Pandemic relief programs have helped millions of families get through the economic shocks of COVID-19, but undocumented immigrants — many of whom are essential workers — have been largely shut out of such federal aid. Those undocumented workers who have received limited assistance are now losing the pandemic aid they had only started receiving in August through the Biden administration’s expanded child tax credit program, which expired and is being blocked from further implementation into Build Back Better legislation. “These families, in spite of the fact that they were essential workers, endured this really punishing income gap,” says journalist Julia Preston, who reported on an undocumented immigrant community in New Bedford, Massachusetts, who sustain the United States’ largest commercial fishing port. Preston and Ariel Goodman wrote the article “Essential But Excluded” for The Marshall Project and say the difference in income amounts on average to almost $35,000.
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