Illegal immigrants may be able to apply for Cook County universal basic income program

Cook County, home to the city of Chicago, has launched a universal basic income program (UBI) for 3,250 eligible residents, potentially including illegal aliens.

“Applicants must live in Cook County, be at least 18 years old, not be participating in another guaranteed income program, and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. People will not be asked to verify citizenship or immigration status in the application,” HuffPost reported Thursday.

Those chosen for the program, which is slated to start issuing payments in December, will reportedly receive $500 per month for two full years. Exactly 3,250 locals, including potentially illegal aliens, will ultimately be chosen for the program.

Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, a far-leftist, is hoping to eventually make the program permanent.

“When people in communities are struggling to make ends meet, the most helpful thing we can do is give them cash. Decades of research shows that participants use the cash benefits wisely,” she said in a video announcement Thursday.


FY 2023 Executive Budget Address

President Preckwinkle will preside over a special meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and present the Executive Budget Address for Fiscal Year 2023.

Posted by Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday, October 6, 2022

The county began accepting applications for the program on Thursday and will continue collecting them until Oct. 21st.

“There is no benefit to applying early; after the application window closes, final participants will be selected at random,” a press release from the Cook County Board reads.

Critics say establishing a UBI program that accepts illegal aliens (not to mention legal immigrants) poses a big, big, big problem given as most are low-income and would inevitably wind up tapping into it and thus using up America’s vital, limited resources.

“A lot of immigrants are low-wage workers. They’re not skilled, a lot of them. They don’t have as much education as most Americans and so they never do get up to the point where they would ever pay enough in taxes to make back that check,” journalist and commentator Megan McArdle wrote for PBS back in 2014.

“Even if you just limited it to their children, the political support for importing people whose children will then be entitled to the same $15,000 a year as your children — I don’t think that would ever be politically viable.”

Her piece referenced a separate UBI proposal calling for doling out $1,250 per month.

“So if you want to have a guaranteed minimum income, you need to shut down, pretty much effectively, shut down immigration, or at least immigration from lower skilled countries,” McArdle added.

Preckwinkle’s UBI isn’t the first one that’s been open to illegals. A UBI that was proposed in California two years ago — and that went into effect this year — is also open to them.

“The Long Beach Guaranteed Income Pilot program will give [$500/month] for a year to up to 500 single-parent households in the 90813 ZIP code, which includes parts of Central and West Long Beach. The area has the highest concentration of poverty within the city and was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Long Beach Post reported in April.

“The Long Beach program … will be open to noncitizens as long as they reside in the 90813 ZIP code, said [Lucius Martin, the special project officer for the Long Beach Department of Economic Development]. ‘We’re not looking at whether someone’s a citizen of the United States or whether they have a social security number,’ he said.”

As of August, at least 46 cities and states across the nation were offering some sort of UBI, including Evanston, Illinois.

“Each program, like the Evanston one, features its own unique qualifications. Most entail some sort of low-income requirement, but some cater to specific groups, such as transgender or unhoused teen residents,” local station WPDE reported at the time.

What makes the Evanston UBI program particularly notable is that it specifically cites illegal aliens in its eligibility guidelines.

“In Evanston, besides being at or below 250% of the poverty line – which is about $34,000 per year for a single person household – you must also be between 18 and 24 years of age, older than 62 or an ‘undocumented community member,'” according to WPDE.


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