For generations of immigrants, America has been a beacon of hope, a chance of a new, bright life, far from the poverty, famine, and war in their homelands. They built this country through their hard work and the belief that in this country they were valued, respected, and had a future. Our history is peppered with their stories and accomplishments. They are the ones who made this country great. President Trump and his administration seems to have forgotten that in their relentless campaign to deny today’s young immigrants the same opportunities that allowed our ancestors to prosper.
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice vehemently opposes President Trump’s latest anti-immigration push to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a pivotal program that has helped thousands of immigrant youth. His decision to pass on the fate of young immigrants to congress is sad a day for our country and day that will always be remembered in history. Now, nearly 800,000 young people will face six months of fear and agony with the possibility of deportation if DACA is terminated.
It is now on to Congress to do what they have failed to do for over two decades, pass legislation that fixes the broken immigration system and addresses the needs of these young people and their families. Our community has been caught between political fights that have constantly failed to solve this problem. Today’s decision was another example of putting politics over the needs of our country. Congress must act immediately and it must act justly, not by deporting more of our families but by making sure the American Dream is truly attainable.
Trump’s short-sighted, narrow-minded immigration policies not only hurt immigrants, but all of us. Most of all, it contradicts the very principles that have established our country and made us that beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Despite this hateful rhetoric, our community is resilient and ready to protect our families from deportation. We will continue to fight for dignity and justice, and will make sure our legislators stand by the values of this great country.
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice and our member organizations strongly oppose President Trump’s proposed Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. This legislation is a discriminatory policy and an affront to our values as a country built by immigrants.
The RAISE Act would replace the current permanent employment-visa framework with a skills-based system that severely limits those who can immigrate legally to the United States. It is estimated that the bill would cut legal immigration by 50 percent, primarily by removing opportunities for family reunification, and create a biased point system based on stereotypes and anti-immigrant sentiment, rather than sound economic policy.
President Trump could do far more to ensure fair wages for American workers by raising the minimum wage. To blame immigrants for the woes of the working-class is not only false, but irresponsible. Facts matter, and research shows that immigrants-- both documented and undocumented -- are an asset to the United States. While the president’s administration works to worsen the immigration policies, many experts predict that drastically curtailing immigration in this way would wreak havoc on our economy.
Today’s immigrants seeking refuge here are no different than those of generations past. Most come here poor and looking to better themselves economically. What they bring with them is courage and the ability to work hard to succeed in their new home. Our history has been to support and welcome all immigrants, regardless of their education or skill level. President Trump, along with Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, seem to have forgotten that. The legislation they proposed is based on prejudice rather than facts.Read more
Newark, NJ – July 27, 2017 - On Thursday, the House passed a $789 billion defense spending package, with $1.6 billon of taxpayer money going towards the construction of a border wall along the southwest border of the Unites States.
While the NJIAJ supports our veterans and their equal protection, this bill is nothing more than false military promises to the American people. We are frankly appalled that congress included provisions that had no impact on the wellbeing of our military or the safety of our country. We are more disappointed that they would send 1.6 billion towards something that has been proven by experts not to work. If our elected officials really wanted our safety and that of our veterans, they would support more comprehensive policies that fix a broken immigration system. The truth is, the construction of a border wall is based on mistaken information and myths about immigrants, which are perpetuated by the President’s hateful rhetoric. For generations, immigrants have contributed to the development and global competitiveness of the United States. The NJIAJ recognizes immigrants to be an integral part of America’s fabric. We will continue to speak against any false narratives that stigmatize immigrants as criminals and intruders.Read more
June 29, 2017
Dear Congress member,
Re: Sanctuary Cities H.R. 3003 and Kate's Law H.R. 3004
On behalf of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice and its member organizations, we are writing to vehemently voice our opposition to “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” (H.R. 3003) and “Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004). As a statewide community of human and civil rights organizations, we urge you to vote NO on these two anti-immigrant bills, which will serve to undercut law enforcement’s ability to keep our communities safe, and will jeopardize national security and hurt victims in need. Passage of these bills would be devastating to our community members who face real threats of violence in your district.Read more
Advocates vow to continue fighting for the rights of all immigrants
For Immediate Release
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Trenton, NJ – Members of the Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ), a coalition of 30 organizations statewide, released the following statements condemning President Trump’s plans to target Muslim communities and refugees:
“Our immigrant community is diverse and resilient, and an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. We stand for our right to seek a better life for ourselves and our loved ones. We have come from other countries looking for the American dream, a journey that many have taken for generations. New Jersey was one of the major points of entry for immigrants coming from Europe over a century ago, and we continue to be a major destination for immigrants seeking a better future. We don't believe in closing the door behind us once we are here, and we stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters who are fleeing violence and who now face detention and deportation. We will not stay quiet as this administration targets our community one by one, and we ask that our elected officials stand by our side in this fight. We will work with all immigrants to protect the values of the country we have loved from afar and have served since we arrived, through advocacy and community organizing,” said NJAIJ Program Coordinator Johanna Calle on behalf of the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice.
Advocates vow to continue fighting for the rights
of New Jersey immigrants, pledging: ‘We are here to stay’
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Trenton, NJ – Members of the Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ), a coalition of more than 25 organizations statewide, released the following statements condemning President Trump’s plans to target immigrant communities through increased enforcement, as well as the proposed pressure on localities that refuse to participate in voluntary immigration enforcement:
“New Jersey has the third largest immigrant population in the country. The close collaboration proposed by the president between local law enforcement and federal agencies will erode the trust of more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants in our state alone, and it will lead to more people forced into the shadows. This new initiative will sow fear and paranoia within our communities, pinning neighbors against neighbors and causing unnecessary issues for our local governments. Any threats of financial punishment are only meant to strong-arm cities into engaging in practices that they know will damage their communities. We will not stand by as many of us are criminalized for non-violent offenses and demonized in the eyes of the public. Throwing people in jail and aggressively pursuing deportation, which divides children from parents and deprives families and businesses of income, are not the way to keep our communities safe.Read more
Senator Robert Menendez Delivered Keynote Address
On Saturday, December 10, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice held their annual conference, the New Jersey Immigrants Rights Summit 2016. The Summit included various workshops lead by member organizations on various topics with over 100 registered participants.
“As we prepare for a potentially unprecedented attack on immigrant rights from the new federal administration, it is critical that our diverse coalition from across the state comes together to ensure that we are ready to protect our communities, our neighbors and ourselves,” said Johanna Calle, Program Coordinator of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “This will be a day to take stock of the threats to our communities and discuss how best to defend against them.”
Advocates vow to continue fighting for the rights of New Jersey immigrants
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Contact: Johanna Calle, 973-474-9850
Trenton, NJ – Members of the Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) released the following statement today in reaction to the results of the National election for the Presidency of the United States (Spanish below):
The lack of progress for pro-immigrant policies at the federal level isn't new to our communities. Neither is the fear and concern we are hearing from citizens and immigrants alike. Our community has been under attack during this whole election season but immigrants are resilient fighters. As an Alliance we focus on our state because our communities need progress at every level of government, not just the federal. We need to continue to work for better, pro-immigrant policies for everyone in our cities, counties, state, and congress. We will fight the hateful rhetoric and inhumane policies about immigrants and refugees, and will support our communities through organizing. Our community members are here to stay, and we will fight until every area of our state reflects that. We urge those who aren't already involved in the movement to join a community organization near you, you can find our member organizations on our website. You can also join us at our upcoming Summit on December 10th to learn more about immigrants’ rights in New Jersey.Read more
New Jersey Immigrant Advocates continue to fight after The Supreme Court Decision on President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration
For Immediate Release: June 23, 2016
Trenton, NJ – Members of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) are disappointed at today’s Supreme Court decision on the President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and vow to fight for relief for immigrant communities.
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice has been working to create local and statewide policies to improve the lives of immigrants in the state in the absence of meaningful federal immigration reforms. Governor Christie has also failed to fulfill his responsibility to address the needs of New Jersey immigrant residents by denying driver’s licenses for all and services for refugees. New Jersey has the fifth largest foreign born population in the country yet Governor Christie opposes immigrant friendly policies and supports political campaign that is anti-immigrant and spews hatred and intolerance.
And while we call for congress to act, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice will continue to fight in New Jersey to support the needs of our communities. Fourteen municipalities and six counties have already passed resolutions urging our legislature and governor to act and pass the New Jersey Safe and Responsible Drivers Act. Five cities have passed ordinances creating municipal identification programs that are inclusive of all disenfranchised residents. Five cities have passed wage theft ordinances that hold businesses who don’t follow the law accountable for labor violations. Immigrant communities are organizing with the support and leadership of our Alliance members. While this decision is disappointing, it is clear that more pro-immigrant policies need to be created and passed on the local and state levels. Immigrant communities are resilient and filled with the drive to fight for their rights to live in their communities with dignity and respect.Read more
More Than Fifty Immigrant Rights Organizations Urge Our Lawmakers to Reject Brief Opposing Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice is one of the organizations urging members of the House of Representatives to stand up against hate by voting no
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Mar. 14, 2016
Contact: Marlene Peralta, for NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice 646.601.4267
Beatriz Lopez, Beatiz.Lopez@seiu.org, 202-412-7396
WASHINGTON – Today, more than fifty immigrant rights organizations from across the country released an open letter to members of the House of Representatives urging them to stand up against hate by voting against a resolution to be filed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). This resolution would authorize the House body to file an official amicus brief in the case pending before the Supreme Court (U.S. v. Texas) that challenges President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.
The signers of the letter include some of the largest Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and immigrant rights organizations, as well as labor and faith groups. The list includes the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, Center for Community Change, United We Dream, Faith in Public Life, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the National Immigration Law Center and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) among others.Read more