TRENTON,NJ-New Jersey has taken one step closer to becoming a sanctuary state today after State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal publicly announced new guidelines that will effectively end all New Jersey police collaboration with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Under these new guidelines, police officers will be prohibited from checking the immigration status of suspects, even asking them if they are here legally. It will also bar officers from working directly with ICE officials, according to the statement released today.
It’s being called “The Immigrant Trust Directive” by the Murphy administration’s top law enforcement officials.
Attorney General Directive 2018-6, known as the “Immigrant Trust Directive,” provides that, except in limited circumstances, New Jersey’s law enforcement officers:
- 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
Callahan made the clear distinction that state police officers enforce state laws and municipal law enforcement officers enforce local laws that pertain to public safety and should not be enforcing federal laws. He also referred to federal immigration crimes as “civil immigration law” and said that only federal officers should be enforcing those laws.
As for the police in your community, Callahan said, “They work to provide public safety, not to enforce immigration laws.”
He added that state and municipal law enforcement officers can no longer ask a suspect their immigration status, except in “rare” cases when it is relevant to a specific criminal investigation.
Effectively, New Jersey has made it clear to the federal government that they will resist President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The action also rolls out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants can find a save haven, or sanctuary from the federal government here in the Garden State.
“Today’s directive is intended to draw a clear line between the responsibility of New Jersey’s 36,000 law enforcement officers to enforce state criminal laws and the responsibility of federal immigration authorities to enforce federal civil immigration law,” Grewal said. “The directive applies to all state, county and local law enforcement agencies, including police, prosecutors, county detectives, sheriff’s officers, and correction officers, and seeks to ensure that immigrants feel safe reporting crimes to New Jersey law enforcement officers.”
“We know from experience that individuals are far less likely to report a crime to the local police if they fear that the responding officer will turn them over to federal immigration authorities,” said Attorney General Grewal. “That fear makes it more difficult for officers to solve crimes and bring suspects to justice,” he added. “These new rules are designed to draw a clear distinction between local police and federal civil immigration authorities, ensuring that victims and witnesses feel safe reporting crimes to New Jersey’s law enforcement officers. No law-abiding resident of this great state should live in fear that a routine traffic stop by local police will result in his or her deportation from this country.”
According to the Attorney General’s press release, restrictions are even placed on the most violent offenders in New Jersey. 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. Once an illegal immigrant who has committed murder, rape, arson or domestic violence is processed in and out of the jail system quickly through bail reform, the local authorities only have until noon to hold that suspect for ICE officials.
Callahan and Grewel both pleaded to New Jersey residents that these new rules don’t impact public safety, but most weren’t buying it.
Grewal denied that his directive would impact public safety to residents of the Garden State.
“Let’s also be clear about what we’re *not* doing today, we’re not stopping cops from enforcing state law,” he said. “We’re not preventing officers from enforcing court orders. And we’re not providing “sanctuary” to those who commit crimes in NJ.”
“You’re a traitor to the United States, you swore an oath to defend the Constitution and you have failed in that oath. Resign now and turn yourself in for prosecution,” chirped David Gibson
“Three tiered system in NJ. Politicians and elitists on top,” said Anthony Calandro. “Illegals and criminals are second tier. And if course we the tax paying law abiding citizens are on the bottom.”
“No one believes the doublespeak you vomit from your boss,” replied Kenneth Edward.
Many disagreed with him on the OAG’s Facebook page.
“Don’t believe those who say otherwise,” he concluded, after all, he’s from the government and here to help.