Global Navigation
Office of The Attorney General
The State of New Jersey Office of The Attorney General (Dept. of Law & Public Safety) The State of New Jersey NJ Home Services A to Z Departments/Agencies OAG Frequently Asked Questions
Services A to Z Departments/Agencies OAG Frequently Asked Questions
OAG Home
OAG Contact
spacer
Back to News Releases
OAG Home Attorney General's Biography
Attorney General's Biography
spacer spacer spacer
   
 
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer
For Immediate Release: For Further Information:
November 8, 2019
spacer
Office of The Attorney General
- Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General
Media Inquiries-
Lee Moore
609-292-4791
spacer
Citizen Inquiries-
609-984-5828
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
AG Grewal Urges Trump Administration to Withdraw Rule that Could Leave Asylum-Seekersí Work Permit Applications in Limbo
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer

TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today released a multi-state letter with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 17 other Attorneys General opposing a Trump Administration rule that, if adopted, would significantly hinder the ability of asylum-seekers to get work permits.

Currently, asylum-seekers are able to seek authorization to work lawfully in the United States if their asylum applications have been pending for at least 150 days, and then the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has 30 days to review and approve or deny that individual’s work authorization application.

However, a proposed Administration rule would completely eliminate USCIS’s 30-day timeframe, meaning that USCIS could fail to provide an answer on work authorization for an asylum-seeker indefinitely. Forcing asylum-seekers to wait unspecified amounts of time before learning if they will be authorized to work not only harms the asylum-seekers and their families, but also the states where they live.

“This rule is another example of the Administration’s disregard for the well-being of asylum-seekers, despite the United States’ rich history of protecting those who seek refuge in our country,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The federal government’s new proposal will leave asylum-seekers in limbo, unable to earn a living and support their families for an indefinite period of time. The rule not only hurts asylum-seekers, it’s also bad for states like New Jersey, because it marginalizes thousands of people who could otherwise be working, paying taxes, and further contributing to their communities. We’re proud to push back against the federal government’s actions.”

“It defies logic that the Trump Administration would make it harder for those seeking asylum to work,” said New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “The United States and New Jersey have always been welcoming and a land of opportunity. Why would we deny that opportunity to those seeking asylum who are ready and willing to contribute to our economy?  This continuous effort by the Administration to thwart those seeking refuge and asylum is wrong for our country and we urge its withdrawal.”

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said, “By taking this action, the federal government is unduly punishing asylum-seekers for pursuing the dignity of work. This hurts our economy by depriving the state of employment taxes, and our employers, who need a reliable workforce to remain competitive. Unfortunately, this short-sighted approach also heightens the risk that these asylum-seekers will be forced underground, where they have no work rights or safety protections.”

Under the current system, asylum-seekers can apply for a work permit – formally known as an Employment Authorization Document -- if their asylum application has been pending for 150 days. Once an application for employment authorization is filed, USCIS must act on it within 30 days. Currently, 96 percent of work permit applications are handled within the regulatory timeframe.

New Jersey, California and the other participating states believe the proposed rule would result in a significant drop in timely adjudications. According to USCIS’ own estimates, such delays would result in up to approximately $775 million in lost compensation annually.

Across the country, immigrant households contribute billions of dollars in state and local taxes every year. New Jersey and the other opposing states contend that forcing asylum-seekers to wait even longer than they currently do before being able to legally work in the U.S. will negatively impact state economies.

The proposed rule also threatens asylum-seekers and their families by making them more likely to seek work through exploitative employers in the underground economy.

 Moreover, the states contend, asylum-seekers without a stable income source are less likely to be able to hire an attorney. That, in turn, can disrupt their ability to successfully establish a legitimate asylum claim.

Joining New Jersey and California in today’s comment letter opposing the EAD rule are the Attorneys General of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

####

spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
 
News Index Page I top
 
Executive Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General's Message Ask the Attorney General
Contact OAG About OAG
OAG News OAG Frequently Asked Questions
OAG Library Employment
OAG Grants Proposed Rules
OAG History OAG Services A-Z
Statutes
OAG Agencies / Programs / Units
Other News Pages Otras Noticias en Español Division of NJ State Police Division of Law News Governor's Office News Division of Highway Traffic Safety News Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Juvenile Justice Commission News Division on Civil Rights News Division of Consumer Affairs News Division of Criminal Justice News Election Law Enforcement Commission Division of Gaming Enforcement News
NJ State Police News Governor's Office News Division of Highway Traffic Safety News Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Juvenile Justice Commission News Division on Civil Rights News Division of Consumer Affairs News Division of Criminal Justice News Election Law Enforcement Commission Division of Elections News Division of Gaming Enforcement News Office of Government Integrity News
   
Contact Us | Privacy Notice | Legal Statement | Accessibility Statement
NJ Home Logo
Departmental: OAG Home | Contact OAG | About OAG | OAG News | OAG FAQs
Statewide: NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright © State of New Jersey
This page is maintained by OAG Communications. Comments/Questions: email or call 609-292-4925
OAG Home OAG Home NJ State Police News Governor's Office News Division of Highway Traffic Safety News Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Juvenile Justice Commission News Division on Civil Rights News Division of Consumer Affairs News Division of Criminal Justice News Election Law Enforcement Commission Division of Elections News Division of Gaming Enforcement News Office of Government Integrity News Click to Enlarge Image Click to Enlarge Image Click to Enlarge Graphic Click to enlarge chart Click to enlarge map Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click on image to enlarge... Click on image to enlarge... Click to enlarge...Click to enlarge...Click to enlarge...Click to enlarge... Click to enlarge... click to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlarge click to enlarge