Advocates for undocumented immigrants living in New York on Friday urged state officials to use the additional revenue in the state's tax collections to replenish a fund meant to aid workers who did not receive federal pandemic relief and unemployment aid. 

The push comes in the final days of the legislative session and after state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed to a state budget that did not include new funding for the program, known as the excluded workers fund. The money was meant to benefit workers who were not eligible for federal pandemic payments, which included undocumented workers. 

The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition pointed to an analysis by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office that revenue to New York's coffers more than $3 billion higher than initially projected. 

“The FY23 NYS Budget accounted for billions in surplus and reserve revenue but left hundreds of thousands of excluded workers, immigrants, and working families out of our social safety net, hampering our recovery from the ongoing pandemic," said Marisol Santiago, a member of the Yonkers Sanctuary Movement. "Instead, Governor Hochul managed to find a billion in taxpayer money to subsidize a multi-billionaire. At a time when New York is facing a crisis of white supremacist violence towards Black and brown communities - state leaders must take a hard look at how this budget exacerbates long standing inequalities."

Advocates are previously pushed in the budget process for a fund that would have matched the $2.1 billion pot of money for excluded workers last year.