NJAIJ Condemns Racist Anti-Asian Mass Shooting In Georgia

New Jersey Alliance For Immigrant Justice Statement On Mass Shooting In Georgia

In the wake of a brutal mass shooting in Georgia that murdered eight people, including six Asian American women, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) resolutely condemns the continued violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the white supremacist views that inspire it. In response, NJAIJ’s Director, Amy Torres, issues the following statement:

The beauty and diversity of the AAPI community comes from over 30 countries, speaking over 100 languages and dialects. Asian immigration to North America predates the founding of the United States. The first Asians arrived as indentured Filipino crew aboard Spanish ships. Since then, AAPIs have been at the forefront of labor, civil rights, anti-war, and immigrant justice movements.

“Despite this community’s legacy, AAPIs continue to be marked as perpetual foreigners. AAPIs have been subject to racist public policies, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment, and surveillance of Muslim and South Asian communities in the wake of 9/11. Their food, language, and culture are frequently used as punchlines in American media and entertainment. Asia and the Pacific Islands have also been a frequent target of US foreign intervention and colonization. The mass violence committed against this community and their homelands has served to normalize the violence committed against them as individuals.

“It is no coincidence that Tuesday’s attack targeted Asian women, sex workers, and massage workers. Asian women have been simultaneously fetishized and demonized in America since the earliest inceptions of naturalization and immigration policy. America’s first immigration laws were enacted to exclude Chinese women due to fears about sexuality and polygamy. America’s current definitions of naturalization were formed by litigating against Asian immigrants, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Anti-AAPI violence did not start in Georgia, nor with xenophobic COVID-19 hysteria. Anti-AAPI violence and exclusion has been a centuries-long attack that, in many ways, is central and formative to America’s white hegemony.

“To truly provide safety for AAPIs, America must radically redefine belonging through policies that welcome and establish immigrant communities. As these communities seek justice, NJAIJ maintains that increased policing will not provide solutions. Christian Hall and Angelo Quinto, both Asian Americans, serve as recent, tragic reminders that police involvement too frequently ends in death and harm for people of Color. The callous response of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office the day after the shooting, compounded by allegations that one of the department’s lead police captains promoted “Chy-na Virus” t-shirts, is further proof of this point.

“NJAIJ calls on state and federal leaders to pass policies that affirm inclusion by decriminalizing informal economies, funding excluded and undocumented workers, and protecting migrant and immigrant worker rights. As AAPIs continue to lead the nation as the fastest-growing racial group and electorate, NJAIJ calls for policies that build pro-democracy reforms that establish the rising political power of naturalized immigrants. And finally, as many celebrate bills like HR 6: Dream And Promise, NJAIJ calls on federal leaders to go further to pass pro-naturalization policies without criminal inadmissibility bars and to end detention and deportation once and for all. Only then will AAPI and immigrant communities truly know belonging, inclusion, and justice."

New Year, New Team, New Session | Same Fight for Justice

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

January Newsletter

Archived 2017 picture of NJAIJ rally against the Muslim Ban.

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:

Michelle Ancil, she/her, Communications Coordinator. Laura Bustamante, she/her, Policy & Campaigns Manager. Aidee Pascual, she/her, Administrative Assistant. Kat Phan, she/her, 2022 Intern.

Click to read more about our team.

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


Member Spotlight

 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

A header image with the words


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!


NILC Features NJ's Anti-Detention Law

National Immigration Law Center

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."

Excluded NJ Fund Falls Short

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."

Fair Legislative Districts

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!

Ready to act? Spread the word:

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

P.O. Box, 200492,  | Newark, New Jersey  07102| [email protected]

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences