The Attorney General in New Jersey is warning police who think it’s ok to enforce the law that they’d better not betray him.
But they’ve got another idea in mind.
This week New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal went after two sheriff’s offices this week for “failing to inform the state’s attorney general that they are helping federal immigration authorities capture and deport undocumented migrants.”
Let’s get this straight. Law enforcement officers in New Jersey are doing their jobs by working with federal ICE agents to arrest and deport people who are actively breaking the law, and the attorney general, who is supposed to work alongside the criminal justice system to uphold the Constitution… is threatening them?
When did we decide which laws are important and which aren’t? How is living in the country illegally justified because a leader in your state suddenly decided to go against federal law enforcement agencies and declare the community one of sanctuary?
This is becoming far too popular of a trend.
Evading law enforcement due to immigration status? Come seek refuge in (insert your choice of sanctuary state here).
We’re a nation of laws. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones we break and which we uphold.
In the aggressive letters that Grewal’s office sent to the elected sheriffs in Monmouth and Cape May this week, 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 often 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 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.
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.”
Obviously, because if you don’t enforce the laws in your own state, the members of law enforcement who signed up for that exact reason damn sure will.
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.
Talk about throwing a temper tantrum.
Funny how just last week he tweeted about 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
You know what, Grewal? You not only are misrepresenting the voice from your constituents, but you’re ignoring federal laws in favor of your own agenda. You’re deciding what legislation should stand and what shouldn’t, and that is an abuse of power.
And guess what?
Hundreds of thousands of members of the law enforcement community will not stand for it.
When are we going to stop going after police for doing the jobs that we’ve enlisted them to do?