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Leading Organizations Call On New York State Legislature to Pass the Empire State Licensing Act



March 8, 2022

Press contacts:
Sarai Bejarano | Manager of Traditional & Digital Media | [email protected] | 212-739-7581

Leading Organizations Call On New York State Legislature to Pass the Empire State Licensing Act

45 Groups Send Letter to State Lawmakers Urging them to Pass Pro-Immigration, Pro-Growth Policies for a Stronger New York as Economic Recovery Effort Continues

ALBANY, NY – A group of 45 national and state leading immigration, education, and community advocacy organizations today sent a letter to the New York State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul urging the passage of the Empire State Licensing Act (S.03046/A.01952), sponsored by State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz (D-Queens).

If passed, this legislation would remove arbitrary restrictions that hinder New York immigrants’ ability to obtain professional licensing, preventing much-needed economic growth statewide. Enabling professional individuals to develop their specialty or trade would also help ease the ongoing labor shortage taking place in a wide variety of industries.

Nearly one in four New York workers is an immigrant, and the entire immigrant community collectively contributes billions in annual taxes, fills jobs skill gaps, and in many cases, spurs investment and job creation that helps to revitalize communities. This includes undocumented immigrants who work in essential industries, including health care, construction, food services, home care, and the care economy. However, current law prohibits many of these workers from obtaining certain licenses to continue their current employment or find new jobs in the areas in which they are most qualified.

As New York leads the nation in population decline, and as the state’s population ages, it is crucial lawmakers put reforms in place to tap into the talent and skills of New York’s immigrant labor force. The state will only fully recover from the years-long economic downturn by removing these significant employment barriers.

The full letter and all signatories can be viewed HERE.


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