that prohibit illegal aliens from filing claims for unemployment compensation. Despite this, states including New York and Colorado are currently allocating millions of dollars for illegal aliens to collect benefits that would otherwise go to legal residents.

“This is an insult to all those who are in the United States legally and abide by our laws,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel at IRLI. “The details in the report are disturbing to anyone who values good government and the rule of law. Unemployment benefits were meant to give assistance to U.S. citizens and legal residents facing temporary hardship. Offering these benefits to foreign nationals is a powerful magnet to attract even more illegal border crossers.”

The report also shows how pandemic relief assets meant for legal residents instead went to those who have violated our immigration laws. Most of these schemes in various states were implemented during the COVID-19 shutdowns, when millions of U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants found themselves sick, out of work and in dire financial straits.  

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