- April 9, 2021
- New Jersey Policy Perspective
- Vineeta Kapahi
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought increased recognition of immigrants’ critical contributions to our communities and economies. Our nation’s immigration policy and safety net programs, however, still do not reflect this reality. Undocumented immigrants are both disproportionately represented among industries experiencing job loss due to the pandemic and essential workers who risk their lives to perform critical work, including caring for our loved ones, keeping our stores stocked and running, and growing, preparing, and delivering our food. While most people facing financial hardship can benefit from government aid, including the federal stimulus payments and unemployment insurance, discriminatory eligibility criteria bar many immigrants from the same access to financial assistance.