Passaic County News

Passaic County: Fair and Welcoming

5442c7ba0f048e603c16_image.jpeg
Freeholder Assad Akhter Credits: Passaic County
7242a9cab440f3bd925c_image.jpeg
Freeholder John Bartlett, Esq. Credits: Passaic County
5442c7ba0f048e603c16_image.jpeg

PATERSON, NJ – As lawmakers in Washington, D.C. continue to consider immigration reform measures, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders is taking steps to make sure that immigrants know they are welcome within the borders of Passaic County.

Referring specifically to President Trump’s recent repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other executive orders that target immigrants, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously passed a Fair and Welcoming Policy during its Sept. 26 meeting. 

This policy, the first of its kind to be enacted in New Jersey, prohibits any county employee or agency from requesting verification of citizenship as well as any increased scrutiny or conditioning of services based on immigration status. The policy applies to all Passaic County residents unless they are suspected of or have a court order for a serious crime.

Sign Up for E-News

“Passaic County is extremely diverse, with different cultures, ethnicities and languages throughout our community,” said Freeholder Assad Akhter. “Our diversity is what makes us strong, and we will not be intimidated by broken policies designed to instill fear in our neighbors.”
 
The policy specifically prohibits requesting information about citizenship, bias-based profiling or withholding services based on immigration status.  The county will also begin accepting forms of ID other than a driver’s license, unless otherwise prohibited by Federal or State law, regulation, directive or court order.

According to Dr. Steven Rose, President, Passaic County College, students have informed him personally that they are withdrawing from their college education due to a fear of becoming targets of immigration officials. 

Testimony given by Dr. Rose earlier this month helped give rise to this policy because these fears are “having a negative impact on Passaic County,” stated Freeholder John Bartlett.“Over 1,000 young adults in Passaic County have withdrawn from their college education, and expressed that it is because of fear.”

Kathleen Long, Director of Development, Oasis, a non-profit social service agency in Paterson, welcomed the Freeholder’s recognition of the value immigrants have to the community saying that,  “our immigrant students find hope and a path to success amidst larger fears of unlawful profiling, unnecessary investigation, and unfair treatment.” With the policy acting to alleviate these fears “they will be relieved to know that they can take advantage of County services, including access to Passaic County Community College for further education” she concluded.
 
Calling the policy “a step in the right direction”, Christian Estevez, President, Latino Action Network, said that it is “less than comprehensive.” In addition to the actions taken by the Freeholders, Estevez said his organization, which counts hundreds of Paterson residents as members, would like to additionally see a stop to the county’s compliance with the federal government’s 24-hour detainer request at the county jail.

“This policy re-affirms anti-discrimination policies and upholds equal protection under the law,” stated Akhter. “It is the right thing to do.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 31, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...