New Jersey To Provide $40 Million For Undocumented Immigrants
Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday announced a $40 million fund for undocumented immigrants and other workers excluded from economic aid during the pandemic, as part of a larger $275 million economic relief package.
New Jersey residents who were excluded from relief like unemployment and stimulus benefits will be eligible for the fund regardless of immigration status or whether they file taxes.
People who can show they were excluded from relief and affected by the coronavirus pandemic can claim up a one-time payment of $1,000, with a household maximum of $2,000. The income threshold will be roughly $55,000.
The $40 million pool of money will be made up of Coronavirus Relief Fund, the last remaining dollars from the the federal CARES Act. And depending on the guidance for using the $6 billion in American Rescue Plan money, there’s potential for a second round of money, administration officials said.
“COVID-19 has created unimaginable challenges for our economy over the past year,” Murphy said in a statement. “As we emerge from this pandemic, we need to make targeted investments in both our small businesses and our workforce to lay the foundation for a stronger and fairer future that works for everyone.”
The governor’s office expects the pot of money to help from 20,000 to 30,000 residents. It’s unclear when the funds will start being distributed or when they will reach residents in need of cash assistance.
None of New Jersey’s 460,000 undocumented immigrants were eligible for most forms of pandemic-related financial help, which often times also excluded children and spouses who are American citizens. The undocumented community includes many who were essential workers — janitors, kitchen staff and food delivery services — and people who lost their jobs with no recourse, said Make The Road New Jersey has said.
And undocumented workers contribute more than $600 million in state and local taxes, and more than $1 billion to the state’s unemployment fund in the last decade, according to a Make the Road study.
Over the last 14 months through rallies and overnight protests on the Statehouse Annex steps, the undocumented community has pleaded to the governor, a self-declared progressive Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature to no avail until Friday’s announcement.
Culled from ,NJ.com
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