Tens of thousands of New Jersey families that were deemed not eligible for the first round of federal stimulus payments could now get paid.

NJ.com, citing the Migration Policy Institute, reports that New Jersey has many as 83,000 people who are living in the country illegally and are married to a citizen or green card holder. Under the new stimulus plan, they are now eligible for to receive a payment.

If at least one member of the household has legal residency and a Social Security number, they could retroactively receive 2020's $1,200 stimulus payment in addition to the new $600 payments and any payments for qualified dependents. Language allowing payments to so-called mixed-status couples was included in the latest relief legislation passed in congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

It's a victory for immigrant rights groups who have been demanding relief for undocumented immigrants excluded from the original CARES Act. However, Sara Cullinane, executive director of Make the Road New Jersey, told NJ.com that it's not enough.

Her group has been lobbying for state Senate bill S2480, which provides one-time payments to unauthorized New Jersey residents who are not eligible for unemployment. The bill’s sponsors say unauthorized workers pay $1.1 billion in federal taxes and $600 million in state and local taxes. The legislation sets aside $35 million in the state budget to fund the program, which includes $1,000 payments for eligible taxpayers with dependent children, $700 for eligible taxpayers who are married without children, and $500 for other eligible taxpayers.

As many as 600,000 people in New Jersey have an unauthorized immigrant in their household, according to the liberal Center for American Progress.

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