Erika J Nava

nava website 200x200Erika J. Nava, Policy Analyst, works on immigration issues and how they relate to fiscal and economic policy. She also engages in immigration advocacy and outreach. During her time at NJPP, Erika has participated in successful campaigns that include the passage of the NJ DREAM Act.

Erika research interest include: immigration policy, education policy, racial justice issues, criminal justice policy and border/Latino politics.

Before joining NJPP in September 2013, she previously served as the project manager for the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey (HDANJ), where she administered the Capacity Building Program that included 27 nonprofit organizations and served as a liaison between HDANJ’s member organizations and the state of New Jersey. Erika also worked as a research assistant for Rutgers University, where she conducted demographic analyses of New Jersey’s population and researched the Perth Amboy riots.

Erika is a national McNair Scholar. She holds a MPP with a concentration in Immigration and Education Policy from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and holds a BA degree in Political Science and Latino Studies from Douglass College at Rutgers University.

Email: nava (at) | Phone: 609-393-1145 ext. 17


Op-Ed: New Jersey Should License Undocumented Residents to Drive Legally

Just because the federal government has failed to fix the broken immigration system, there is no reason for New Jersey to stand idly by and wait.

Share the Road: Allowing Eligible Undocumented Residents Access to Driver’s Licenses Makes Sense for New Jersey

Allowing all residents the opportunity to drive legally would make New Jersey safer, help its economy and increase the well being of many families. The Garden State should follow the lead of 11 states and Washington D.C., and ensure that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are tested, trained, licensed, insured and accountable for their driving records.

What New Jersey’s Undocumented Youth Need to Know About DACA Renewal

If you let your driver’s license expire, you have to go through the rigmarole of taking the written and driving test, plus pay the fee. Young immigrants enjoying DACA status face the same sort of obstacles if they don’t pay attention to recently published rules for retaining their status.

Op Ed: New Jersey Colleges Should Do More to Publicize Tuition Equality

Though Gov. Christie signed legislation extending in-state tuition rates at public universities and colleges to undocumented students about two months ago, many of New Jersey’s colleges and universities have been slow to make potential students aware of the new law.

Federal Immigration Reform Would Help New Jersey’s Striving Immigrants and Boost the State’s Economy

Federal immigration reform being considered by Congress would greatly help New Jersey’s immigrant families while creating thousands of new jobs and boosting the state’s economy. New Jersey has a large and growing population of immigrant workers, professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses. By reforming the visa process and making sure that all immigrants have a chance to participate fully in the state’s economy, immigration reform would pay dividends for years to come.