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Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Gov. Murphy signs legislation improving immigrants’ rights

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024

New Jersey occupies a unique position with respect to the waves of immigrants currently falling on America’s shores. The federal Constitution limits New Jersey’s ability to legislate in favor of these immigrants, but the legislature keeps trying. In January, Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills known collectively as the “people’s agenda.”

Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

Perhaps the most far reaching of the three bills signed by the governor is the statute aimed at protecting and improving the quality of life for domestic workers. This law aims to improve working and living conditions for a group of immigrants usually considered on the lowest rung of immigrant groups.

The bill requires employers to enter into writing contracts with domestic workers with provisions for breaks, requiring employers to pay the state minimum wage, and establishes penalties for violations, including penalties for employers who engage in retaliation.

Mandated translation

The second of the three bills requires certain state agencies to translate some state documents into the seven most common languages other than English now spoken in the state. The bill originally specified the translation of 15 different languages before it was amended to include only seven languages. Advocates of this measure said that it provides valuable access to state services for individuals who do not speak English.

Asian diaspora information

New Jersey is home to immigrants from many different nations in Asia and the many Pacific islands. The third bill in the package mandates state agencies to include more detailed demographic data that will identify an immigrant’s home country. Supporters of the bill say that breaking the state’s demographic data on these groups into smaller, more specific categories will help eliminate unfair trends and inequities.

The three bills will affect different groups in different ways. Anyone wanting specific information might wish to speak to a knowledgeable immigration attorney.