Social Justice

Groups demand protections for transgender inmates in county jails

BY: - August 27, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and Garden State Equality on Thursday urged officials running jails in New Jersey’s 21 counties to house inmates by their gender identity, not the gender they were assigned at birth. The civil rights groups, which made their plea in a letter to the state’s jail wardens, noted […]

Thousands of Afghan refugees expected at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst military base

BY: - August 24, 2021

Thousands of refugees fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan will begin arriving this week at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, Biden administration officials said in a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. At least 25,000 refugees will be sheltered at the Burlington County military base and three other facilities — Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Lee in […]

Governor Phil Murphy signing a bill

Future ICE detention contracts banned by N.J. law

BY: - August 20, 2021

Private and public New Jersey facilities are barred from signing contracts to imprison federal immigrant detainees under a new law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy Friday. Immigrant organizations, attorneys, and family members have advocated for years to end the lucrative business of immigrant detention in the Garden State. Murphy signed the bill quietly, without the […]

Undocumented residents falling deeper into debt as they await state stimulus

BY: - August 20, 2021

Monica Galindo lost her husband just as the coronavirus pandemic hit New Jersey. After 20 years of marriage, the 44-year-old mother of three became the only breadwinner of her household. That same month, she lost her job cleaning houses as pandemic restrictions took hold, and fell behind on rent and light bills. As an undocumented […]

Hunger crisis may loom as emergency food assistance ends

BY: - August 20, 2021

As pandemic protections like eviction and foreclosure moratoriums near their end, pundits and policymakers have warned about the expected impact on homelessness. But advocates for New Jersey’s poorest residents warn that federal emergency food assistance provided during the pandemic will go away soon too, and a recent bump in food stamp benefits won’t help enough […]

Essex County no longer in ICE business, but activists hold their cheers

BY: - August 19, 2021

For 13 years, the Essex County jail that held undocumented immigrants was at the center of fiery protests and confrontations, both from activists protesting in the streets of Newark and the detainees staging hunger strikes inside. Essex County Correctional Facility finally ceded to activists this year and cut its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs […]

Governor Phil Murphy speaking

Growing chorus of immigrant advocates urge Murphy to sign bill banning ICE contracts

BY: - August 11, 2021

It’s been six weeks since immigration advocacy groups began urging Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill on his desk banning federal immigration detention center contracts. Now, those calls are mounting — even coming from across the Hudson River — as progressive groups press the Democrat to make New Jersey the fifth state to ban […]

N.J. cops can’t share immigration info with feds, appeals court decides

BY: - August 10, 2021

New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive, an order restricting authorities from sharing immigration information with federal officials, has been upheld by a federal appeals court, ending a legal battle between the state and two counties. The three-judge panel rejected the counties’ arguments that federal law pre-empts New Jersey from implementing the directive, which immigrant advocates say has […]

Hate crimes registry plan finds opposition from civil rights advocates

BY: - August 9, 2021

Civil rights advocates are voicing opposition to a proposal to create a registry for New Jersey residents convicted of hate crimes. The plan, announced last week by a trio of lawmakers in the seventh legislative district, would create a public online registry containing the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and various other descriptors for New […]

Court monitor gives N.J. child welfare system positive review

BY: - August 5, 2021

Twenty-two years after advocates filed a sweeping class-action lawsuit to reform New Jersey’s overburdened, mismanaged, and occasionally deadly child welfare system, a court-appointed monitor Wednesday reported that the system has improved so much it’s now regarded as a model nationally. The state Department of Children and Families (DCF) met 44 of its 48 performance targets, […]

Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program, report finds

BY: - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how […]

From public art to police oversight, N.J. looks to right its racist past

BY: - August 4, 2021

New Jersey may not be the first state that springs to mind when considering the history of slavery and systemic racism. But the ugliness emerges after even a cursory probe into the past. The Garden State was the last of the Northern states to abolish slavery, initially rejecting the Thirteenth Amendment. Perth Amboy was one […]