TRENTON, N.J. — At the moment, Save Jerseyans? There is no requirement for illegal immigrants in New Jersey who were convicted of or accused of sex crimes in other countries to be registered under Megan’s Law.
One Republican legislator hopes to change that.
State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) introduced legislation (S-3572) last Thursday which would not only fix that gaping loophole in the current law creating by Governor Phil Murphy’s sanctuary statehood fiat, but it would also require New Jersey police to notify and cooperate with federal immigration and law enforcement authorities IF the local police cannot ascertain the immigration status of a convicted sexual predator.
“Sex offenders should not be given safe harbor in New Jersey, just because the offense was committed in another country,” Pennacchio said in a statement obtained by Save Jersey. “New Jersey has a dangerous loophole, that allows illegal immigrants who are convicted or fleeing sex crime charges from another country to fly under the radar – and the State Attorney General’s recent Sanctuary State directive made this even worse.
Megan’s Law, first enacted in 1994, is famously named for Hamilton native Megan Kanka who, at the age of 9, was raped and killed by a neighbor. The registry created by the landmark law required not just the registration of sex offenders but also disclosure of their residences to their neighbors.
Governor Murphy’s sanctuary state declaration in November 2018 had the effect of stopping local authorities from cooperating with federal officials; it also impedes ICE’s efforts to round up illegal aliens released from New Jersey jails, some of whom have been accused of rape and murder.
“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,” explained the N.J. Attorney General’s aforementioned directive.
“Anyone who commits a Megan’s Law offense should face justice. Local law enforcement should also be required to cooperate with the feds, to ensure that sex offenders aren’t allowed to hide in plain sight and put our families in harm’s way. My legislation tackles both of these dangerous problems,” Pennacchio added.