Expanding unemployment insurance to more workers would protect families and Oklahoma’s economy

Unemployment insurance became a lifeline to many Oklahomans during the pandemic. In a period of widespread job loss, the transfer payments that this program provided working people with the means to feed their families and pay the bills while they looked for employment. However, immigrants without work authorization were shut out from both federal and state unemployment insurance, despite the fact that they’ve paid millions into the program. In order to support everyday workers, Oklahoma needs to create an excluded workers fund — similar to existing unemployment insurance — specifically for people typically left out of the unemployment system.