OP-ED: Trenton Endeavors to Help ‘Sanctuary Cities’ with Non-Existent Money

Over the past several days several of my colleagues in the State Legislature have indicated they would try to move forward legislation protecting “Sanctuary Cities” who lose federal funding by mandating the State of NJ pay these cities any monies lost by their refusal to comply with federal law.

While I understand the motive behind such bills seeks to protect the legislators’ constituent cities, the practical implications are financially destructive for all of the non-sanctuary areas of the State.

New Jersey is almost broke.

We have not made a full payment on our pension obligations in decades. A majority of our schools receive virtually no funding from the State. Indeed most of the areas I represent receive less than $500 per student per year. On the flip side, below are just some of the numbers of aid currently being provided to our “Sanctuary Cities”. If these bills were to go through, the State would be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of additional aid into these communities.

MONEY THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

In Newark, 19-percent of all city residents are undocumented entrants. Newark currently receives $206.7 million in federal aid, amounting to $733 per resident or $2,932 per family of four. This aid is on top of an additional $742 million in school aid given to Newark by the State of New Jersey and $31 million in transitional aid also given by the State of New Jersey.

Jersey City, also a sanctuary city with more than 10 percent of residents being undocumented, receives $148 million in federal aid on top of $417 million in school aid given by the State of New Jersey.

Other NJ sanctuary cities include:
Trenton – $10 million in federal aid, $229 million in State school aid
Camden- $52 million in federal aid, $280 million in State school aid
Union City – $32.5 million in federal aid, $179 million in State school aid
West NY – $17 million in federal aid, $94 million in State school aid

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2016/Bills/S3500/3007_I1.PDF

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