Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Repeal New Jersey’s Sanctuary State Directive

Senator Carmen Amato, Jr., Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblyman Greg Myhre have introduced companion legislation (S-3142/A-4256) that would repeal the New Jersey Attorney General Office’s Law Enforcement Directive No. 2018-6 which restricts law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The 9th District Legislative Delegation emphasized that the directive’s restrictions placed on law enforcement operating in the state pose a substantial threat to public safety and, therefore, must be repealed.

The legislators made the following remarks regarding their anti-sanctuary state legislative initiative:

“The crisis at our southern border is a top concern to thousands of 9th District constituents in addition to millions of Americans from across the country who believe in the rule of law.

“New Jersey’s sanctuary state policies serve only to exacerbate this crisis by not only offering a safe haven to persons who entered the country illegally but rewarding them with taxpayer-funded benefits.  This is a slap in the face to every law-abiding, taxpaying citizen who is fed up with federal and state immigration policies that are failing our nation.

“The New Jersey Attorney General’s directive handcuffs law enforcement and, overall, undermines public safety placing citizens at risk by creating a separate class of people who are permitted to flagrantly break the law and undermine US Sovereignty.

“How is it that an illegal immigrant facing deportation can have their attorney fees covered by state taxpayers when a veteran doesn’t quality for a tax deduction because of the time period they served in the Armed Forces?  How is that a senior cannot qualify for state prescription drug assistance programs because of their income level but an illegal immigrant can qualify for health benefits?  This is completely indefensible.

“We understand that advancing our legislation will be an uphill battle in the State Legislature given past support for sanctuary state policies.  Regardless, this is a serious issue with national implications that needs to be debated by the State Legislature if we want to be serious about public safety and how state tax dollars are being spent.  We will also continue to educate the public and our colleagues in the legislature on the dangers of perpetuating this lawless policy.”

Under the Attorney General’s directive, among other provisions, State, county, and local law enforcement are prohibited from providing certain assistance and in many cases even communicating with federal immigration authorities when the sole purpose is to enforce federal civil immigration law.  This directive which ironically governs police throughout our state directly contradicts time honored principles of American law enforcement.

In addition to other restrictions, the directive prohibits law enforcement from providing notice of a detained individual’s upcoming release from custody or continuing the detention of a person past the time the person would be released from custody based solely on a civil immigration detainer request, with certain exceptions.

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