Excluded Workers Urge Full Funding of Excluded New Jerseyan Fund
Hundreds of Thousands of New Jerseyans Excluded from Federal Aid Call on Gov. Murphy to Provide $1 Billion in Funding to Ensure No New Jerseyan is Left Behind from Aid
Trenton, NJ — January 11, 2022: On the eve of Gov. Murphy’s State of the State address, community organizations representing New Jerseyans left behind from federal COVID relief, including stimulus checks and unemployment insurance, issued the following statement:
“We call on Governor Murphy and the Legislature to fully support the Excluded New Jerseyan Fund with an allocation of $1 Billion. For too long, immigrant families, essential workers and others that have been left behind from federal COVID-19 aid like stimulus checks and unemployment, have been left in the cold. As we approach our third year of the pandemic and as our state is in the throws of Omicron, it has never been more urgent to deliver real relief for our communities. That means cash payments to every New Jerseyan in need that was left behind from stimulus payments and unemployment, and creating an unemployment program for workers excluded from aid. We cannot recover as a state; we cannot quarantine safely when we are sick if we have no access to aid. The creation of the Excluded New Jerseyan Fund, now $50 million, is a crucial step, but we urge our Governor and the legislature to fully fund the program so that all New Jerseyans have access to aid.”
Launched in October 2021, the now $50 million Fund provides one-time payments to individuals excluded from federal relief through a program run by the Department of Human Services’ Office of New Americans. The Fund will expire at the end of the year. More than 90% of individuals excluded from relief will not be able to access the aid dollars. The coalition of organizations is pushing additional funding to ensure no one is left behind and to create an unemployment program to provide weekly cash payments to workers that were left behind from UI. Undocumented immigrants in New Jersey have paid more than $1.3 billion into the unemployment system through payroll taxes over the past ten years but are statutorily ineligible to access the benefit when they lose their jobs. The coalition estimates the cost of providing one time cash assistance to all individuals excluded from the stimulus and creating this UI program is approximately $989 million.
The coalition of organizations pushing for relief includes: ACLU of New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, Casa Freehold, CATA, Cosecha, Faith in New Jersey, Laundryworkers Center, Latino Action Network, Make the Road New Jersey, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Policy Perspective, New Labor, SEIU 32BJ, Unidad Latina en Accion and Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center.