New grants coming to N.J. undocumented workers who didn’t quality for pandemic aid - world cultures

New grants coming to N.J. undocumented workers who didn’t quality for pandemic aid



Immigration advocates praised Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday for his plan to use an estimated $53 million in unspent federal funds from the coronavirus pandemic to create a one-time, $500 grant program for undocumented New Jersey citizens who did not receive prior economic assistance.

The Democratic governor had proposed a fund for individual taxpayer identification number providers when he presented his fiscal year 2023 budget in March. But the proposal did not cut the $50.6 billion state budget that he and the state legislature approved last week.

The budget agreement gives Murphy discretionary funding of $300 million in unspent pandemic aid. That allows him to spend up to $60 million on projects without seeking approval from the legislative branch, Theresa Ruiz, the state Senate majority leader, said.

“I am confident that the administration will make this investment,” Ruiz said.

The budget agreement gives Murphy discretionary funding of $300 million in unspent pandemic aid. That allows him to spend up to $60 million on the project without seeking approval from the legislative branch, Theresa Ruiz, the state Senate majority leader, said.

“This[the fund for the New Jersey Excluded Fund]will be one of them,” Ruiz said, praising the governor for “putting money in people’s hands so they can put food on the table.”

After an unrelated event on Tuesday, a reporter asked Murphy to clarify “money for undocumented workers.”

Murphy replied, “I’m proud that we were able to bring in some money. Where does this go from here, I have no news to do.”

NJ Monitor and Politico NJ first reported the news about the revived proposal.

A spokeswoman for Murphy did not respond to a request for comment. “The governor remains committed to establishing the ITIN bearer program that he introduced in March to help taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and looks forward to doing so within FY23 budget parameters,” a Politico spokeswoman said.

Individual taxpayer identification numbers are given to employees who cannot obtain a Social Security number and to help businesses comply with federal tax laws, according to the IRS.

This will be the second time the state has introduced a cash benefit program to undocumented workers. The New Jerseyans excluded fund started in October and stopped accepting applications in February, attracting 35,000 applications. The program provided $2,000 to individuals and $4,000 to families earning $55,000 or less.

The new program will offer $500 and will be limited to ITIN mentors who earn less than 200% of the poverty level. This equates to $36,620 for a family of two.

There are about 460,000 unregistered people in New Jersey, many of whom lost their jobs while businesses closed in the early days of the pandemic. Working in factories, restaurants, and in people’s homes as helpers and housekeepers, many of them have developed COVID-19.

Banisa Quiroga, a Make the Road NJ member and core worker, called the Democratic governor’s pledge a “crucial and welcome step.”

“If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that our collective health and well-being as a country depend on it Everyone Being able to access meaningful relief and health care and have the financial means to quarantine.”

But she also called for a permanent expansion of the safety net “to ensure that individuals excluded from aid – including undocumented immigrants, cash economy workers, the homeless and citizens returning from prison time – all receive assistance.”

Laura Bustamante, director of policy and campaigns at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, called the commitment to create a new fund “a positive development and highlights that the state has the capacity to do right by its residents.”

“But more must be done to ensure that the community without ITINs gets the recovery resources they deserve,” Bustamante added. “It was the immigrant workers who helped the people and economy of New Jersey survive the pandemic.”

NJ Advance Media Staff Writer Brent Johnson Contribute to this report.

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Susan K. Levi It can be accessed at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.




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