Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey, announced an allocation of 53 million dollars in his state budget proposal for undocumented immigrants who pay taxes and who did not receive help from the Excluded Workers Fund, aimed at those affected by the covid-19 pandemic. .
To qualify for the aid, which would be a single $500 check , the immigrant must have a Personal Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is used by many undocumented immigrants to pay taxes, according to the newspaper NJ.com .
According to the state Treasury Department, more than 100,000 people in the state would qualify for assistance paid for by the federal American Rescue Plan pandemic relief program. A committee of state legislators known as the Joint Budget Oversight Committee must approve the appropriation.
In addition to the undocumented who pay taxes, the new funds will also benefit Americans recently released from prison and other homeless people who do not qualify for unemployment or the economic stimulus checks approved by the federal Congress during the health crisis created by the pandemic.
New Jersey created last year the Fund for Excluded Workers , initially endowed with 40 million dollars, who applied for undocumented immigrants who, due to their legal status, did not qualify for unemployment or assistance from Congress.
That program ended on February 28, after thousands rushed to apply in the last month. Demand was so strong that the state dedicated an additional $20 million on top of the $40 million allocated last year.
The aid started at $2,000 per individual, with a maximum of $4,000 per household, and had some 17,000 applications.
When the program was approved, the deadline to apply was December 31. But, after complaints from pro-immigrant organizations that the requirements were difficult to meet, they were relaxed and the date was extended.
He also indicated that those who have the ITIN and do not earn more than double the poverty rate will receive the check for 500 dollars .
According to federal guidelines that establish the poverty rate, a family of four would qualify if their income is $46,060 or less a year, adds NJ.com.