New Jersey’s statewide immigration coalition calls for a renewed focus on social and economic justice


Trenton, NJ [January 10, 2023] -- Following today’s State of the State Address, NJAIJ calls for the Governor’s Administration and State legislature to refocus efforts on public policies that protect and empower immigrants and communities of Color.

Earlier this afternoon, Governor Murphy laid out his vision for “rebuilding the American Dream” in New Jersey. But for the third year in the row, the Governor’s State Address minimized the urgency to pass the much-needed racial justice and progressive reforms that were a promise at the start of his term.

New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation. Our state population is effectively half people of Color and nearly 1 in 4 New Jerseyans is an immigrant. The true ‘state of our State’ is Diversity. The ‘new’ New Jersey is one where people of all backgrounds — regardless of identity, place of birth, or immigration status — have their fair share of resources and the rights that keep their communities whole, empowered, and safe.

But the ‘new’ New Jersey can only be built by addressing the structural and systemic inequities of old. That means requiring corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes and reinvest that money into tailored, robust services for everyday New Jerseyans. It also means addressing historic barriers to access and civic participation by investing in Language Access, passing election reforms that strengthen our democracy, and using data disaggregation to better represent New Jersey’s increasingly communities. Finally, a ‘new’ New Jersey can never be born unless we abandon the outdated and often dangerous idea that safer communities can only exist alongside harsher punishments. The ‘new’ New Jersey must not roll back the progress we have made on criminal legal reform. Instead, our communities urgently need stronger protections so they can stand up for their rights without fear of deportation or detention.

Fortunately for New Jerseyans, today’s address marks only the beginning of the 2024 budget cycle. NJAIJ looks forward to spending the coming months working in coalition with our members and our partners in government to rebuild a #NJforALL of us.

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) is the state’s largest immigration coalition. NJAIJ uses the power and strength of 50+ member organizations to fight for policies that empower and protect immigrants.