State of New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy, Attorney General Grewal Announce New Jersey Will Join Federal Lawsuit Protecting the Rights of Dreamers

Swear in first Dreamer to be admitted to New Jersey State Bar Association

Trenton – Governor Phil Murphy today joined Attorney General Gurbir Grewal at a swearing-in ceremony for Parthiv Patel, the first Dreamer to be admitted to the New Jersey Bar. At the ceremony, Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal announced that New Jersey will be filing a motion to join New York and 15 other states in a lawsuit (New York v. Trump) to combat any federal changes that could negatively impact Dreamers in New Jersey and around the country.

“This ceremony comes at a time of increasing uncertainty and chaos for our Dreamers,” Governor Murphy said. “But Dreamers like Parthiv are just as American as anyone in this state and they should not feel like the federal government is working against them. Dreamers have infinite potential and it would be an enormous injustice to push them out of the only country they have ever known. If the Trump administration fails to take the necessary action to protect our Dreamers, it would prevent some of the best and brightest this country has to offer from living their dreams and contributing to our society.”

Attorney General Grewal administered the oath of the New Jersey Bar to Patel, a participant in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program who came to New Jersey from India when he was five years old.

“I am honored to have had the privilege of swearing Parthiv into the New Jersey Bar,” Attorney General Grewal said. “Dreamers like Parthiv can serve as an inspiration to us all. That is why my office will be joining other like-minded states on litigation to combat what we believe are unlawful violations of the rights of immigrants. We need to make sure that the protections afforded to DACA recipients are preserved.”

The lack of a federal decision on DACA program was one of the primary causes of the shutdown that halted federal government operations over the weekend. Senate Republicans have said that they plan to fix DACA but there is currently no solution in sight. That leaves Dreamers around the country struggling with uncertainty and living in fear that the program could come to an end.

“It is truly an honor to be sworn into the Bar by the New Jersey Attorney General with the support of Governor Murphy and the New Jersey ACLU,” Parthiv Patel said. “I hope that other Dreamers will be afforded the same opportunities that I have gotten and that no federal changes will force those of us who work so hard for what we accomplish to leave our communities. I have always dreamed of being a lawyer. After today, that dream is a reality.”

“No one should face barriers to serving the greater good because of where they were born,” said Amol Sinha, executive director of the ACLU-NJ, which represented Parthiv Patel in his application for admission to the New Jersey Bar. “Parthiv is a son of New Jersey, and his story fits squarely in the American Dream. While other forces in the country put obstacles in the path of talented, driven young Americans like Parthiv, New Jersey shows how much we benefit when we lift up each other’s dreams rather than thwart them. I am honored to witness his admission to the practice of law in our home state and to call him a colleague.”

“New Jersey will stand with our 22,000 Dreamers and not allow for the hypocrisy of the Trump administration’s policies to strip away the rights of our residents,” Governor Murphy said. “Our participation in this lawsuit lets our Dreamers know that a road forward for them will always exist in New Jersey. President Trump and the administration need a clear message that we will continue to stand with our immigrant families.”

By signing on to the lawsuit, New Jersey joins New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman initiated the lawsuit in September.

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