The political landscape for immigrants in 2017 under Trump was bleak, with widespread anticipatory anxiety regarding the fate of DREAMers, TPS recipients, individuals from Muslim backgrounds, beneficiaries of chain migration, and the undocumented currently residing in some 300 "sanctuary cities" around the United States. No doubt the apprehension has been exacerbated by statistics that include the fact that there was a 37% increase in the number of arrests of illegal immigrants in the United States last year.
Amid the despair, Democratic Governor-elect Phil Murphy has emerged a reassuring political voice with hopeful promises to protect New Jersey's immigrants without legal status. Noteworthy is Murphy's stated objective to un-do some of the anti-immigrant policies and actions of his predecessor, Republican Governor Christie. Christie vetoed a proposal for in-state financial aid for unauthorized immigrants who arrived as children, cut funding for job-training programs geared for Latinas, and ended state involvement in refugee resettlement programming and assistance. In addition to changing the state's actions towards its immigrant population, Murphy has discussed a desire to create an Office of Immigration Affairs and to pass legislation that would allow all residents to obtain driver's licenses and professional licenses, regardless of legal status. Indeed, he has even considered making New Jersey a "Sanctuary State."
The Shulman Law Group, LLC applauds the progressive and pro-immigrant campaign promises of Phil Murphy and looks forward to his gubernatorial administration that appears poised to provide a hopeful and welcome change for immigrants residing in New Jersey. Immigration attorney and firm founder, Edward Shulman, Esq. looks forward to working with Governor-elect Murphy and his staff to increase the dialogue about advocating for the needs of immigrants in the State of New Jersey.