Author

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for NJ.com, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.

N.J. career centers set to reopen after prolonged closures

By: - October 15, 2021

New Jersey’s one-stop career centers, which can be a lifeline for the state’s jobless, are set to reopen Monday when state employees are scheduled to return to their offices. Some lawmakers worry the centers may see lines of people hoping to get unemployment claims settled, even though the centers are not equipped to handle those […]

IT chief warns about dangers of state’s archaic technology

By: - October 14, 2021

New Jersey’s technology infrastructure is in desperate need of repairs, with critical state agencies that oversee unemployment insurance and motor vehicle services relying on archaic systems that are at risk of failing at any point and sending the state into disarray for weeks, according to a new report released by the state. “All these legacy […]

After N.Y. fund for immigrant workers is nearly depleted, advocates say N.J. fund is too small

By: - October 13, 2021

Across the Hudson River, immigrant advocacy groups celebrated the $2.1 billion New York allocated for a long-awaited Excluded Workers Fund, available to struggling undocumented residents who were ineligible for federal stimulus checks and jobless benefits. Now that pool of money, claimed by over 300,000 people in the two months since applications opened, is almost gone, […]

Democratic socialist seeking Jersey City council seat

By: - October 11, 2021

A Jersey City council candidate is hoping to bring a touch of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hudson County’s Democratic machine with his bid to become the first democratic socialist elected in New Jersey in a century. Joel Brooks, a union representative with Health and Allied Professionals Employees, is in a two-person race to […]

Kamala Harris greeted by pro-immigrant protests in Newark, Montclair

By: - October 8, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Garden State Friday, touring an Essex County COVID-19 vaccination site and chatting with preschoolers in Montclair while making a push for increased child care funding. Harris was also greeted by dozens of activists who rallied outside both sites and urged the nation’s second in command to demand Democrats approve […]

Don’t bring Amazon to Newark airport, protesters plead

By: - October 7, 2021

To a soundtrack of screeching brakes and honking trucks, a group of environmental advocates, Newark residents, and working immigrants held a rally Wednesday to protest an impending deal for an Amazon cargo hub at Newark’s airport. “Every package you order to arrive in just minutes, every click you make — it has a cost. And […]

N.J.’s last publicly run ICE facility will no longer hold migrant detainees

By: - October 6, 2021

After years of hunger strikes and fiery protests, Bergen County’s controversial, indefinite contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold undocumented immigrants at its jail has come to an end. Bergen County Commissioners approved the move at their Wednesday meeting, giving federal authorities 45 days to transfer the 23 remaining detainees — 22 men […]

Governor Phil Murphy signing a bill

Employees over 70 can’t be forced to retire under new N.J. law

By: - October 5, 2021

Workers who are 70 and older can no longer be forced out of a job just because of their age under a bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Tuesday. The new law (A681) expands New Jersey’s existing anti-discrimination statute to protect older employees and closes what Murphy called a loophole that pushed some workers […]

ACLU fights restraining order Hudson County officials filed against anti-ICE protestors

By: - October 5, 2021

The temporary restraining order a Hudson County official filed against a group of anti-ICE activists who protested outside his Jersey City home violates the constitutional rights of protestors, the American Civil Liberties Union’s New Jersey chapter said in a brief filed Friday. The ACLU-NJ argues the restraining order should be dissolved because it limits the […]

‘What am I going to do?’: When a signing bonus can’t help the jobless

By: - September 30, 2021

Nicole Squitieri needs the $500 signing bonus New Jersey is using to lure the unemployed back to work. She said she has no choice but to turn it down. Squitieri is a mom with three kids — two of them have already had to stay home from school after coming into close contact with a […]

New Jersey City University faculty signals ‘no confidence’ vote in school’s president

By: - September 28, 2021

Faculty members at New Jersey City University signaled they want to oust the state school’s president after a tense, two-hour Zoom meeting Monday. University senators — the school’s faculty leaders — voted 30 to 23 to cast a vote of “no confidence” in NJCU President Sue Henderson, who has been at the helm of the Jersey […]

Forming a new group, N.J.’s immigrant advocates fight for release of migrant detainees

By: - September 27, 2021

A Bergen County detainee who was woken up in the middle of the night to be flown to Arizona.  A Haitian migrant who was transferred from detention center to detention center seven times over four years. An Essex County resident who was detained while his wife was pregnant, and didn’t meet his child for two […]