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Immigrant advocates spoke against New Jersey’s decision to reallocate 85% of its $40 million fund for residents excluded from COVID-19 relief. The fund was recently reallocated because the state reached a Dec. 31st federal deadline for using federal CARES Act money and the fund wasn’t distributed. Advocates said many residents faced obstacles to accessing the fund including paperwork, a lack of outreach, and technological problems with the application. The state’s Department of Human Services, which supervised the fund, maintains it adhered to “specific federal parameters” placed on its use of the funds. New Jersey Monitor
In other local immigration news…
Advocates Pressure Hochul to Expand Excluded Workers Fund by $3 Billion
The Excluded Workers Coalition recently held demonstrations across New York City, calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to authorize a $3 billion expansion of the exhausted Excluded Workers Fund. They also demanded a permanent unemployment insurance alternative for undocumented workers and others excluded from unemployment benefits. The marchers shared stories of would-be beneficiaries of the fund who had missed the opportunity to apply, or were left with pending applications after the program was exhausted. The demonstration took place a day after the governor released the executive budget for the fiscal year of 2023, which did not include additional funds for the fund.
Bronx Fire Victims Will Receive Help from Cardi B for Funeral Expenses
Rap artist Cardi B has offered financial relief in funeral and repatriation expenses for victims of the Bronx apartment fire, which left 17 dead, Mayor Eric Adams’ office announced. The Bronx-bred rapper made the commitment through the mayor’s Bronx relief fund, which has already raised over $2.5 million so far. “When I heard about the fire and all of the victims, I knew I needed to do something to help,” Cardi B said in a statement. “I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing, but I hope that not having to worry about the costs associated with burying their loved ones will help as they move forward and heal.” Lohud