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nj governor’s blue ribbon panel

Firm Partner, Michael Wildes Appointed by NJ Governor Jon Corzine to Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy


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Firm Partner and Englewood Mayor, Michael Wildes was appointed to New Jersey Governor Corzine’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy. The Advisory Panel will consist of 27 members. The Governor appointed 18 public members from various arenas. There will be two legislatives members, one each from the African-American and Latino legislative caucuses. There will be seven Commissioners or their designees who will serve as ex-officio members.

Governor Corzine signed Executive Order No. 78 at Liberty Park, NJ establishing the Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigrant Policy that will develop recommendations for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrating immigrants in the State.

Mayor Wildes, chairman of a state League of Municipalities Immigration Task Force, said the panel will prove helpful “while Congress stands silently on the sidelines watching our broken immigration system fester.”

The panel, headed by Public Advocate Ronald Chen, will spend 15 months looking at education, citizenship status, civil rights, fair housing, health care, language proficiency and employment training.

Mayor Wildes, one of four panel members from Bergen County, says working as an immigration attorney and serving as the mayor of a city with a large immigrant population allows him to see both sides of the immigration issue. Wildes added that: “I applaud the Governor for taking on this important initiative and stand ready to serve. It is my prayer that we will meet this challenge seamlessly so we are not at risk for bringing people into the system and treat them with dignity.”


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The Executive Order:

WHEREAS, New Jersey ranks 3rd in the nation in the number of its foreign-born residents as a percentage of the total State population; and
WHEREAS, immigrants have historically contributed to the economic, social, and civic fabric of this State and this nation; and
WHEREAS, immigrants face many challenges and obstacles on the path to becoming fully productive and self-sufficient members of society; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey recognizes that the successful integration of its immigrants as fully productive and self-sufficient members of society is critical to the future economic and social well-being of the State; and
WHEREAS, the federal government enacts immigration policy regarding the terms and conditions for entry and work in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the states have the responsibility for the development and implementation of policies that assist immigrants’ integration into society; and
WHEREAS, a progressive and holistic approach by the State towards immigrant policy that leverages the skills and assets of its immigrants and directs State resources in accelerating immigrant integration will benefit the entire State;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
1. There is hereby established the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy (“Advisory Panel”).
2. All public members of the Advisory Panel shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure. The Governor shall select from among all of the members the chair of the Advisory Panel. All public members of the Advisory Panel shall serve without compensation.
3. The Advisory Panel shall consist of 27 members. The 18 public members shall be broadly representative of the following subjects and constituencies: civil rights, commerce, community-based organizations, education, faith-based organizations, immigration advocacy, labor, and service providers. The New Jersey Legislature’s African-American and Latino Caucuses shall each select from their membership one member to serve on the Advisory Panel. The Attorney General, the Commissioners of Children and Families, Education, Health and Senior Services, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, and the Public Advocate or their designees shall serve as ex-officio members of the Advisory Panel. Vacancies on the Advisory Panel shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
4. The Advisory Panel shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members.
5. The Advisory Panel shall be authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with any information, personnel or other assistance available as the Advisory Panel deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Advisory Panel within the limits of its statutory authority and to furnish the Advisory Panel with such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. The Advisory Panel may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission. The Department of the Public Advocate shall provide staff support to the Advisory Panel.
6. The Advisory Panel is charged with developing recommendations for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate the rapidly growing immigrant population in New Jersey.
7. The Advisory Panel shall develop recommendations on how the State can better prepare immigrants to become fully productive and self-sufficient members of society by addressing the need for greater access in the following areas: civil rights, citizenship status, education, employment/workforce training, fair housing, healthcare, language proficiency and other key areas as identified by the Advisory Panel.
8. The Advisory Panel shall elicit input by conducting public hearings to take testimony from individuals, community groups and other interested parties and by arranging for those who are not able to testify in person to forward their testimony by mail or by internet.
9. The Advisory Panel may report to the Governor from time to time and shall issue a final report to the Governor no later than 15 months from the date of the first organizational meeting. The final report shall include the Advisory Panel’s recommendations, including whether a more permanent body is necessary for the implementation of immigrant policy in the State or whether another type of entity is more appropriate. The Advisory Panel shall expire upon the issuance of its final report.
10. Any reports of the Advisory Panel shall be provided to the Legislature and shall be made available to the public.
11. This Order shall take effect immediately.

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