New Jersey Alliance For Immigrant Justice Condemns White Supremacist Attack On Democracy
Posted by Hera Mir1275 on January 07, 2021
Newark, NJ - In the wake of an attack in Washington, D.C, on our nation’s seat of government and the very foundations of our democracy, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) condemns the far-right forces and the insufficient response from government officials that led us to this moment and urges the incoming Biden administration and New Jersey’s leadership to look towards movement leaders as a model for taking a stand for justice. Amy Torres, Director of NJAIJ released the following statement:
“Yesterday, our nation found itself at the crossroads of two movements. In the morning as Georgia’s runoff elections ended, and we witnessed the cumulation of a historic voter turnout effort, led predominately by Black women and organizers of color, to mobilize voters and reject policies of hate, discrimination, and oppression. By that afternoon, our apitol was attacked by armed white supremacists in full regalia, intent on denying Presidential election results and disrupting the peaceful transition of power.
“While divergent movements, yesterday’s events are inextricably linked. Yesterday was a specific reaction to the groundbreaking mobilization of Black, Latinx, AAPI voters, including naturalized immigrant voters, who cast their votes in the name of justice, belonging, and inclusion, but it was only the latest chapter in the same reactionary and racist effort that has long worked to undermine the votes and interests of people of color.
“Yesterday’s white supremacist violence and insurrection gripped our nation and the world, but the menace comes as no surprise to immigrant communities and Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other communities of color. For immigrants, refugees, asylees, and Indigenous people, the attack is hauntingly reminiscent of coups and interventions meant to undermine governments at home. Further, the mild response from law enforcement and the reticence by media to name the attackers for what they are highlights the pervasive institutionalized racism in our society, adding further insult to the Movement for Black Lives and racial justice activists, who have borne a disproportionate share of brutality, arrests, surveillance, and scrutiny when its leaders call for justice.
“As the nation looks ahead, the incoming Federal administration and New Jersey’s leadership has an urgent responsibility to pass and adopt policies that work toward healing, justice, and reconstruction for the most marginalized communities. NJAIJ calls on President-elect Biden’s incoming administration and New Jersey’s Congressional leadership to continue to stand with immigrants and communities of color most harmed by the policies and rhetoric of the last four years and ensure democracy and safety for the very same communities of color mobilizing toward liberation and justice.”
NJAIJ is a statewide membership-based coalition of organizations that creates and achieves policies in New Jersey that welcome and support immigrants to become rooted economically, politically and socially within the state.
New Year, New Team, New Session | Same Fight for Justice
Friends, I'm writing with a personal message this month. January marks one year since I joined NJAIJ and one year since we grew our team to include our Movement Building Coordinator, a role that has transformed how we empower immigrant communities all across the New Jersey. In my twelve months in coalition with you, I feel both grateful and galvanized. In that year, New Jersey also became the first state on the East Coast to ban ICE detention agreements. We became the 15th state to enact a status-neutral drivers' license program, and fought for a first-of-its-kind direct cash benefit program, the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, to provide relief for households excluded from federal stimulus. We made history together, and I'm humbled by and in awe of your fight. It's January again and we are pleased to announce that we are growing our team again, too! I am thrilled to be joined in this work by advocates who have an unwavering dedication to social, racial, and economic justice. Please join me in welcoming:
January is a time of renewal and reflection. This month, we highlight Selaedin Maksut, Executive Director of the New Jersey chapter of Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ). CAIR-NJ is at the fore of the fight to designate January as Muslim Awareness and Appreciation month. Selaedin reminds us about the importance of reflecting on the legacies and movements that came before us and celebrating the richness of our diversity.
In Solidarity and Community, Amy Torres
It's a blessing to be a part of a social movement that stands on the frontlines. We proudly and humbly stand on the shoulders of those that came before us, and the legacies of those who did tenfold of what we are doing today. Championing these causes and being a voice for the voiceless is a huge honor and blessing," says Selaedin Maksut, Executive Director, CAIR-NJ
The Values Act was re-introduced in the Assembly and Senate as A1986/S512. The Values Act would provide critical protections that allow New Jerseyans to seek support from state and local agencies without fear of deportation. Tell your legislator you expect to see their support!
The incredible campaign behind the bill that banned new ICE detention agreements, renewals, and expansions was featured in the National Immigration Law Center's annual report on Winning in the States.
The report celebrates New Jersey's win by acknowledging the many fronts of the battle: "The anti-detention fight in New Jersey has been a decades-long movement...but with closure announcements and the ban on new and renewed contracts, New Jersey will not have any ICE detention centers after 2023."
In the midst of the news that major parts of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund had been diverted and then quickly restored, New Jersey Policy Perspective released a report.
NJPP's analysis finds, "[e]ven if the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund were kept at its original funding level, it does not match the aid provided to others facing financial hardship due to COVID-19." The report goes on to say, "not only do payments...fall far short of the cost of living in New Jersey, but the size of the fund is also too small to reach all excluded workers."
Legislative redistricting is still underway but time is running out! Your voice is needed to make sure maps are fair, racially just, and representative of your community.
NJAIJ is a proud member of the Fair Districts coalition. Research shows that public testimony at redistricting hearings is effective when it offers specific instructions to mapmakers, focuses on small-scale changes (like keeping a neighborhood together), and effectively defines a community and its needs for representation. You are the expert on your community. Get involved!