(VIDEO) Exploring the Vital Role of Immigrants in the New Jersey Health Care Sector

In a special program on December 5, 2023, the Coalition took an in-depth look at the role of immigrants in the healthcare sector. New Jersey greatly benefits from the labor and skills of immigrants, who make up almost 30% of all healthcare positions in the state, including 41% if physicians, 30.2% of surgeons, and 29.7% of registered nurses. Immigrants are also a huge presence among worker in the direct care industry. Without this infusion of immigrant talent and labor in New Jersey’s hospitals, clinics, labs, and nursing homes, the quality of healthcare in the state would take a disturbing turn for the worse.

Even more striking, evidence seems to suggest that the need for immigrant labor in the healthcare sector will intensify in the years ahead. Between 2012 and 2022, over 1 million jobs were added nationally to the healthcare sector. By 2032, there will be another 1 million new jobs. This growth will occur at a time when the domestic workforce is static or shrinking and the senior population is soaring.

In order to understand the policy implications of these developments, the Coalition assembled a panel of representatives of five healthcare organizations in New Jersey: the New Jersey Homecare and Hospice Association, the New Jersey Hospital Association, St. Peter’s Healthcare System, William Paterson University (Nursing Department), and the immigration law firm of Meyner & Landis. Panel members discussed the role of immigrants within their organizations and what needs to be done to facilitate immigrant entry into the healthcare sector in the future.

The Coalition also recruited speakers from three national organizations engaged in research on health-related workforce issues: the American Immigration Council, the Niskanen Center, and World Education services. Based on the information and recommendations that were shared during the program, the Coalition has drafted a position statement on immigration reforms designed to maintain the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.

This program of the Garden State Immigration Policy Institute was sponsored by the law firm of Meyner and Landis and the St. Peter’s Healthcare System.

A video of the 90-minute program is found below.