MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The United States Attorney General is sending a not so subtle message to Middletown resident Governor Phil Murphy on his penchant to ignore federal immigration enforcement - knock it off. They state that New Jersey is interfering with and discriminating against the United States and that it is not allowed by law. 

Recent actions by the state had a role in bringing the wrath of the federal government down on the Governor. Late last year, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a directive to all state, county and local law enforcement agencies in New Jersey ending the use of so-called “287(g) agreements,” which allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputize local law enforcement officers to perform federal civil immigration duties. 

The order, which revises the “Immigrant Trust Directive” that Attorney General Grewal issued in November 2018, will have the practical effect of terminating the two 287(g) agreements still in effect in New Jersey, namely, those involving the Sheriff’s Offices in Monmouth and Cape May Counties. That would include Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. Golden renewed his agreements, much to the chagrin of Grewal. In issuing the revised Directive, Attorney General Grewal said that 287(g) agreements “undermine public trust without enhancing public safety,” and that any asserted benefits of the agreements “are already being achieved by the Immigrant Trust Directive.” The release stated, “The goal of the Immigrant Trust Directive is clear—to make it easier for New Jersey’s law enforcement officers to solve crimes and ensure the safety of all 9 million people in our state by building trust with our large and diverse immigrant communities,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Because of the bright line between New Jersey law enforcement officers and federal civil immigration agents, immigrants can come forward as victims and witnesses of crimes without fear of reprisal. Today, we’re shutting down agreements that ‘deputize’ state and local law enforcement to work as ICE agents, because they undermine that distinction, put our hard-earned trust at risk, and compromise public safety.” 

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US Attorney General Barr was not impressed, apparently. The Justice Department filed a Lawsuit against New Jersey. What the federal government seeks to end is what they consider the continual interference with federal immigration enforcement.

"The department is filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against its laws that forbid state and local law enforcement from sharing vital information about criminal aliens with DHS," Barr said at the National Sheriffs' Association on Monday. “Unfortunately, in various jurisdictions (like New Jersey), so-called ‘progressive’ politicians are jeopardizing the public’s safety by putting the interests of criminal aliens before those of law-abiding citizens,” Mr. Barr said in Washington at the National Sheriff's Association. “Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

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