NJCTE Supports S2455

The board of NJCTE has voted to join with Make the Road New Jersey and other professional and labor organizations, educators, and community groups to support S2455: to remove barriers to occupational licenses so that all qualified individuals, regardless of federal immigration status, can pursue their respective career paths. As New Jersey faces an unprecedented public health crisis, and a dearth of health care professionals to meet the need, it is all the more critical that this legislation moves forward.

Thousands of immigrant young people across New Jersey are studying to become nurses, physical therapists, teachers, or accountants, all occupations that require an occupational license – yet citizenship requirements currently block their pathway to licensure. Removing barriers to professional and occupational licenses for qualified individuals can help fill urgent state labor shortages and retain skilled immigrants.

Already, New Jersey has made enormous strides in welcoming immigrants. Because of legislative action, undocumented students who attend New Jersey high schools are eligible for in-state tuition and state financial aid if they go to New Jersey colleges and next year they’ll be able to apply for driver’s licenses. As a result, thousands of immigrants attend New Jersey colleges and universities with dreams of becoming nurses, physician assistants, and English teachers. However, these same students are currently not eligible for occupational licenses.

Passing S2455 will strengthen opportunities for undocumented students instead of forcing them to find other work or move to another state. For more information about this campaign, please contact Nedia Morsy at Make the Road NJ, nedia.morsy@maketheroadnj.org.

Consider 1) making a call or 2) filling out this link which will send a pre-written email to your representative: https://p2a.co/vcHctFN

Calls can go out to Senator Pou, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin:

Senator Pou (2544 sponsor): (973) 247-1555
Senate President Sweeney: (856) 339-0808 

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin: (732) 855-7441

Call script for Senator Pou: “Hi, my name is ________ and I am an educator in _______/member of NJCTE. I am reaching to thank Senator Pou for introducing S2544, which would expand access to licenses to all qualified New Jersey residents, regardless of immigration status. As New Jersey faces a severe nursing and healthcare worker shortage and teacher shortage, it is critical that the state step up. Thank you for your leadership and we are eager to see S2455 make it through the Senate and onto the Governor’s desk.”

Call script for Senate President Steve Sweeney: “Hi, my name is ________ and I am an educator in _______/member of NJCTE. I am reaching out to call on the Senate President’s support for S2455, which would expand access to licenses to all qualified New Jersey residents, regardless of immigration status. As New Jersey faces a severe nursing and healthcare worker shortage and teacher shortage, it is critical that the state step up.”

Call script for Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin: “Hi, my name is ________ and I am an educator in _______/member of NJCTE. I am reaching out to call on the Assembly Speaker to introduce and support an Assembly counterpart to S2455,  which would expand access to licenses to all qualified New Jersey residents, regardless of immigration status. As New Jersey faces a severe nursing and healthcare worker shortage and teacher shortage, it is critical that the state step up.”

NJCTE Supports S2455

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