In New Jersey alone, undocumented immigrants pay about $587 million in taxes every year, the sixth highest in the country. Nationwide, that number rises to $11.7 billion.
This tax money builds roads, funds education, and supports the military – for all of us. Immigrants are a part of our communities, a part of our tax base, and part of civic life. All people, no matter their status, deserve cities that are fair and welcoming.
These policies make a city fair and welcoming:
- No local resources – like funding, staff time, facilities – can be used to help carry out federal immigration operations, and no local officers can be deputized as ICE agents, including in jails.
- Local police cannot enter into contracts to detain immigrants, and they cannot honor immigration detainer requests without a criminal warrant signed by a judge.
- Strong anti-discrimination policies to protect the rights of all residents, no matter their race, sexual orientation, or suspected immigration status. Everyday biased policing ensnares too many people unfairly, immigrants and citizens alike.
And these are measures we need for everyone to truly feel welcomed:
- Municipal ID cards that can be used to interact with city agencies
- Access to legal services, as people facing deportation do not have the right to a lawyer.
- Procedures to allow victims to participate in investigations without worrying about deportation.
Fair and welcoming policies must be strong and comprehensive. Ordinances that are fair and welcoming in name only can do more harm than good, giving people a false sense of security and jeopardizing the community trust that police depend on.
Share this information about fair and welcoming cities. It’s the least we can do for the immigrants who do so much for us.