New Jersey Advocates React to Fifth Circuit Court Decision Against President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

The faith of about 200,000 New Jerseyans are in limbo as a result of this decision

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 10th 2015

Contact: Marlene Peralta, 646.601.4267

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice is expressing disappointment about the Fifth Circuit Court decision because it delays even more the much needed relief to hard working families at risk of getting separated by unjust immigration policies.

New Jersey is home to over 400,000 undocumented immigrants and at least half would qualify for the Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Resident (DAPA) and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“We are extremely disappointed and worried about the Court’s decision. This is a mistake that puts 4 in 10 undocumented New Jerseans at risk of deportation. We are talking about parents, sisters, farmers, business owners”, said Johanna Calle, Program Coordinator at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. 

“There is no justification for this delay. For too long Congress has failed to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform leaving the President no choice but to use his executive power to find alternative solutions to protect millions of families. We are confident that President Obama will appeal the decision. Our organization will also continue to organize and fight for fair policies for our immigrant communities,” she added.

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Advocates and Elected Officials Called for the Expansion of Drivers Licenses to All New Jerseyans

The push comes as part of a wave of municipal and county actions that have attracted a broad level of support for this measure 

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 9, 2015

Contact: Johanna Calle, NJAIJ Program Coordinator, 973-474-9850 (office) and 201-580-3060 (cell)

Marlene Peralta, 646.601.4267

Trenton, NJ. – A diverse group of advocates, faith and business leaders, law enforcement and elected officials held a press conference on the steps of the Trenton State House urging for the approval of the legislation that will expand driving license access to all New Jersey residents.

The legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-19) in May of this year, has been gaining support for a variety of sectors after a wave of municipal and county actions organized by NJAIJ. Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan and the Hispanic Law Enforcement Association of Essex County are among the latest endorsers.

“Today's press conference is the culmination of months of hard work in seeking a hearing for Assembly Bill 4425, which allows persons who are undocumented be able to apply and test for driver licenses. Every individual should have the ability to apply for a driver’s license in the state of New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth), the prime sponsor of the bill in the Assembly.

“It’s about everyone driving safely on our roads,” said Senator Joseph Vitale, the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

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Essex County Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of a State Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants

Hundreds in Essex County gather in support of a unanimous resolution urging the state legislature to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants

For Immediate Release

October 29, 2015

Contact: Vera Parra, Community Organizer, Faith in New Jersey, 917-519-7656 – vera@faithinnewjersey.org

Newark – Over 500 community members gathered yesterday in support as Essex County passed a unanimous resolution urging the state government to enact legislation allowing the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driver licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. Essex County is the fourth to pass a resolution in support of Drivers Licenses, joining Union, Hudson, and Cumberland Counties. The vote signals growing momentum in support for pending legislation [S2925 and A4425] that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses for the purposes of driving in the state, after being properly tested and insured.

Following the vote, Freeholder Rolando Bobadilla addressed hundreds of supporters assembled on the steps of the Hall of Records encouraging community members to continue fighting for the bill in Trenton. Thirteen other states already have this type of policy and have seen lower number of unlicensed drivers on the roads, therefore making them safer for everyone. 

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Roselle is the Second Municipality in the State to Offer IDs to All Residents

Make the Road New Jersey Celebrates Passage of Roselle Municipal ID Program as Victory for Immigrant Rights

Roselle is the Second Municipality in the State to Offer IDs to All Residents

For Immediate Release

October 21, 2015

Contact: Sara Cullinane, Make the Road New Jersey (Spanish and English): 908-768-4991. Photos available upon request

Roselle, NJ – On Wednesday evening, dozens of Roselle residents, including immigrant families from Make the Road New Jersey, an immigrant rights organization based in Union County and a member organization of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, gathered to witness Roselle City Council pass Mayor Christine Dansereau’s Municipal ID program for Roselle residents into law. Municipal ID cards are an important step toward raising the quality of life for vulnerable and marginalized residents, including immigrants, and Mayor Dansereau’s law will make a powerful difference for thousands of Roselle residents. Increasingly, identification requirements gate-keep almost every aspect of daily life – from opening a bank account to gaining hospital admission, from picking up a package at the post office to picking up your children at school. 

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Cumberland County Freeholders Urge NJ Legislators to Expand Access to Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Residents

On a historic bipartisan vote, Cumberland County Freeholders endorsed legislation that would grant driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in NJ

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2015

Contact: Carlos Rojas, Organizer for Faith in New Jersey, 732-372-1487

Bridgeton, NJ – The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to approve a resolution in support of legislation that would expand driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in New Jersey.  Following meetings with local elected officials, law enforcement groups, business owners, clergy and immigrant families, the Cumberland County Freeholders decided to pass a resolution in support of A4425 and S2925 introduced earlier this year.

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New Jersey Advocates Await Hearings on Immigration Executive Actions

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice continues to support the President’s Executive Actions that would benefit over 200,000 New Jerseyans

For Immediate Release

July 10, 2015

Contact: Johanna Calle, NJAIJ Program Coordinator, 973-474-9850 (office) and 201-580-3060 (cell)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit hears arguments on the Texas vs. United State case today, which would impact 4 in 10 undocumented immigrants in the state of New Jersey according to New Jersey Policy Perspective’s recent report on the issue. New Jersey is home to over 400,000 undocumented immigrants and at least half would qualify for the Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Resident (DAPA) and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) if the court allows the programs to be implemented. 

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Newark, Largest Municipality in New Jersey, Approves Resolution Supporting State Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants

Newark passed the resolution with a unanimous vote. Newark is the 9th municipality to pass a resolution urging the state legislature and governor to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants

 

For Immediate Release

June 18, 2015

Contact: Vera Parra, Organizer, Faith in New Jersey, 917-519-7656

Renata Mauriz, Organizer, Wind of the Spirit, 201-841-3765

Newark – The largest municipality in New Jersey has approved a resolution urging the state government to enact legislation allowing the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. The Newark Municipal Council voted on a resolution introduced by Councilman Eddie Osborne by a unanimous vote, making Newark the ninth city to pass this type of resolution, following Camden, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Dover, Bridgeton, and Jersey City. 

In New Jersey, advocates, immigrant rights groups, and faith communities from various cities are working to build support for pending legislation (A. 4425, S. 2925) that would allow undocumented immigrants to have access to driver’s licenses.  "Allowing undocumented immigrants to have a NJ Driver's License will make the driving in New Jersey safer and give our immigrant brothers and sisters an important tool for work,” says Rev. Moacir Weirich, pastor at St. Stephen’s Grace Community Church and Faith in New Jersey member. “It will also dignify the life of many people who already suffered so much and deserve being treated with justice.”

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Hudson County Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of a State Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants

Hudson County Freeholders passed a resolution urging the state legislature and governor to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2015

Contact: Johanna Calle, NJAIJ Program Coordinator, 973-474-9850 (office) and 201-580-3060 (cell)

Jersey City – Hudson County passed a resolution urging the state government to enact legislation allowing the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. The Board of Freeholders voted on a resolution by a unanimous vote. This is the latest county to pass this type of resolution, others passed in Camden, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Dover, Jersey City, Bridgeton and Union County.

The legislation would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses for the purposes of driving in the state, after being properly tested and insured. It would provide some relief to immigrants who are afraid of being deported due to interactions with law enforcement. Other states who have this type of policy have seen lower number of unlicensed drivers on the roads, therefore making them safer for everyone. 

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Union County Freeholders Become First County in New Jersey to Pass Resolution in Support of Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants in Unanimous Vote

Union County Freeholders passed a resolution urging the state legislature and governor to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants

For Immediate Release

May 29, 2015

Contact: Sara Cullinane, Make the Road New Jersey, 908-768-4991. Carlos Rojas, Faith in New Jersey, 732-372-1487.

Elizabeth – Last night Union County become the first county in New Jersey to pass a resolution urging the state government to enact legislation allowing the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. The Board of Freeholders voted on a resolution introduced by Freeholder Chairman Mohammed Jalloh by a unanimous vote. Similar resolutions have already been passed in Camden, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Dover, and Bridgeton.

"Trying to work and raise a family in New Jersey without a driver's license is next to impossible. Giving immigrants access to licenses will make our streets safer, our economy stronger and keep our families together. As a resident of Union County, I thank the Freeholders for their historic vote in support of Drivers Licenses for all.” said Luis Villa, member of Make the Road New Jersey and resident of Elizabeth, NJ.

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Jersey City, Largest Immigrant Municipality in New Jersey, Approves Resolution Supporting State Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants

Jersey City Council passed the resolution with a unanimous vote. Jersey City is the eighth municipality to pass a resolution urging the state legislature and governor to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants.

For Immediate Release

May 28, 2015

Contact: Johanna Calle, NJAIJ Program Coordinator, 973-474-9850 (office) and 201-580-3060 (cell)

Jersey City– The city with the largest immigrant population in the state of New Jersey, with over 40% foreign born residents, has approved a resolution urging the state government to enact legislation allowing the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. The Jersey City Municipal Council voted on a resolution introduced by Council President Lavarro by a unanimous vote, making Jersey City the eighth city to pass this type of measure, following Camden, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Dover, and Bridgeton.

Advocates across the state have been working with local communities to urge their mayors, municipalities and counties to pass resolutions in support the state legislation that would benefit around 464,000 people in the state. The legislation would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses for the purposes of driving in the state, if they pass driving and identity tests. According to New Jersey Policy Perspective, in their report Share the Road, this type of policy would create a revenue of 5 million dollars in licensing fees and it would lower insurance premiums to all residents of the state by creating 209 million dollars in insurance premium revenue.

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