ILLEGAL immigrants in New Jersey will receive $40million in stimulus checks after Governor Phil Murphy on Friday announced a new relief package.
The funds come as part of a larger $275million economic relief bundle and were launched by the state after a nearly month-long hunger strike by undocumented residents pushing for financial aid.
Undocumented New Jersey residents went on hunger strike[/caption]
The $40million will be used to bankroll stimulus payments for undocumented workers and others who were excluded from the previous federal economic relief packages.
New Jersey’s 460,000 undocumented immigrants were among those excluded from all forms of direct economic aid, including unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, since the pandemic hit last year.
Many were among the essential workers, such as janitors and kitchen staff, who lost jobs during the lockdown.
In order to receive the money, the person applying must prove that they were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and were excluded from other stimulus payments.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the fund on Friday[/caption]
Murphy says the checks will help between 20,000 to 30,000 residents[/caption]
Those eligible will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 with a maximum of $2,000 for a household.
The income threshold for the household will be set at $55,000.
The stimulus payments will be made using money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, from the federal CARES Act.
Groups representing the immigrants claim that more is needed.
Sara Cullinane, director of Make the Road New Jersey and organizer of the Fast for Relief, told NewJersey.com that it marked the “important first step.”
Yet she added that it “will only reach a fraction of the population of excluded workers and their families, and is not nearly enough to meet the vast and desperate need.”
According to a study by Make The Road New Jersey, undocumented workers contribute more than $600million in state and local taxes and more than $1billion to the state’s unemployment fund in the past decade.
New Jersey officials claim another one-time payment could be possible but that it will depend on the guidance given for spending of money supplied via the American Rescue Plan signed in March.
Undocumented workers on hunger strike in New York City earlier this year[/caption]
New York is already offering an emergency fund for undocumented immigrants[/caption]
It is unclear when the first of the funds will be allocated and how the payments will be distributed.
Governor Murphy says he believes the current round of funding will help between 20,000 and 30,000 residents.
New Jersey’s leader isn’t the only governor to give immigrants emergency funds during the coronavirus crisis.
New York state will award a one-time $15,600 stimulus payment to illegal workers, which has enraged Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
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Cuomo and New York lawmakers reached the deal last month as part of a $212billion state budget.
The $2.2billion program for “excluded workers” will provide payments for hundreds of thousands of people who are not eligible for other government aid.
Last year, California also committed to giving $125million in $500 one-time payments to undocumented immigrants – a figure which included $75million from taxpayers, while charities pledged to raise $50million.