A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain professional and occupational licenses in New Jersey is heading to Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) desk after clearing the full assembly on Thursday.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Bill A-4225, sponsored by Assembly members Raj Mukherji (D-33), Yvonne Lopez (D-19), and Gary Schaer (D-36), says that “lawful presence in the United States shall not be required to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure.”
“New Jersey’s 53,000 DACA-eligible residents, including nearly 17,000 active DACA status holders, pay more than $100 million in state and local taxes annually. They are risking their and their families’ lives everyday as frontline healthcare workers and in other essential jobs during the pandemic,” Mukherji said in a statement.
“By eliminating barriers to occupational licenses, we will enable qualified, trained, highly skilled, and hardworking Dreamers to fill critical worker shortages in our state while contributing to the economy and being treated with dignity. New Jersey, whose waters are home to Ellis Island, is celebrated for its diversity and thriving immigrant population.”
As required by federal law, states must affirmatively opt out of federal restrictions that bar undocumented immigrants from obtaining professional and occupational licensure.
The bill passed the Senate 26-11 on June 29th and cleared the Assembly 47-26 this week. The legislation will now await a decision from the governor.