Erik Cruz Morales (He/Him) is the Policy and Advocacy Manager at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. Erik leads NJAIJ's advocacy efforts by crafting, managing, and executing strategy for NJAIJ's core campaigns and supporting campaigns in the larger social and racial justice advocacy landscape. Before joining NJAIJ, he was a Program Associate and Philanthropy Fellow at The Fund for New Jersey, a private foundation in Princeton, NJ, that focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations advocating for a range of critical issues affecting the state of New Jersey, including affordable housing, environmental justice, immigrant rights, racial justice, and more. Prior to The Fund, Erik worked at NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency as an Eagleton Fellow, and previously interned at the ACLU of New Jersey, in Assemblyman Gordon Johnson's office and Congressman Bill Pascrell's office. He has his Master's degree in public administration, with a concentration in leadership for public organizations, from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University Newark. Erik resides in Essex County and is deeply committed to New Jersey. He is passionate about civic engagement and helping others understand the issues affecting their communities.
  • For me, immigrant justice means the humane treatment of all immigrants across all borders, but unfortunately, immigrants and migrants all over the world face oppressive and violent systems. The root causes of migration include imperialism, colonization, violence, persecution, natural disasters, and capitalism and economic globalization that impose poverty and displacement, too often due to policy decisions being made in other countries. To reach true justice, we must recognize and push back against global policies that force people to move. Immigrant justice is about treating communities with dignity and respect, allowing immigrants to thrive and creating safe spaces.

  • My favorite advocacy memory was when I attended a rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., with my partner and sisters regarding the legality of the DACA program. Seeing so many community members come out in support of DACAmented youth was beautiful. As an immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, and a beneficiary of DACA, I felt empowered and supported by other impacted individuals all across the country.

  • I have a couple of favorite movies but I’d have to go with Shrek. I enjoy watching all types of movies, so let me know if you have any recommendations!