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New Jersey’s Executive Order Allowing Immigrant Doctors to Join in the Fight Against COVID-19 Is ‘Critically Important,’ says World Education Services

New York, NY—(April 03, 2020) World Education Services (WES) applauds New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 112 as a positive step toward the goal of removing the barriers to employment for under- and unemployed immigrants and refugees who have healthcare degrees and experience.

The order, issued on April 1, authorizes the Division of Consumer Affairs to grant temporary licenses to doctors licensed outside the U.S. to allow them to join the frontline fight against COVID-19. These doctors will join the nearly 30% of licensed physicians nationwide who are immigrants, refugees, and asylees.

“Governor Murphy has taken a critically important step by creating emergency pathways for qualified doctors with international credentials to contribute their immense skills and talents to New Jersey’s healthcare workforce,” said WES CEO and Executive Director Esther Benjamin. “At a time when we must all unite to find practical solutions to the pandemic, New Jersey has created a model that other states can emulate.”

For more than a decade, WES, together with its partners, has advocated for policies to remove barriers to employment for the more than 2 million under- and unemployed immigrants and refugees in the United States. This total includes more than 120,000 with healthcare degrees and experience.

“New Jersey’s decision to temporarily issue licenses to foreign-trained physicians will no doubt save lives,” said Benjamin. “WES looks forward to working with Governor Murphy and his staff to implement the policy, and will work to ensure that this temporary measure ultimately opens permanent pathways for the tens of thousands of immigrant and refugee health professionals — including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and many others — who stand ready and willing to put their live-saving skills to use in communities across the United States.”

About WES

WES is a 501(c)3 non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students and professionals achieve their educational and workplace goals in the United States and Canada. Over the course of more than 45 years, WES has provided credential evaluations to nearly three million individuals from around the globe.