FARRELL: Governors Are Testing The Limits Of Emergency Powers

From Chris Farrell’s Op-Ed for The Daily Caller:

Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have tested the limits of emergency powers, and tempted executives to see what they can get away with under the guise of defending public health.

The latest case comes from California. On April 15, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the “Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project,” which will provide cash benefits to illegal aliens who otherwise are ineligible for state or federal insurance or other benefits due to their unlawful presence in the United States. The initiative would hand out $79.8 million to illegal aliens and cost an estimated additional $4.8 million to administer. The program plans to provide one-time cash payments of $500 per adult/$1,000 per household to the 150,000 illegal immigrants in California. U.S. citizens are eligible for these benefits.

Under U.S. law, illegal aliens are for the most part ineligible for state or local public benefits, unless state legislatures act explicitly to provide them. Newsom stood up the initiative, also known as the “Disaster Relief Fund,” without state legislative approval. That spurred Judicial Watch to file for a Temporary Restraining Order in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, on behalf of two California taxpayers, Robin Crest and Howard Myers, asking the court to suspend the program.

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