STATEMENT: Make the Road New Jersey Hails Historic Step for Tax Fairness in New Jersey, But Deal Falls Short without Excluded Workers Fund
Budget Must Include Relief for Half Million Immigrants and their Families Excluded from COVID Aid
Elizabeth, NJ – September 17, 2020. In response to the reported budget deal between Gov. Murphy and the New Jersey state legislature, Make the Road New Jersey issued the following statement:
“Gov. Murphy and the New Jersey state legislature’s deal to pass a tax on New Jersey’s wealthiest is a crucial step toward fairness and equity at a time when working families across New Jersey are suffering unimaginable harm and income inequality is at peak levels. For years, immigrant and working class members of Make the Road NJ have marched, petitioned and fought for tax fairness. Today, we take a critical step towards justice. However, a half million undocumented immigrants and potentially 225,000 US citizens are still left behind by COVID aid, passing the six month mark without a penny in government relief. We urge the state legislature and Governor Murphy to start a COVID relief fund for excluded workers and their families, and to include immigrant tax filers – who pay $600 million in state and local taxes each year, and have contributed $1.2 billion to New Jersey’s unemployment coffers over the past ten years – in the tax rebate. There cannot be tax justice when we leave more than a half million New Jerseyans – whose labor we rely on to keep all of us safe – behind.” said Sara Cullinane, Director of Make the Road New Jersey.
New Jersey’s nearly half million undocumented immigrants are a critical labor and economic engine in New Jersey and have been some of the most hard hit by COVID. A recent Make the Road New Jersey Undocumented immigrants in New Jersey pay approximately $600 million in state and local taxes each year and more than $1 billion in federal taxes. Over the past ten years, undocumented immigrants have paid approximately $1.2 billion into the unemployment system despite being ineligible for aid. Many undocumented immigrants work in essential professions, like warehouses, health care and cleaning. Immigrant organizations have called on the state to provide $600 weekly payments for excluded workers and stimulus like payments to undocumented immigrants and their US citizen family excluded from stimulus payments. More than 722,000 individuals – including undocumented immigrants and their US citizen family members, are left behind by CARES Act relief in NJ.