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.