Legislation protects immigrants; resists Trump policies

PLAINFIELD -- February 13, 2017 - Following US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in states over the past several days, the City of Plainfield acted today to protect vulnerable immigrant communities. The Plainfield City Council voted to be a fair and welcoming city, joining several other New Jersey towns and municipalities in declaring sanctuary status in the wake of Donald Trump’s executive orders.

"Plainfield has long been a welcoming community for immigrants and will remain so. Given the President's xenophobic campaign rhetoric and the news of ICE actions around the country, the City of Plainfield will be implementing clear policies to assure all residents that the role of city officials and local police is to serve our communities and we will not facilitate Trump's efforts at mass deportations," said Mayor Adrian Mapp.

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The resolution passed by the city council resolves that local police and other agencies will not assist federal law enforcement agencies like ICE in identifying or arresting immigrants whose only alleged crime is related to their legal status. The measure was introduced in response to concerns expressed by Plainfield residents with the support of local grassroots advocates.

"In the wake of Trump's executive order, more and more municipalities are standing up to protect vulnerable immigrant communities. Without collaboration from local and state police forces, Trump cannot fulfill his campaign promise of mass deportations. We're calling on more towns to follow Plainfield's example and we'll keep up the fight to make the entire state of New Jersey a sanctuary state," said Craig Garcia, Political Director for NJ Working Families.

"We applaud Mayor Mapp and the Plainfield City Council for taking action to protect local immigrant communities. As ICE enforcement actions over the last week have shown, Trump's policies are unnecessarily sowing fear among immigrant communities. We need more local leaders, like here in Plainfield, to resist Trump’s agenda and to work with communities to ensure that everyone feels safe and included" said Brian Lozano, a community organizer with Wind of the Spirit.

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice is promoting similar policies in municipalities across the state.

NJ Working Families is a member organization of the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice, a coalition which includes 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, Faith in New Jersey, Make the Road NJ, New Jersey Communities United, New Labor, Wind of the Spirit, and other organizations.

Contact: Anne Songcayauon, asongcayauon@workingfamilies.org, (201) 233-7735; Stacey Mink, smink@workingfamilies.org, (410)790-9913