By Kristin Toussaint, Fast Company
February 8, 2022

For many Americans, benefits like expanded unemployment, stimulus checks, and child tax credits were crucial for staying afloat during the pandemic. But those benefits weren’t available to everyone: Undocumented and mixed immigration status families were often excluded from that assistance, or failed to receive the benefits even when they were eligible. Now, a new guaranteed basic income pilot and study in New Mexico will focus solely on those people often left out of traditional relief policies, giving 330 undocumented or mixed immigration status families $500 a month, no strings attached, for twelve months.

The pilot is a joint project between the New Mexico Economic Relief Working Group, a coalition of immigrant and community organizations including the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children and the immigrant rights group Somos un Pueblo Unido, and the Oakland-based nonprofit UpTogether, which gives community members access to cash offers through its online platform and has helped collaborate on previous guaranteed income pilots like on in Sacramento. Funded by philanthropic dollars, including donations from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the pilot will include surveys with recipients and a report on how cash assistance helps undocumented or mixed-status immigrant families.

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