Estrella Rivas has always wanted to be a doctor. But Rivas, who came to the United States from El Salvador when she was 5 years old, knew that her immigration status could prevent her from obtaining a professional license in her chosen field.

Rivas said the frustration at not being able to join the medical profession grew even stronger during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Immigration advocates in New Jersey are praising a two-year old state program that provides free legal aid to people in federal immigration detention. More than HALF of detainees who were provided with lawyers by the program were released. 

One of detainees who got released was North Plainfield resident Fernando Fernandez Dominguez … who was picked up during an ICE raid in 20-17. Fernandez Dominguez had a private attorney but was not happy with the attorney’s representation. It wasn’t until he got a lawyer through Rutgers University’s legal clinic that he got released.

The 22,000 “Dreamers” living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware can stay in the United States for now.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2017.

In a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the majority concluded that the administration’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious” and should be rescinded, but left the door open for the Department of Homeland Security to modify the program in the future.

People wanting to be anything from an accountant to an acupuncturist in New Jersey need to obtain professional licenses before they can ply their trade.

A proposal in the state Legislature would make certain immigrants living in the state eligible to apply for and obtain those licenses, which supporters said would invigorate the economy and bring some immigrants out of the shadows.

Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey is ready to go to court with the Trump administration over the state’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits cooperation between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

On Monday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Murphy administration over the policy, which it says is unconstitutional.

“We will defend our position with great vigor, in particular on behalf of public safety,” Murphy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The other side of the argument does not have the facts on their side.”

The Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against New Jersey over a state policy that limits law enforcement agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration officials.

In a complaint filed Monday, Justice Department prosecutors said the so-called “Immigrant Trust Directive” violates the U.S. Constitution and should be invalidated.

“Today’s lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, seeks to restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Tatiana Rodriguez emigrated from Uruguay when she was a child, but she is not covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which means she cannot legally get a driver’s license in the state of New Jersey.

The Elizabeth resident said, during a hearing in the state legislature on Monday, that the inability to drive has put a strain on her family.

“I have a six-year-old boy who asks me every day why I can’t drive him to school, why we can’t drive to his doctors appointments, why I cannot be behind the wheel to take him to his soccer games,” she said.

When Adriana Gomez was 2 years old, she moved to the United States from Mexico. Now, she is a full-time teacher in New Jersey.

She worries that she may lose her driver’s license if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is eliminated. The Supreme Court starts oral arguments for DACA’s future next week.

That’s why it is crucial that New Jersey enshrine the right of immigrants to get driver’s licenses, she said.

More Latinx and Asian children in New Jersey are living without health insurance, according to a new report.

Researchers with the progressive think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective believe tougher immigration policies from the Trump administration are instilling fear in immigrant communities in New Jersey, where 85% of foreign-born residents hail from Latin America and Asia.

Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan and the County of Cape May are suing the state attorney general’s office over a directive that blocks local police agencies from entering into agreements with federal immigration authorities.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court claims that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has endangered the public safety of the county by restricting its ability to communicate with federal law enforcement.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is among the plaintiffs in a multistate lawsuit against the Trump administration over a new immigration rule that advocates say will drive immigrant communities further underground.

The rule expands the definition of a “public charge” to include immigrants using certain public assistance programs, including Medicaid and food stamps. Immigrants deemed a “public charge” have a more difficult time being granted legal status.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

The Mexico City-born artist Antonio Sanchez has always been outspoken about immigration, a subject he addresses on his new album, Lines In The Sand.

For Sanchez, a five-time Grammy award-winning drummer and composer, activism came naturally; in a sense, he never had a choice in the matter. His calling as a crusader for human rights is indelibly linked to an immigration story in his family, which took place before he was born.

Several Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey want to create a state identification card for people who lack the personal documents required to get a federally compliant driver’s license.

Such an ID card would give undocumented immigrants, many of whom lack a Social Security number, the ability to drive.

A Public Health Crisis May Be On The Way

Oct 4, 2018
Dr. Katz
NYC H+H Press Office

In the first 21 months of President Donald Trump's term he has made good on his pledge to crack down on immigration. Now, some public health officials are warning his policy poses a significant risk to the public health of all Americans because immigrants are now avoiding seeing the doctor. That, experts warn, sets the stage for outbreaks of communicable diseases like tuberculosis that would impact the entire population.

Anna Webber

For as long as we’ve known Kurt Elling, he has been among our most inquisitive jazz vocalists.

“All the music in this album was written during a very blue period in my life,” the bassist Charles Mingus observed in the liner notes to Tijuana Moods.

Recorded a little over 60 years ago, on July 18 and August 6, 1957, it’s an album that remains unique not only in the Mingus discography but also in jazz as a whole.

Commentary: Treat Immigrants with Respect in 2018

Jan 5, 2018
Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor talks about her concerns regarding how people treat immigrants in the United States.

Mildred is a social commentator, author and Seton Hall University Professor.


Even many Donald Trump supporters are taking a more moderate view about unauthorized immigration. That's the finding of a new Monmouth University poll.

Poll director Patrick Murray says support for severe policy measures of deportation or a border wall has declined since the harsh rhetoric of the presidential campaign. Republicans are mainly responsible for that shift.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Nearly 800,000 people have been approved for the DACA program nationwide since 2012.

“All the talk of us taking away jobs and handouts is not true.”

Sara Moya is a twenty-year-old college student, a millennial, and a DACA recipient.

Rep. Lance Hosts 'Boisterous' Town Hall Meeting

Feb 24, 2017
Ang Santos / WBGO

There wasn’t much love for President Donald Trump from the hundreds of people who came to Republican Congressman Leonard Lance’s town hall meeting at Raritan Valley Community College.  A little ironic considering Trump’s Bedminster golf course sits only a few miles away.

“We actually have gone to his office his office to demand a town hall meeting, and it was kind of nice because a couple of days later there’s a town hall meeting.  I like to feel that we had something to do with it but I don’t think so,” said Michelle de Mico, a constituent of Lance’s.

NJ Senate Condemns Trump's Immigration Orders

Feb 6, 2017
Lawmakers and advocates say the resolutions are significant.
Phil Gregory

The New Jersey Senate has approved symbolic resolutions condemning President Trump's now-stalled executive orders on immigration.

One resolution opposes building a wall along the southern U.S. border and the ban on the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

The other measure expresses the legislature's intent that colleges continue to serve as safe zones to protect students and their families from action by immigration agents.

Imam Mustafa El Amin from Newark believes the resolutions will have a significant effect.