Activists Assemble at Governor Phil Murphy’s Mansion to
Demand Funding for All Tax-Paying Essential Immigrant Workers
Workers Who Kept NJ Middle-Class Families Safe During the Pandemic Have Yet to Receive Aid
MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY – July 21, 2021 – This evening at Governor Philip Murphy’s mansion, a large group of immigrant rights’ activists assembled to demand an infusion of $1 billion into the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund. Activists are petitioning the Governor to make a commitment to allocate additional funds to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund by utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). View the live Facebook video of the event HERE.
“Because it’s an election year, Murphy is purposely ignoring the pleas of essential immigrant workers,” said Perla Solares, an immigrant worker who has not been able to work since March 2020 when her employer closed. Perla and her family unfortunately all contracted COVID-19 and she has not been able to find work while caring for her son. They have survived thanks to donations from Unidad Latina en Acción. Perla continued, “Governor Murphy’s team thinks that because immigrant families cannot vote for him, he can afford to ignore our pain. But we also live in NJ and we have kept NJ afloat during this crisis. We deserve more than $96 dollars. That amount doesn’t even pay our cell phone bills.”
For the first time in decades, New Jersey had a surplus of $10 billion dollars for the FY2022 year; that surplus included $4 billion in unexpected tax revenues and $6 billion in aid for excluded workers through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Yet, during budget negotiations, the Governor and New Jersey Legislature agreed on a FY2022 budget that excluded aid for essential immigrant workers. While New Jersey taxpayers are receiving additional $500 rebate checks on top of previous stimulus checks, the state’s essential immigrant workers have been excluded from all of this aid. After over a year and a half of a global pandemic, they have received $0 in recovery aid.
Governor Murphy still has the authority to decide how to spend resources under the ARP allocated to New Jersey by President Biden. So far, no additional allocation of funds have been allocated to the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund.
The #WhatAboutUs / #YNosotrosQue campaign invites supporters to take action by calling on Governor Philip Murphy and New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to allocate additional funding for essential workers who continue to risk their lives despite the uptick in the highly contagious COVID-19 variants.
New Jersey has the resources to provide relief for essential immigrant workers but activists feel that Governor Murphy and the State Legislature failed to act after they passed and signed into law a record-high $46.4 billion budget. Activists firmly believe New Jersey will not get out of the economic downturn without addressing the needs of immigrant workers, who are workers of color, women and children.
According to the coalition, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities of color in New Jersey the most, and they emphasize that continuing to ignore the needs of 460,000 essential immigrant workers and their 127,000 New Jersey-born children is unconscionable.