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Illegal immigrants prioritized over veterans by Gov. Murphy, Assemblyman DiMaio says

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy spent $87.8 million Tuesday on immigrants who didn’t qualify for COVID relief programs because they are undocumented or don’t have social security numbers.

Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio compared that to the relatively meager help for veterans, reducing violent crime and housing discrimination. Under the fiscal year 2024 appropriations act, Murphy does not need legislative approval for the new spending.

“Governor Murphy sits on federal COVID funding for years while inflation devalues it and payroll taxes increase, just so he can use it how he wants when nobody is paying attention and he doesn’t need permission,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “The spending should be flipped so veterans who fought for this country get better care than illegal immigrants under this administration, so communities face less violence and crime, so people who need a roof over their heads are treated fairly.”

Murphy is spending $50.8 million to provide direct cash assistance to people without social security numbers, and $37 million for people in the Excluded New Jerseyans fund, who did not qualify for COVID relief benefits because they were undocumented, convicted felons, and individuals who did not qualify for other reasons.

Meanwhile, the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs will receive $5 million to procure a contractor to provide oversight and management support at the state memorial homes, according to a notice sent to lawmakers Tuesday night. The department will also receive only $4 million to hire an architectural and engineering firm to make improvements to improve infection control at Menlo Park and Paramus Veterans Memorial Homes.

State websites for the veteran homes in Menlo ParkVineland and Paramus posted wish lists for veterans that asked for donations of soap, deodorant, bed linens, denture care supplies, t-shirts, and tissues, among other basic care items.

“He needs to get his priorities straight if he thinks illegal immigrants need more than veterans who can’t get basic items like sweatpants, deodorant or soap under state care,” DiMaio said. “There have been multiple investigations into our veterans homes and the federal government even said the care under Murphy was so bad it was unconstitutional. This is outrageous.”

On Sept. 7, the U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report detailing inadequate infection control and medical care during the pandemic at Menlo Park and Paramus veterans homes. The investigation found that the state provided and continues to provide “unconstitutionally deficient care” at the facilities.

The State Commission of Investigation released a second report, alleging that officials in charge were unprepared for the huge absenteeism by employees in the early weeks of the pandemic.

“The worst part is that he spent this money without needing any legislative approval. Democrats simply handed over $300 million to the governor, patted him on the head and said have fun. That’s a terrible way to manage state finances,” DiMaio said.

The Dept. of Law and Public Safety received $5 million for the Community-Based Violence Intervention Program and only $1.6 million for the Division of Civil Rights Anti-Housing Discrimination Program.

Murphy also appropriated $3.5 million to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s Newark Event Tourism Program, and $2.5 million for Economic Development Authority to retain consultants to leverage federal funding from the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (“CHIPS”) Act and the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”).

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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