International Workers Day: Labor Lights Path to Citizenship for Thousands of New Jerseyans

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May 1st is International Workers Day. More than 10 million people across the country are expected to take to the streets to demand justice for working people and immigrants. The rules of trade and outdated immigration policies have put profit over people for too long, and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO continues to stand strong with our brothers and sisters in pursuit of justice.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO realizes that our efforts must extend beyond a single day of action and is a leader in the fight for immigrant rights in our state. Through a collaborative project with Hudson and Union County governments, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO spearheaded the creation of We Are One NJ, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides support services to legal permanent residents seeking to attain U.S. citizenship.

There are We Are One NJ centers in Hudson and Union County that opened their doors in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Both centers have achieved incredible progress to date. Thus far, they have processed more than 1,000 citizenship applications, and celebrated with 538 clients upon their becoming fully naturalized citizens.

The road to citizenship is challenging and often takes years to complete. Therefore, the We Are One NJ centers are committed to offering a range of services to navigate the process and encourage clients along the way. The centers offer ESL and citizenship test preparation classes with a focus on American history, government, civics, and English conversation. The centers have also held informal meet ups, including potlucks, to bring together members of the community in appreciation of shared values and cultural diversity.

The theme of this year’s International Workers Day is: “working people united across borders”. This concept of solidarity is the foundation of our labor movement. We live in a global economy, and the fact remains that our fate as working people are inextricably linked, no matter where we live in the world. Through We Are One NJ, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO is working to bring families together and ensure that working people from across the globe stand together.

For more information on the services offered through We Are One NJ, you can visit www.weareonenj.org or look up “We Are One New Jersey” on Facebook.

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