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Victory for Justice: Three New Laws Transforming Immigrant Rights in New Jersey


In January of this year, during the final days of the New Jersey legislative session, three new laws were passed that can support the immigrant community here in New Jersey. They were all signed by the governor and are now being implemented.


Many organizations throughout the state have been fighting for a long time to achieve these legislative achievements for the immigrant community, and we know many of you have supported this work throughout the campaigns.


Thanks to the hard work of impacted communities and advocates, this is what we were able to achieve:


1. Language Access Act: This law requires all state agencies that provide direct services to provide translation and interpretation in the state's 7 major languages. Those languages ​​include Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Korean, Gujarati, and Portuguese.


2. Data Disaggregation Act: This law requires agencies that collect demographic information to disaggregate the ethnicities of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to include Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian, and Indian ethnicities. Previously, the categories used by New Jersey state agencies grouped more than 70 ethnicities and countries of origin into just two racial groups. With this new data, they will have a better idea of ​​the diversity of Asian immigrants in New Jersey.


3. Domestic Workers Bill of Rights: This law guarantees to protect domestic workers from unsafe working conditions, protects against retaliation for exercising their rights, provides a mandatory meal and rest breaks, a weekly rest day, and mandatory labor contracts that detail hours of work and salary. The legislation also ensures the resources necessary to educate workers and employers about their rights, as well as support to enforce those rights when they are violated. Before that law, domestic workers were excluded from most labor rights laws.


In the journey towards achieving justice and equity for immigrant communities, our work is far from over. It's crucial to continue advocating for legislative changes that uplift and protect the rights of all individuals, regardless of their background.


Your support, whether through contacting legislators, participating in rallies, or donating to organizations like CATA, plays a pivotal role in driving this progress forward. Together, we can make a difference and create a more inclusive society for everyone. If you'd like to join us in our activism efforts or have any questions, please reach out to Meghan at mhurley@cata-farmworkers.org.

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