As New Jersey's largest immigration coalition, we have stood at the fore of every major immigrant justice fight.
Check out what we have achieved together.
In 2021, New Jersey banned new agreements, as well as renewals and extensions, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain immigrants. Under the new law, state and local entities — as well as private facilities — are prohibited from entering into or renewing contracts with ICE.
In the time since the ICE detention ban went into effect, all 3 county ICE jails have been shut down. The campaigns to close Bergen County Jail, Hudson County Jail, and Essex County Jail's ICE agreements have been years in the making, with some fights spanning decades. New Jersey's final private ICE facility, Elizabeth Detention Center, is set to close in late Summer 2023.
Let's Drive NJ: Drivers Licenses for All
In 2021, a multi-year fight to deliver Driver's Licenses for All became a reality as the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission finally allowed “status neutral licenses” whereby any individual, regardless of immigration background, can apply for a driver's license in New Jersey. NJAIJ was the lead convener of the Let's Drive NJ campaign that fought hard for the law and stands vigilant in its implementation.
In 2021, New Jersey families pushed to expand healthcare coverage to all children, regardless of immigration status. Over 40% of New Jersey children are part of immigrant families. The January 2023 change is expected to provide Medicaid coverage to 16,000 children in the State. Learn more about enrollment in Cover All Kids below.
Pandemic Economic Relief
As part of the Recovery4All coalition, NJAIJ fought for the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund (ENJF), which provided one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible households who were excluded from both the federal stimulus checks and COVID-19 related unemployment assistance - including undocumented individuals, residents re-entering from the justice system, and any other individuals otherwise excluded.
While the initial ENJF program has ended, limited relief for ITIN filers is still available.
NJAIJ joined leading racial justice organizations to draw "Racial Equity" Unity Maps for congressional and state legislative redistricting. Our effort prioritized racial equity and fair representation for communities with shared interests and included six people of Color majority districts for Congress and 20 people of Color majority districts in the State legislature.
While not all recommendations from the Racial Equity Maps were adapted by New Jersey's Redistricting Commission, important progress was made. Our coalition also won an early public release of draft maps, set ing a historic precedent for future redistricting efforts.
Municipal ID Programs & Sanctuary Cities
Close to 15 New Jersey municipalities have ID programs for people who do not have or cannot prove immigration status. The effort to build up a strong sanctuary city network is one that led to the victories NJAIJ achieved with Let's Drive New Jersey. You can find a list of municipality and county ID programs on our Resource Hub.
Municipal ID Programs Near You
In 2017, amidst increasingly racist and xenophobic rhetoric from the Trump administration, New Jersey saw a 42% increase in ICE arrests compared to previous years. NJAIJ and member organizations fought for the Attorney General's Immigrant Trust Directive in 2018, a set of comprehensive guidelines for law enforcement on how to interact with immigrant communities and limiting their involvement in civil immigration enforcement.
Over time NJAIJ has used learnings from this directive to fight for the Values Act, a bill that would codify the best of these initial protections into law and expand them so that no person should fear detention or deportation as a consequence of standing up for their rights or seeking services and support.
Immigrant Trust Directive
Values Act Take Action
Do you like this page?