In Billboard, Immigrants Urge New Jersey Legislature to Approve COVID-19 aid to Taxpaying Immigrants
After 8 months without Aid, Immigrants Urge Passage of A4171/S2480 Before Year’s End
New Jersey — December 8, 2020: Immigrant organization Make the Road New Jersey unveiled a billboard today on the Turnpike in Edison urging the New Jersey state legislature to pass a measure that would give aid to immigrant workers and their families that have been left behind from federal assistance during the pandemic.
For an image of the billboard, which features an immigrant family left behind by aid, click here: https://twitter.com/maketheroadnj/status/1336293720401063937?s=21.
Make the Road New Jersey member leader Cristianne Jordan of Woodbridge did not receive any aid even though she is a US citizen because of her husband’s immigration status said, “When my husband lost his job, we were left to struggle to support our infant twins and family without any aid. We pay taxes every year. Hundreds of thousands of families like mine are being left behind. Our state legislature must take action to ensure mixed status families like mine can survive. It is unjust and unfair and we will continue to fight until everyone is included in aid.”
“New Jersey must take immediate action to provide aid to excluded workers and their families. How can we flatten the curve of infection and recover as a state if more than a half million people are left behind from aid and cannot feed their families? S2480/A4171 is a key first step to addressing this humanitarian crisis,” said Sara Cullinane, director of Make the Road NJ.
In New Jersey, by some estimates, 604,615 people, including 262,527 U.S. citizens, live with at least one undocumented family member. Despite their contributions, including $1.2 billion to the states’ unemployment coffers over the past ten years and annual state and local tax payments of nearly $600 million, New Jersey’s undocumented immigrants are ineligible for unemployment insurance, TANF, SNAP, and most other safety net programs. In addition, the federal CARES Act stimulus payments excluded undocumented immigrant taxpayers and their US citizen spouses and children.
Pending legislation A4171/S2480 would provide one time payments to some undocumented tax filers in New Jersey. The measure has 19 co-sponsors in the Senate and 25 in the Assembly, with bipartisan support and the endorsement of the Star Ledger and Cardinal Tobin, as well as 77 community, faith and labor organizations. Despite widespread support, the state legislature has not held a single hearing on the legislation.