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NY Democrats want taxpayers to shell out $300M to help illegal migrants avoid deportation: ‘We have a moral obligation’

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Manhattan Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Housing Works) and Queens Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Two Albany Democrats, originally from New York City, are pushing for a bill to cover the legal fees of illegal immigrants battling deportation, which would cost taxpayers roughly $300 million, the New York Post reported.

Manhattan Senator Brad Hoylman (D) and Queens Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D) support the legislation despite estimates that it will require a $55 million down payment in 2023.

“We have a moral obligation to make sure that new Americans have legal representation. Otherwise, the odds are without a lawyer they’ll be sent back to their country of origin and could face dire circumstances, including death,” argued Hoylman.

“We should reject the notion that some immigrants are more deserving than others. We are talking about parents, business owners, and long-standing neighbors,” Cruz said, referring to migrants in the United States illegally.

Proponents of the legislation are pushing for New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) to support the proposal and commit to $100 million in funding from the state’s budget. On Wednesday, the governor committed to providing $3 million to nonprofit organizations assisting immigrants with their asylum applications.

Critics of the bill expressed concern that the legal defense could help potentially “dangerous people” remain in the United States and hurt public safety. Those opposed to the measure also cited budget concerns and noted that New York City is already estimated to spend $1 billion on costs related to the influx of migrants arriving in the city.

Newburgh Senator James Skoufis (D) told the Post, “Many of the deportations that occur in New York State are because an undocumented individual commits an underlying crime unrelated to their immigration and is subsequently flagged by ICE.”

“It is particularly concerning that this bill extends public funds to these situations that would potentially keep dangerous people in New York State,” the senator added.

The bill would cover legal defense costs for any incarcerated immigrant, regardless of the criminal convictions that initiated their removal proceedings.

Republican Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay of Pulaski stated, “Democrats’ complete failure on border security and immigration shouldn’t result in a $300 million tax on New Yorkers.”

“Last year, New York City’s radical Democrats wanted non-citizens to vote in local elections,” Barclay continued. “Now they expect the public to spend hundreds of millions to provide free deportation lawyers. Their political statements do not need to be contained in the state spending plan.”

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