SENATE, No. 3251

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 16, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BRITNEE N. TIMBERLAKE

District 34 (Essex)

Senator  ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Singleton, McKeon, Burgess, Johnson, Ruiz, Pou and Zwicker

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes “New Jersey Migrant and Refugee Assistance Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the provision of assistance to migrants and refugees in New Jersey and supplementing Title 44 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the “New Jersey Migrant and Refugee Assistance Act.”

 

     2.  The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.  New Jersey is home to a diverse population, including migrants and refugees who have come seeking safety and a better life.

     b.  Given the significant influx of migrants from countries such as Haiti and Venezuela, where political turmoil has de-stabilized societies, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where human rights crises persist, there is a heightened need for supportive measures in this State.

     c.  Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals from these regions, it is essential to provide tailored resources that facilitate a smoother transition into New Jersey society.

     d.  Connecting migrants and refugees with State resources and public assistance programs is crucial for their successful integration and contribution to the State’s social and economic fabric.

    

     3.  a.  As used in this section:

     “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

     “Migrant” means any individual who has relocated to the State of New Jersey from another country.

     “Program” means the Migrant and Refugee Resource Coordination Program established pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

     “Refugee” means any individual granted refugee status under federal law.

     b.  There is established in the Department of Human Services a Migrant and Refugee Resource Coordination Program.  The purpose of this program shall be to connect migrants and refugees with information and resources regarding public assistance programs for which they are eligible.

     c. The department shall ensure that the information provided under the program shall include, but not be limited to, information on:  housing, healthcare, educational opportunities, job training, and legal services.

     d. The department shall collaborate with local governments, nonprofit organizations, and community groups to facilitate access to these resources.

     e.  The department shall develop and implement an outreach campaign to inform migrants and refugees about the program.  The outreach campaign shall utilize multiple languages and media platforms to ensure widespread dissemination of information about the program.

     f.  The department shall submit an annual report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), the Legislature, which report shall:

  (1)  detail the effectiveness of the program, including the number of migrants and refugees served and the types of assistance provided; and

(2)  include any recommendations for improvements to the program.

 

     4. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the “New Jersey Migrant and Refugee Assistance Act.”

     The bill establishes in the Department of Human Services (department) a Migrant and Refugee Resource Coordination Program.  The purpose of this program will be to connect migrants and refugees with information and resources regarding public assistance programs for which they are eligible.  The department will ensure that the information provided under the program will include, but not be limited to, information on:  housing, healthcare, educational opportunities, job training, and legal services.  The department will collaborate with local governments, nonprofit organizations, and community groups to facilitate access to these resources.

     Under the bill. the department will develop and implement an outreach campaign to inform migrants and refugees about the program.  The outreach campaign will utilize multiple languages and media platforms to ensure widespread dissemination of information about the program.

     The department will submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, which report will:  (1)  detail the effectiveness of the program, including the number of migrants and refugees served and the types of assistance provided; and (2)  include any recommendations for improvements to the program.