TRENTON, N.J. — It’s official, Save Jerseyans.
New Jersey is now a “sanctuary state.”
On Thursday, the N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued “Directive 2018-6” — the “Immigrant Trust Directive” — providing the following new restrictions for New Jersey’s thousands of law enforcement officers concerning the enforcement of federal immigration laws:
- “Cannot stop, question, arrest, search, or detain any individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration status;”
- “Cannot ask the immigration status of any individual, unless doing so is necessary to the ongoing investigation of a serious offense and relevant to the offense under investigation;”
- “Cannot participate in civil immigration enforcement operations conducted by ICE;”
- “Cannot provide ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are readily available to the public;”
- “Cannot allow ICE to interview an individual arrested on a criminal charge unless that person is advised of his or her right to a lawyer.”
The changes, which take direct aim at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were announced via social media in Spanish language.
The full directive is viewable here: www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/directives/ag-directive-2018-6.pdf
“We cannot allow the line between our law enforcement officers and U.S. immigration officials – or the line between state criminal law and federal civil immigration law – to become blurred,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “When that happens, we risk losing the trust that we have worked so hard to build with our immigrant communities, and we jeopardize public safety by reducing the effectiveness of our officers. When an immigrant sees a New Jersey police officer, that immigrant must know he or she can feel confident approaching that officer.”
The directive also limits the ability of corrections officers to cooperate with federal law enforcement officials, even when the individual in custody is suspect of heinous crimes:
“The new directive prohibits New Jersey law enforcement agencies from entering or renewing Section 287(g) agreements with federal authorities, under which state and local agencies are deputized to enforce federal civil immigration laws, unless the Attorney General grants written approval or the agreement is necessary in response to threats arising from a declared state or national emergency. There currently are less than five agencies in New Jersey with active 287(g) agreements. The directive does not impact contracts entered by ICE with county jails to house individuals detained for federal civil immigration violations; the decision to enter into such contracts is a county government decision.
The directive prohibits police and correction officers from continuing to hold a detained individual arrested for a minor criminal offense past the time he or she would otherwise be released from custody simply because ICE has submitted an immigration detainer request signed by an ICE officer, and prohibits notification to ICE of such an individual’s upcoming release.
With respect to detainees charged with violent or serious offenses – such as murder, rape, arson, assault, bias crimes, and domestic violence offenses – New Jersey law enforcement and correction officials may notify ICE of the detainee’s upcoming release, but may continue to detain the individual only until 11:59 p.m. that day.
The directive prohibits New Jersey authorities from providing U.S. immigration authorities with access to a detained individual for an interview, unless the individual signs a written consent form that explains the purpose of the interview, that the individual may decline the interview, and that he or she may have legal counsel present.”
So if a rapist makes it to midnight?
New Jersey corrections officials now have NO AUTHORITY to detain him beyond the release date (see above) going forward.
This struggle isn’t new. Frustrated ICE officials have repeatedly taken aim at New Jersey and specifically Middlesex County which, most recently, came under fire after an illegal released from Middlesex Jail in defiance of ICE was accused of committing murder in Missouri.