by Allie Kelly, Business Insider
May 29, 2024

New Mexico’s basic income pilot set out to fill a gap in America’s financial safety net: many immigrants aren’t able to access help.

Pandemic-era relief was largely restricted to US citizens, leaving undocumented households and families with mixed citizenship status without stimulus, rental assistance, or unemployment checks.

With growing economic need, community leaders in New Mexico decided to try a different strategy — no-strings-attached cash payments.

“Mixed-status immigrant families don’t always enjoy the same public benefits that other families and workers do because of their status,” Marcela Díaz, executive director of economic justice organization Somos Un Pueblo Unido, told Business Insider. “What does it look like for them to have an extra $500 a month? How does it affect food security, their health, their well-being, and educational outcomes?”

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