LUPE fully supports the passage of S2455, The Professional and Occupational License Bill and urges NJ Legislators to approve it.
TRENTON, N.J. – JUNE 4, 2020 – New Jersey has an interest to ensure that all its residents can contribute their skills and talents to help us address key labor and workforce shortages.
Many residents who come to the United States as immigrants have formal education degrees from their home countries with key professional experience in their field of financial services, nursing, medicine and law. However, they are constrained by federal and State law from obtaining professional and occupational licenses.
Additionally, New Jersey has made enormous strides supporting immigrant communities. Because of legislative action, an undocumented student who attends a New Jersey high school is eligible for in-state tuition and state financial aid. However, this same student is unable to apply for an occupational license. Passing S2455 will strengthen opportunities for immigrant students who have graduated from school in New Jersey, instead of forcing them to find other work or move to another state because they cannot apply for a license. Moreover, as the Trump administration ends key programs like DACA and TPS, tens of thousands of New Jerseyans’ livelihoods are at risk. Many states — from deep-red Arkansas and South Dakota, to blue California and New York — have already enacted legislation or administrative changes to remove barriers to occupational licenses. New Jersey has the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and the need for healthcare workers and other professions continues to grow. These immigrants have the talent, skills, ability, and willingness to work and aid in the shortage of fully bilingual and multi- cultural workforce shortages across many fields.
It is therefore fitting and appropriate that the State of New Jersey ensures that a person that meets the requirements for any professional licensure in New Jersey is able to obtain a professional or occupational license and pursue a fruitful and rewarding career in the profession they have been trained for and wish to engage in our economic re-emergence as together we re-build our economy post the pandemic-crisis.
Therefore, Latinas United for Political Empowerment (LUPE) fully supports the passage of S2455: The Professional and Occupational License Bill.
This critical Legislation will remove barriers to occupational licenses so all qualified individuals regardless of federal immigration status can obtain an occupational license, pursue their profession and contribute to New Jersey.
About Latinas United for Political Empowerment (LUPE):
LUPE is a state-wide organization advancing the interest of Latinas and our families. We advocate for the economic, educational and political empowerment of Latinas by engaging in issue advocacy, voter education & mobilization, and in training and supporting Latinas to run for public office. Our mission is to advocate for the rights of Latinas to have a seat at the table in government and politics so that our community can have a voice in enacting policies that encourage economic opportunity, equity and inclusion across all areas of society for Latinos in New Jersey.