Governor Phil Murphy has signed a historic bill allowing undocumented people to obtain professional and occupational licensing in our state, as long as they meet certain other requirements. The law allows undocumented immigrants the opportunity to get jobs as accountants, architects, acupuncturists, court reporters, doctors, engineers, social workers, and other careers requiring a license. For immigrants without legal documentation, the law could provide life-changing pathways to higher paying careers.
Governor Murphy calls the bill the right thing to do when New Jersey is facing labor shortages in numerous professions, particularly the healthcare industry. "This bill is a good idea no matter what, but God knows the strain and stress on our medical and health professions made its timing and its urgency even more so,” the governor said regarding the labor shortage and the COVID-19 epidemic.
1 in 5 Undocumented People Possess a Degree or Certificate
The law resembles similar laws in California, New Mexico, and Nevada, but it’s the first on the East Coast to offer a path toward professional licensing for undocumented people. In New Jersey alone, over 1 in 5 undocumented immigrants have a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. That’s an enormous amount of untapped potential the current immigration laws have marginalized and ignored.
Our firm celebrates with all our undocumented neighbors and clients this historic victory for the immigrant community! This law will be an improvement for all our lives, not only for undocumented immigrant workers, but for all residents of New Jersey who have suffered due to a shortage of workers in essential industries.