The attorney general of New Jersey has made it official: The state will be a virtual sanctuary for illegal aliens.
Gurbir S. Grewal, shown, the state’s top law-enforcement officer and the son of Indian immigrants, published a directive last week, effective March 15, that forbids state and local police from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Moreover, state and local authorities will not honor ICE detainers. That means localities can simply release illegal aliens back into the community.
Middlesex County adopted such a policy and released an illegal alien whom police had collared for domestic violence. The illegal alien went to Springfield, Missouri, police and ICE allege, and murdered three people.
Grewal is apparently unconcerned that it will happen again.
Grewal’s subversive “Directive Strengthening Trust Between Law Enforcement and Immigrant Communities” avers that “individuals are less likely to report a crime if they fear that the responding officer will turn them over to immigration authorities."
So cops can ignore ICE when it needs help, wrote the Sikh attorney general:
[Police] are not responsible for enforcing civil immigration violations except in narrowly defined circumstances. Such responsibilities instead fall to the federal government. ...
Although state, county, and local law enforcement officers should assist federal immigration authorities when required to do so by law ... providing assistance above and beyond those requirements threatens to blur the distinctions between state and federal actors and between federal immigration law and state criminal law. It also risks undermining the trust we have built with the public.
In keeping with that leftist talking point, the attorney general stated that state and local police need not honor detainers from ICE because they are not warrants signed by federal or state judges.
The order does not forbid state and local authorities from “imposing their own additional restrictions on providing assistance to federal immigration authorities, so long as those restrictions do not violate federal or state law or impede the enforcement of state criminal law.” Indeed, Grewal “does not mandate that law enforcement officials provide assistance in any particular circumstance, even when, by the terms of the Directive, they are permitted to do so.”
That, of course, was Middlesex’s policy when it released the illegal alien suspected of murdering three people.
The order forbids local police from helping immigration enforcement with a long list of no-nos. State and local cops cannot “stop, question, arrest, search, or detain any individual” because he is a suspected illegal alien. Nor can they inquire about an individual’s immigration status unless an investigation warrants it.
Nor can state or local officials provide ICE with “non-public personally identifying information regarding any individual,” or office space or equipment or data, or permit interviews with illegal aliens unless they consent.
Even worse, state and local officials cannot tell ICE about an illegal alien’s release from custody unless he has been charged with or convicted of a “violent or serious offense,” or has been “convicted of an indictable crime other than a violent or serious offense” within the past five years, or “is subject to a Final Order of Removal that has been signed by a federal judge and lodged with the county jail or state prison where the detainee is being held.”
State and local authorities cannot honor a detainer and keep an illegal alien in jail past the time he would normally be released unless the illegal fits those same categories. And “such detention may last only until 11:59 pm on the calendar day on which the person would otherwise have been eligible for release.”
Whether the illegal-alien murder suspect Middlesex loosed upon the good people of Springfield, Missouri, would now be released given the details in this directive is open to question. Grewal’s directive lists domestic violence. But ICE had a detainer, not a judicial warrant.
One practical result of the subversive order is this: A two-time drunk-driving illegal alien cannot be held for deportation in New Jersey because drunk driving is traffic violation.
So a good liberal county such as Middlesex could, pursuant to its own policy and the attorney general’s order, ignore an ICE detainer and release the drunk. Then he’d be free to kill a little girl or NFL star when he tunes up and gets behind the wheel again.
Photo of Gurbir S. Grewal: NJ.gov