New Jersey State Senator Jim Holzapfel and State Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Assemblyman Dave Wolfe (all R-Ocean) issued the following statement in response to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s sweeping immigration order to limit the ways in which state and local law enforcement officers are permitted to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
“Attorney General Grewal’s ill-conceived order is a dangerous political statement that jeopardizes the safety of millions of our residents,” Senator Holzapfel (R-10) stated. “New Jersey is a diverse and welcoming state, but without the cooperation of state and local police, individuals who should be taken off our streets will still be able to disregard the law. For the sake of the hardworking residents who live here legally, I am urging Attorney General Grewal to rethink this drastic action immediately.”
The new directive, which was announced on Nov. 29, forbids county jails from honoring certain ICE detainer requests, such as asking local police to hold people who are arrested for minor crimes and suspected of being in the country unlawfully. The AG’s new guidelines also state that detainers can be honored only if they come with a judicial warrant.
The legislators noted that if New Jersey becomes a “sanctuary state,” as Governor Murphy has previously pledged, New Jersey could be at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding.
“We don’t want to do anything that is contrary to federal law,” Assemblyman Wolfe (R-10) added. “This is America. You can’t pick and choose which laws you want to follow. New Jersey should be a tolerant place for people of all backgrounds, but that doesn’t mean we should violate the law or stop hardworking immigration officials from doing their jobs.”
“This initiative places undocumented immigrants above the millions of residents who are living here legally,” Assemblyman McGuckin said. “It creates a costly haven for those who have broken the law and are looking to evade deportation. Governor Murphy just spent $2.1 million to provide free lawyers to illegal immigrants, while cutting school funding in Brick, Toms River and Manchester. Enough. This administration must stop wasting money and putting legal citizens in New Jersey at risk. We won’t stay silent and allow Governor Murphy to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state.”