State of New Jersey
Executive Order #164

Governor Jon S. Corzine
WHEREAS, immigrants make up twenty percent of New Jersey’s population and have made substantial contributions to the state’s economic, social, cultural, political, and academic sectors; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey’s population of foreign-born individuals is the sixth largest in the nation and ranks third nationally in the proportion of its immigrant population to its total population; and

WHEREAS, immigrants help power New Jersey’s economy, making up twenty-eight percent of the workforce in New Jersey and bringing in twenty-three percent of all earnings statewide; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 78 (2007) created the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy (“Panel”), which, among other things, was charged with developing recommendations for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate the rapidly growing immigrant population in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the Panel also was tasked with making a recommendation to the Governor as to whether a more permanent body is necessary for the continued implementation of immigrant policy in the State; and

WHEREAS, on March 30, 2009, the Panel publicly released its final report which, among other things, included the recommendation that the Governor establish a Commission on New Americans (“Commission”); and

WHEREAS, the Panel concluded that New Jersey would benefit from the creation of a permanent entity within state government such as the Commission that would lead the discussion in implementing a holistic statewide policy of immigrant integration and ensure that all state agencies provide services in an efficient and culturally and linguistically competent manner; and

WHEREAS, by providing efficient and culturally and linguistically competent services New Jersey will enhance the capacity of its immigrant workforce which contributes to the overall well-educated and well-trained workforce and promotion of economic growth opportunities for the State;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. There is hereby established, in the Department of the Public Advocate, the Commission on New Americans.

  2. The Commission shall be composed of twenty-three (23) members. The following officials, or their designees, shall serve on the Commission, ex officio, and with a vote: the Governor’s Chief of Staff, the Public Advocate, the Commissioner of Human Services, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, the Commissioner of Labor, and the Director of the Division on Civil Rights is the department of law and Public Safety and Workforce Development.

  3. There shall be seventeen (17) public members of the Commission, appointed by the Governor. The Governor shall appoint each public member for a term of three years, except that of the public members first appointed, six of whom shall be appointed to a three-year term, six of whom shall be appointed to a two-year term, and five of whom shall be appointed to a one-year term. Public members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified, and any vacancy in the membership of the Commission shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided for the original appointment. Public members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.

  4. The public members shall be residents of the State, chosen with due regard for geographic representation, diversity, education, knowledge, experience, and academic post-graduate level degrees related to the immigrant community in New Jersey. The public members may include representatives from immigrant and immigrant-serving community based organizations, philanthropic organizations, advocacy groups, businesses, including immigrant entrepreneurs, unions, academia, and faith-based organizations.

  5. The Governor shall select a chair, and the members of the Commission shall elect annually from among their members a vice-chair.

  6. Through the redirection of existing resources, the Commission shall be appropriately staffed by State employees may be available and as assigned by the Governor or Public Advocate and provided with the necessary resources that will allow it to accomplish its mandate as delineated within this Executive Order.

  7. The Commission shall be authorized to call upon any department, office, division, or agency of this State to supply it with any information, personnel, or other assistance available to such agency as the Commission deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division, or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Commission within the limits of its statutory authority and to furnish the Commission with such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. The Commission may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.

  8. The Commission shall be the central coordination and oversight entity for the inter-departmental collaboration regarding immigrant integration policies. The Commission shall work for and on behalf of the Governor to oversee the implementation of a statewide policy for immigrant integration and work collaboratively with community organizations on ensuring that public input into the process is consistently maintained.

  9. The Commission shall evaluate the structure and organization of government in New Jersey, including State agencies, instrumentalities, and independent authorities, local and county government, and school districts, and advise the Governor on how best to achieve immigrant integration in the delivery of services and programs, in a cost neutral manner.

  10. In its evaluation and examination of any aspect of immigrant integration in New Jersey the Commission shall identify any measures that will bring enhanced economy, efficiency, and accountability to government operations.

  11. The Commission is charged with developing a strategy for the implementation of those recommendations made by the Panel that will foster successful integration of the immigrant population in New Jersey.

  12. The Commission shall develop a resource guide that will navigate and support the approximately 1.8 million immigrants through the maze of state and local resources that provide targeted services to immigrants, including referrals to nonprofit and faith-based organizations, English language acquisition, citizenship acquisition, accreditation and qualification services, and employment support.

  13. The Commission shall be a repository of best practices models for effective immigrant integration at the local governmental level and may provide technical assistance to any municipal or governmental entity that requests such assistance.

  14. The Commission is authorized to elicit input by conducting public hearings to take testimony from individuals, community groups, and other interested parties and by arranging for those who are not able to testify in person to forward their testimony by mail or by electronic communications.

  15. The Commission shall establish a schedule of meetings and shall report periodically to the Governor on its activities and recommendations. An initial report to the Governor shall be submitted within six months from the date of the first meeting and an annual report shall be submitted six months from that date or as soon as practicable thereafter. Henceforth, the annual report shall be submitted on the one-year anniversary of the submission of the first annual report.

  16. Any reports of the Commission shall be provided to the Legislature and shall be made available to the public.

  17. The Commission’s members shall be appointed within 30 days of the signing of this Executive Order. The Commission shall meet as soon as practical after the chair and a majority of the members have been appointed. The presence of a majority of the authorized membership of the Commission shall constitute a quorum and shall be required for the conduct of official business.

  18. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 11th day
of January, Two Thousand and Ten, and
of the Independence of the United States, the
Two Hundred and Thirty-Fourth.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine




/s/ William J. Castner, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor