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The $3 trillion coronavirus relief package released by House Democrats this week includes protections for illegal immigrants who work in jobs declared “essential” -- a move that Republicans are blasting as an attempt at “amnesty.”
The mammoth bill includes a section on page 1,737 on “temporary protections for essential critical infrastructure workers.”
That section of the bill allows some illegal immigrants -- who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” -- to be placed into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet certain conditions.
It also grants protections to those employers who hire illegal immigrants, stating that “the hiring, employment or continued employment” of the defined group of illegal immigrants is not in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The move was flagged by Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli as a push by Democrats to grant "amnesty" to illegal immigrants and protection to those who employ them.
“Is it really a good idea to not only grant an amnesty to illegal aliens but to absolve employers who have been breaking the law in the last few months?” he tweeted. “I don't think so!”
“These pages of the proposed bill create a deferred action program for aliens based on the [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] essential workforce list. Granting both deferred action and employment authorization. The aliens wouldn’t even have to apply for an [Employee Authorization Document] or deferred action, they get it automatically."
It is not the only part of the legislation that helps those in the country illegally. The legislation also expands the next round of stimulus checks to include those who file taxes via an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) -- rather than just a Social Security number.
This would allow those checks to go to illegal immigrants, who are not eligible for a Social Security number and were therefore excluded from the last round of checks.
Fox News' Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.