FCC Commissioner Targets Undocumented Immigrants

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington says undocumented immigrants should not be eligible for broadband benefits

Jan 21, 2022

On Friday, Republican FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington released a statement advocating for changes to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that would deny broadband benefits to undocumented immigrants. Simington’s statement was met with immediate condemnation from the civil rights community.

“The United States needs universal broadband to compete in the 21st century economy. That doesn’t mean broadband for some people and not for others – it means broadband for everyone,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “Expanding internet access is a proven strategy for increasing job opportunities, health care access, and quality of life for families in the United States – regardless of whether they were born here or not.”

Enacted by Congress through the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the ACP program provides a monthly offset to the cost of broadband for those struggling to afford internet connectivity. The ACP benefit is available to families or individuals on SNAP or Medicaid, recipients of Pell grants, families with children on free and reduced-price lunch plans, and those living below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Recent studies on the impact of broadband accessibility have found that increasing access to high speed internet decreases unemployment rates, grows employment especially in the Information sector, and increases median household income. Families who lack access to broadband also lack access to many telehealth services.

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Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a new center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future.  We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.  

Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.