Denounces False Promise that Directive would “protect the safety of all New Jersey residents”
Senator Joe Pennacchio condemned Governor Murphy’s sanctuary state policies that resulted in the release from county jail of an illegal immigrant who was arrested for sexual assault of a minor, despite a detainer request by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A directive from the Attorney General has prohibited local law enforcement agencies from working with federal immigration authorities.
Pennacchio also reasserted his call to mandate Megan’s Law registration for all sexual offenders regardless of where the crime was committed, and would require local police to cooperate with federal law enforcement in sexual abuse cases.
"We have a sexual predator on the run due to Governor Murphy’s dangerous sanctuary state policies,” said Pennacchio (R-26) said. “It’s absurd that we now have a federal manhunt for an accused child rapist simply because the jail wasn’t allowed hold him for ICE under orders from the Murphy Administration.”
“Thanks to the governor, New Jersey is ‘fair and welcoming’ to illegal immigrants who commit heinous crimes but not federal authorities trying to keep us safe. I call on Governor Murphy to stop giving safe harbor to criminals and to start prioritizing the public safety of New Jersey families.”
Luciano Dominguez-Trejo, a 28-year-old illegal immigrant, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault of a victim between 13-15 years old, criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Both the ICE office in Mount Laurel and ICE’s Pacific Enforcement Response Center lodged detainers while he was behind held by Cumberland County Jail.
Due to Governor Phil Murphy’s sanctuary state policies, the jail released the sex offender who remains at large.
Pennacchio’s legislation, S-3572, would require convicted or fleeing sex offenders from foreign countries to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law in New Jersey.
The bill would also mandate law enforcement agencies to inquire about the immigration status of a convicted sex offender, and notify and cooperate with federal immigration authorities if the offender’s legal presence in the United States cannot be confirmed.
Megan’s Law was signed into law in 1994. The law is named for Megan Kanka, a Hamilton New Jersey resident who was raped and murdered by her neighbor at the age of nine. The law created a registry that requires New Jersey law enforcement to disclose the location of registered sex offenders to protect those living nearby.
Under Attorney General Grewal’s 2018 Sanctuary State directive, law enforcement is not required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities under any circumstances, even in cases where an illegal immigrant has been convicted of a sex crime on U.S. soil.
Moreover, under current State law, offenders who commit such sex crimes in other countries are not required to register under Megan’s Law, unlike sex offenders who commit their crimes in the United States. Senator Pennacchio’s legislation aims to close both of these dangerous loopholes.
“New Jersey’s dangerous sanctuary state loophole allows illegal immigrants who are convicted or fleeing sex crime charges to not register under Megan’s law, nor to face federal authorities, or deportation,” added Pennacchio. “Legal residents must comply with Megan’s Law, and my legislation ensures foreign nationals in the United States must do so as well. Those convicted and who cannot prove legal status will face the feds.”