TRENTON, N.J. – While President Donald Trump was celebrating the U.S. military in Washington, D.C., Governor Phil Murphy was on the Camden Waterfront welcoming new immigrants at a naturalization ceremony held on the Battleship New Jersey.
Nothing controversial about that. But it’s what Murphy announced during the ceremony that is creating new concerns among those concerned about illegal immigration.
On Independence Day morning, Murphy signed Executive Order No. 74 mandating the creation of a brand new “Office of New Americans” and an “Interagency Workgroup on New American Integration” for the purpose of, according to the Governor’s press release, “creating “opportunities for coordination and implementation of strategies and actions to advance immigrant and refugee integration.”
The full scope of this new office’s power wasn’t immediately clear besides spending taxpayer dollars, but it is the fulfillment of a 2017 campaign promise to inaugurate an “Office of Immigrant Protection” in New Jersey. Among the office’s known duties: directing new immigrants as to how to access state services.
Murphy also reengaged the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement to aid in the settlement of refugees in her New Jersey, a practice which then-Governor Chris Christie ended in 2015 due to weak vetting processes at the federal level during the height of the Syrian/ISIS conflict. Murphy’s decision doesn’t change much (since the resettlements were happening with or without state consent), but New Jersey will now shell out cash assistance, medical assistance, and other taxpayer-financed goodies to alleged refugees.
“While the federal government takes action that prevents immigrants from seeking the American Dream, New Jersey will fight for our brothers and sisters and stand against the hatred and bigotry coming from Washington,” said Murphy. “Immigrants are an integral part of our state, and enrich our communities socially, culturally, and economically. Through these new measures, we will continue to sustain our progress to build a fair and inclusive state for all.”
Again, Murphy continues to blur the line between uncontroversial legal immigration and the illegal variety. New Jersey is already a Sanctuary State where local and state law enforcement are barred from assisting federal authorities with executing immigration law; just last week, the Democrat Governor signed legislation authorizing $3 million for illegal aliens to have legal representation.