MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J. – The New Jersey Attorney General is throwing a temper tantrum over local law enforcement’s involvement in upholding the laws of our country.
He’s issued directives to police across the state that they better not cooperate with federal immigration officials… and if they do, he’s threatening action against their departments.
But now his words have gone viral and the Blue Family won’t stand for it.
Some are even calling for his resignation.
Anthony Gallo is a candidate running for the elected position of sheriff in Middlesex county. He says that the AG’s stance on immigration is going directly against federal law. In a Facebook post on Monday, the GOP candidate called out AG Gurbir Grewal and asked for him to step down.
The post accused Grewal of “harboring ‘criminal’ illegal aliens” within New Jersey communities, noting that of 21 counties in the state, 19 “have been releasing these ‘Criminals’ into our backyards with our Families.”
Gallo wrote that “NO politician or appointed official has the right to tell a sitting Sheriff who is elected by the People what to do. Only the people can do that at the ballot box.”
Insider NJ reported that Gallo also called for the removal of Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott, “who listens to this Criminal Attorney General and not the People of Middlesex County.”
The criticism arose this week when AG Grewal went after two sheriff’s offices for “failing to inform the state’s attorney general that they are helping federal immigration authorities capture and deport undocumented migrants.”
So because law enforcement officers in New Jersey are doing their jobs by working with federal ICE agents to help arrest and deport people who are actively breaking the law, the attorney general, who is supposed to work to uphold the Constitution… is threatening them?
We’re a nation of laws. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones we break and which we uphold.
In a pair of aggressive letters that Grewal’s office sent to the elected sheriffs in Monmouth and Cape May, officials claim the county sheriffs went directly against a directive that Grewal had issued which would aim to limit cooperation between New Jersey cops and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It’s called Law Enforcement Directive 2018-6, more commonly referred to as the “Immigrant Trust Directive”, and it bars local law enforcement agencies from voluntarily working with federal immigration officials.
Grewal’s office now says that working with federal officials in this capacity would “essentially deputize our state’s police officers to act like ICE agents.” Grewal says that the measure was supposed to build trust between the immigrant communities and law enforcement for reporting and helping with criminal investigations. He says cooperation with ICE can only continue if he decides it serves “a valid law enforcement purpose.”
— GreaterLakewood.com (@GreaterLakewood) July 9, 2019
Critics say the AG’s new directive has turned New Jersey into a Sanctuary State. Complaints started pouring in, including letters being sent to U.S. AG William Barr asking for assistance. Citizens even petitioned to put the directive to a vote, claiming that Grewal’s agenda was not what the state wanted.
Grewal shot it down, claiming absolute power over his directive to police.
“Officials and residents may not instruct their law enforcement officers to ignore a law enforcement directive,” Grewal said following complaints about the measure.
Grewal’s directive went into effect in March of 2019. NJ.com reported that at the time, sheriff’s offices in three New Jersey counties — Cape May, Monmouth and Salem — still had existing agreements with ICE under a program dubbed “287g,” which allows state and local law enforcement to “act as a force multiplier” for ICE. Several counties had earlier done away with the agreements, which in New Jersey mainly applied to officers in county jails.
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21 states take part in the 287g program. Officials say it “allows ICE to actively engage criminal alien offenders while incarcerated in a secure and controlled environment.”
When Grewal’s office found out that the two counties had renewed their program contract with federal officials, they lashed out with the harshly worded letters.
Grewal says that the departments’ failure to notify the AG’s office about the renewal directly shows that they “deliberately declined to disclose this information over the past four months.”
Now the AG has given these two counties a deadline of August 6 to provide detailed info on their continued efforts to work alongside ICE. And he says if they don’t meet that deadline – he’ll issue a new directive completely banning officers within those departments from any cooperation with ICE.
Funny how just last week he tweeted about successfully working with federal and local agencies to reduce crime in the state…
Everyone deserves to live in a community free from fear & violence. We want New Jerseyans to know that we're doing everything we can by working w/ our federal & local partners to make that promise a reality. Reducing violent crime is a top priority & we won’t waver in our efforts
— AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) July 3, 2019
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Other anonymous members of New Jersey law enforcement have spoken with LET about the directive. They say that not only is Grewal misrepresenting the voice from his constituents, but he’s ignoring federal laws in favor of his own agenda. He shouldn’t be allowed to decide which laws are valid and which aren’t. They say he’s abusing his power and they want him gone.