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New Jersey Opens Excluded Workers Fund Applications

Plus: Activists protest moving Bergen County detainees out of state, and Democrats demand an easier naturalization process

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New Jersey’s $40 million “Excluded New Jerseyans Fund” for undocumented residents and other workers who were excluded from pandemic relief funding is officially open. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) set leftover federal stimulus money aside after over a year of pressure from immigrant rights groups, such as a 24-day hunger strike. Amy Torres, executive director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant justice, and other advocates said they would continue to push Murphy and other lawmakers “for every last penny that our excluded families deserve.” Immigrant advocates said the fund would only reach an estimated 10% of those in need, especially since New York’s excluded workers fund was $2 billion. Gothamist 

In other local immigration news…

Activists at Bergen County Jail Protest Detainees Being Moved Out of State

📍 Documented Original
Immigration advocates gathered at New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail to demand the release of 21 immigrants who are being transferred to a facility in Batavia, New York, or across the country. According to activists from Pax Christi and First Friends, Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to send these detainees over 330 miles away as soon as Thursday. ICE couldn’t comment on when the transfers would take place due to security reasons, but said each transfer is being handled on a case-by-case basis. Even though Bergen County Jail will no longer hold immigrant detainees soon, advocates made it clear their battle wasn’t over. Read more at Documented.

Queens Representative Demands Easier Naturalization Process

New York Rep. Grace Meng (D), along with California Rep. Norma Torres (D) and Illinois Rep. Jesus Garcia (D), are calling for the U.S. government to make changes to the naturalization process to make it easier for soon-to-be citizens. “Immigrants make our nation great and enrich and strengthen our society,” Meng said in a statement. “But the process that many face in seeking to become naturalized citizens can be overwhelming and challenging, and it’s time for that to change.” The congressional leaders said more information about the process should be available to eligible individuals, that fees for naturalization and immigration applications should be waived, and that remote interviews and oath ceremonies should be opened. Queens Daily Eagle

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