SOMERVILLE, NJ – Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) slammed, as reckless and irresponsible, Democrat-sponsored legislation in Trenton that forces state taxpayers to financially support New Jersey cities that choose to defy federal law and, in so doing, encourage illegal immigration.
Ciattarelli, a frequent critic of Governor Chris Christie, applauded him for promising to veto the bill if it ever reached his desk, and pledged to do the same if elected Governor.
“The whole concept of an elected official in the United States of America declaring their local jurisdiction a sanctuary city is a threat to public safety and, quite frankly, at this point in time, mind-boggling,” said Ciattarelli, who recently criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his policy of not alerting ICE when an illegal immigrant in his city is arrested for a serious crime like sexual misconduct, welfare fraud or drunk driving.
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“I have long supported comprehensive immigration reform and believe we need to demonstrate some compassion in doing so, but adopting policies that actually encourage people to break federal law is both reckless and irresponsible," he said.
"Maybe some Democrats – including Phil Murphy and the mayors in many urban centers – feel it’s in their best political interests to pander for votes. But when their policies put public safety at risk and cost New Jersey taxpayers billions, someone needs to say enough is enough," Ciattarelli continued. "I have had my differences with Governor Christie, but he was absolutely right for promising to veto this disastrous legislation, and I would do the same if elected.”
The Democrats' proposal (S-3007/A4590) would ensure any sanctuary city that loses federal funds by refusing to follow federal law could apply for a dollar-for-dollar match taken directly from the state's general fund. According to the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice, 13 municipalities in the state are moving forward with declaring themselves sanctuary cities.
“We have reforms in place that work. Those reforms require that local police verify the legal status of anyone charged with a felony or drunk driving. If the suspect is undocumented, federal authorities are to be informed. Local law enforcement supports this approach," the Hillsborough resident said. "Given all that is going on with our borders, terrorism and our national security, there is no reason to make matters worse by encouraging illegal immigration by declaring and advertising that your town is Sanctuary City.”