Standing Up for Immigrant Rights in New Jersey
Make the Road New Jersey members have led the charge on key policy victories in New Jersey.
- In 2018, youth leaders worked in coalition to pass legislation that expands access to state financial aid to New Jersey’s undocumented students and DACA recipients, breaking down barriers to higher education for thousands of immigrant young people state-wide.
- Make the Road New Jersey members helped win a landmark investment in legal defense of detained immigrants facing deportation from Gov. Phil Murphy – the largest initial investment towards universal representation for detainees of any state in the nation. Currently the state allocates more than $8.1 million in aid to provide families with critical legal services.
- Make the Road NJ’s activism resulted in the state of New Jersey divesting from private immigration prisons.
- After a campaign to make New Jersey a fair and welcoming state, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a groundbreaking directive to ensure New Jersey law enforcement do not aid in the deportation of immigrants. Make the Road NJ worked closely as a member of the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice to win the Immigrant Trust Directive.
- In 2019, after years of campaigning, our members won a law that extends drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.
- In 2020, we won powerful legislation to remove immigration status requirements from occupational licensing in New Jersey, expanding access to economic opportunity to hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Jerseyans.
- During the pandemic, immigrants worked on the frontlines and were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. After an eighteen month fight, MRNJ won the first ever Excluded New Jerseyans’ Fund and a cash benefit program for ITIN filers. Totaling more than $110 million in aid, nearly 100,000 immigrants and individuals excluded from federal COVID assistance were able to receive government aid.
Leading the Resistance and Defending DACA
MRNJ has played a pivotal role in federal inmigration policy. During the Trump era, our members led the resistance in New Jersey to the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants. In 2017, Make the Road New Jersey youth members led a 1,000 person day of action in five locations across the state on the day DACA was scheduled to end, and hosted more than two dozen rallies, including civil disobedience, to push our congressional representatives to support a clean Dream Act. Our youth members also participated in federal litigation that successfully blocked the end of DACA. When Trump began separating families at the border and caging children, we mobilized a dozen actions, including a 3,000 person rally in Newark, to protest the cruel and inhumane policies. Make the Road NJ leaders have mobilized hundreds around the state to demand Congress defund ICE.