Trenton – New Jersey’s Legislative Latino Caucus issued the following statement after confirming with the Administration that it had re-appropriated most of the $40 million in funds set up to aid immigrants and other residents who had been excluded from other COVID-related relief efforts. The Latino Caucus will follow-up with a letter to the administration to demand answers on how the $34 million came to be diverted and also find out to what programs the money was allocated.
As of December 31, the federal deadline to use the CARES Act money for its stated purpose, only $6 million had been allocated and distributed to 2,600 applicants from the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund.
“We are greatly disappointed by this poor stewardship of resources that were designed to lift up those in some of our most under-served communities. How something like this could happen, in a time when New Jersey’s families are already facing unparalleled hardship due to the pandemic, is beyond comprehension.
“We found out about this issue at the same time as the rest of the public. At this time we are doing our due diligence to find a pathway forward, and implore the administration to work with the Latino Caucus to find an immediate remedy to this problem.
“Thousands of workers continue to struggle in the wake of the pandemic. We cannot allow this mishandling of relief monies to come at the expense of those who need it.”