New Jersey Mayors Continue Move to Issue ID Cards to Undocumented Immigrants
The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, along with other mayors across the state, is moving forward with plans to issue ID cards to undocumented immigrants, according to a recent press conference. The ID cards would allow undocumented workers to gain access to basic services in the cities, and Newark mayor Ras Baraka has urged other cities and towns in the state to follow suit, saying that all residents should be afforded basic protections as they travel through the state.
The statement from the mayors came shortly after a federal court halted the President's executive action on immigration, which provides for some of the same protections the mayors are pushing for. The judge halted the executive action following lawsuits filed by 26 states; the judge stated that the executive action didn't comply with the Administrative Procedure Act because the White House didn't give adequate notification and allow for an appropriate comment period before taking action.
Under the ID program proposed by the New Jersey mayors, immigrants with municipal IDs could legally hold property, open bank accounts, use public city services, and pay taxes. The program being pushed by the Newark mayor models a program already instituted in New York City. The mayor hopes to implement the program in July 2015, but stated that details needed to be worked out with local businesses and banks.
The number of undocumented immigrants in the state of New Jersey at the time of the 2010 census was estimated ate approximately 550,000, accounting for 6.2 percent of the state's overall population. Estimates are that 400,000 of those individuals worked, making up 8.6 percent of the state's labor force. If instituted across the state, the mayors' plan could bring hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers into the legal fold, making it easier to track and cover individuals under provisions such as workers' compensation plans. In addition to benefiting the workers themselves, the measure could benefit localities by increasing the number of legal taxpayers in each town or city.
We currently live in a time when immigration law is under constant debate in political circles. With news coverage on both sides, it can be difficult to understand where the law actually is at any time, making it hard for immigrants to know which actions to take to protect themselves and their families. Seeking expert guidance about citizenship, immigrant rights, or deportations issues can help you understand your options and navigate legal channels in the most appropriate way.
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