Can GOP Boss Golden Beat Democrats This Time Around as Immigrant Directive Battle Heats Up

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TOMS RIVER FREEHOLD-Monmouth County GOP Boss Shawn Golden also happens to be Sheriff of the county with a not-so-great political track record when it comes to opposing Democrats in his county. Now, he’s engaged in a battle with New Jersey’s top Democrats, Governor Phil Murphy and his appointed Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal.

The battle is over Golden’s refusal to follow Grewal’s directive, but when it comes to fighting Democrats Golden hasn’t fared well since becoming party chairman.

Golden’s Monmouth County Freeholders are already starting to reevaluate their gameplan, going back to the drawing board hours before they were to officially oppose the directive issued by Grewal that would bar law enforcement in New Jersey from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Since 2015 Democrats have running train on Golden and his fellow Republicans in Monmouth County taking 46 elected seats, including 3 legislative seats along the way.   2018, Democrats have flipped 9 Republican towns under Golden’s watch.

Now, he’s taking on the big boys, can he pull out digit in the winning column when it comes to his support of the 287(g) program.

Golden’s office has been participating in the federal program since 2010, but if Grewal and Murphy have their way, it will end this year.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) Program enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and remove aliens who are amenable to removal from the United States.

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The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g), to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This section of law authorizes the Director of ICE to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, that permit designated officers to perform limited immigration law enforcement functions. Agreements under section 287(g) require the local law enforcement officers to receive appropriate training and to function under the supervision of ICE officers.

“The 287 (g) program has been in effect at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution for 9 years. The program is only instituted at the correctional facility on incarcerated individuals, brought to the jail by local law enforcement agencies,” Golden said in a prepared letter to the Governor and Grewal. “It is highly regarded and essential, particularly in light of bail reform, as these individuals are charged with serious crimes.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2018, the 287(g) Program encountered approximately 700 aliens convicted for assault, 670 convicted for dangerous drugs, 150 convicted for sex offenses/assaults, 150 convicted for obstructing police, 125 convicted for weapon offenses, and 13 convicted for homicide.

According to the federal government, only Monmouth County and Cape May County participate in the program.  Both have actively been participating for over 10 years.  Ocean County does not have an agreement with the federal government.