State Watch

New Mexico sends undocumented immigrants state pandemic relief money

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Fifteen thousand New Mexico residents who were previously ineligible for stimulus checks have begun to receive payment from the state government, The Associated Press reports, including some immigrant residents who are in the U.S. without work authorization.

Officials from the New Mexico Human Services Department told the AP that checks or direct deposits of $465 were sent out this week. 

The AP notes that the New Mexico legislature committed $5 million to be given to those who had not received federal payments in April. Agency officials told the news outlet that an additional $2 million had been identified on top of the $5 million already set aside.

Lawmakers in New Mexico passed a state relief bill in November, CBS News reported. The bill delivered one time payments of $1,200, similar to the checks sent out by the federal government in April, with as much as $50,000 also available for certain businesses. At the time, it was reported that undocumented immigrants had been included in the bill, though the amount they would receive was not known.

Payments of $750 will be sent out to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who were not eligible to receive federal checks in April, CBS News reported, including children and the elderly. The funds for these payments were derived from previous federal relief funding provided to New Mexico, with $319 million in unspent funds remaining when the state relief bill was passed in late November.

According to CBS, the relief checks accounted for the majority of the bill’s spending, with an estimated $194 million being sent out through the checks.

The deadline for states to spend funding from the CARES Act is Dec. 30, and many are rushing to find ways to effectively spend the money or risk having to return it to the federal government.

Tags CARES Act COVID-19 relief New Mexico undocumented immigrants in the US

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