NEW YORK — Demonstrators took to the streets of Midtown Friday demanding that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo implement a tax on billionaires.
That money should be redirected to the struggling community of undocumented immigrants denied federal benefits during the pandemic, they argue.
“Put an end to this inequality by taxing billionaires so that they can pay their fair share and we could provide excluded workers with the compensation that they deserve,” said State Sen. Jessica Ramos.
The demonstrators included elected officials, immigrants and activists. They started their day at Madison Square Park where they took part in a sleep-in outside Amazon founder Jeff bezos’ 5th Avenue penthouse.
Later, they hit the streets, taking their fight to Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown office
The campaign has the backing of a number prominent Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Despite the pressure to take action, Gov. Cuomo says he’s not budging but that a billionaires tax needs to happen on the federal level. The governor has also argued a billionaire’s tax could spark a mass exodus of the state’s highest earners which could further damage the tax base.
The legislation that aims to tax billionaires is among a series of proposals waiting for the state legislature when it returns for a rare July session next week.
Activists say time to step up for the immigrant community — which has been hit the hardest by the pandemic — is running out.