Jersey City, May 12, 2020- Yesterday, New Jersey Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced Bill S-2480, which would allocate $35 million to support New Jersey’s undocumented taxpayers during this difficult time. The bill responds to the exclusion of tax-paying undocumented immigrants from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It would provide one-time payment to Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) users, initially prioritizing families with children.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service issues ITINs to taxpayers and their dependents who are ineligible to acquire a Social Security number, thereby allowing them to pay federal taxes regardless of their immigration status. Up to 35,000 New Jersey residents will benefit from Bill S-2480 if it is passed. Though that figure only represents a quarter of ITIN filers, the bill is an important step forward.

We at the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers applaud Senators Ruiz and Scutari for introducing this crucial legislation that concurs with our biblical mandate to care for the stranger, poor and most vulnerable in our society.

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New Jersey’s undocumented immigrants contribute over half a billion dollars in state and local taxes annually. WalletHub recently assessed the economic impact of immigrants on each state using 23 criteria, ranging from median household income of foreign-born population to jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses as a share of total jobs. Our state ranks third overall. We rank first in immigrant workforce, fourth in brain gain and innovation, and fifth in socioeconomic contribution. Despite New Jersey’s undocumented taxpayers’ importance to the state economy, the federal government is denying them financial relief during this crisis. Bill S-2480 would change that. It would offer vital financial support to undocumented New Jersey residents who are shut out of the same social services they pay into. 

Bill S-2480 must pass. Immigrants are the backbone of our state’s economy. When we fail to assist undocumented taxpayers, we fail the entire state. Addressing the needs of New Jersey’s undocumented taxpaying population is both humane and oriented towards economic recovery. Several cities and counties as well as states like California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington have already taken steps to financially assist ITIN filers. With this legislation, we can do the same, ensuring that New Jersey’s undocumented taxpayers receive the monetary support they deserve.

As of Monday, May 18th the NJCLPM will begin assisting members of our immigrant community to file for their Employment Identification Number with the IRS. Those in need of assistance can call 201-355-6308.