New York City, NY

The hunger strike of the "excluded" in government aid insists on demanding $3.5 billion in New York

Desiree Peralta

They implore the Legislature and Cuomo to approve flexible access to aid funds for undocumented immigrants.

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There are less than 72 hours until the Legislature in Albany approves the state budget for the next fiscal year, and protesters who have already been on a strict hunger strike for 14 days do not falter in their demand for approval of $ 3.5 billion to provide economic relief undocumented workers in New York.

With their health declining, ill, and several of them unable to even walk, because the body no longer responds to them, this Monday the strikers gathered in Washington Square Park, a few steps from the Judson Memorial Church, where they have been for two weeks to intensify his cry to the legislators.

The strikers' complaint does not only have to do with the lack of a clear commitment from the State to create the $ 3.5 billion fund they are requesting, they denounced that in the face of any aid that is obtained, Cuomo is pushing a series of requirements that would very difficult for thousands of excluded workers to access any relief.

Both the strikers and political leaders who have been pushing for the approval of resources in the Assembly and the state Senate denounced that Governor Cuomo claims that in order for undocumented workers to have the aid that is approved, they must show pay stubs, records banking, and even the tax payment number known as "ITIN", requirements that many excluded workers do not have.

According to NYDailyNews, more than 75 people have signed on to take part in the fast, including at least 40 directly impacted workers. Those taking part in the strike will start at the Church of the Ascension for the first few days before moving to Judson Memorial Church near Washington Square Park.

An August 2020 MRNY survey showed that 98% of unemployed undocumented workers had not received financial assistance from the federal or state government.

With the deadline fast approaching, these essential workers, many of them undocumented immigrants, say that the amount that has so far been discussed in negotiations is not enough to meet the needs of thousands of families who have lost their jobs, are on the verge of homelessness and do not even have the income to put food on the table.

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