Calls grow to replenish NY's fund for undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19
New York's $2 billion fund for undocumented immigrants impacted by the pandemic is nearly dried up, and calls are growing for the state to replenish it.
The $2.1 billion state program provides financial support for New Yorkers who are ineligible for federal COVID-19 money due to their immigration status.
Janet Fry is the deputy executive director at the Community Resource Center in Mamaroneck, an immigrant advocacy nonprofit.
"They don't have access to any safety net to provide to their families when they're going through crisis," says Fry.
So far, the state has processed 120,000 applications worth more than $1 billion.
But the money is expected to run out by the end of the month, and the state is no longer accepting applications despite the ongoing need.
"We don't know how the Department of Labor will adjudicate or maybe won't adjudicate because of a lack of funding," says Fry.
At a virtual event Monday, immigration advocate groups called on Gov. Kathy Hochul to include $3 billion in next year's budget for the fund.
This would cover an additional 170,000 people.
Last week, more than a dozen state senators, including several from Westchester County, sent a letter to the governor asking her to supplement the program with additional resources and to make the process easier to navigate.
Hochul recently said it's unlikely the state will add more money to the fund this year but that she's open to working with legislators on including some relief in the upcoming budget due in April.