“While NJAIJ is humbled that today’s agreement was reached because of the brave sacrifices of hunger strikers and fasters, we stand by our comments that $40 million is insufficient to meet the crisis-level needs of communities who have been excluded from pandemic relief to date,” the organization said in a statement. “We are also bitterly disappointed that many brave champions of this fight will not be reached by the initial amount and, in additional weeks of fasting, cruelly had their hopes dashed that the State would offer more. Now, the call to replenish the fund becomes more urgent as each day passes and NJAIJ will continue organizing and fighting for the relief our communities deserve.” For activists, like the North Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, that’s not nearly going to cut it. Those thoughts were echoed by Make the Road NJ, a group that says it’s devoted to “building power of Latino & working class communities to achieve dignity & justice,” who cited #Fast4Relief, a group of people that have been fasting to force action from New Jersey legislators.
The “Excluded New Jerseyans Fund” will provide a one-time cash assistance benefit of up to $2,000 to households with incomes up to $55,000 that can demonstrate they have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19. The program will begin accepting applications in the coming months, according to the governor’s office. New Jerseyans who have previously been ineligible for federal assistance, including ITIN holders and others previously excluded from COVID relief assistance such as federal stimulus checks or unemployment insurance will be able to apply for it.
New York’s fund is costing the state over $2.1 billion, still just a fraction of the $3 billion-plus activists demanded from the Empire State’s legislature. The fund for excluded workers will be about $40 million of that money, an amount seen as not nearly enough by activist groups and opposed altogether by Republicans.
— Make the Road New Jersey 🦋 (@MaketheRoadNJ) May 7, 2021 New Jersey’s Democratic legislators did not comment on the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund in any statements touting the small business relief package. “Immigrant essential workers put our bodies on the line to keep our state safe, and then again to demand that our state recognize their dignity. /1 pic.twitter.com/jsJqVcjjNV
In response to @GovMurphy announcement of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, the #Fast4Relief Hunger Strikers issued the following: “The Excluded New Jerseyans Fund is a result of our work and an important but insufficient step to provide overdue relief to nearly a half million people left behind from aid,” the #Fast4Relief Hunger Strikers said in a statement.
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