Is New Jersey a Sanctuary State? Depends Who You Ask.

NJ Gov Phil Murphy is a man of his word. He promised to protect un-documented visitors to the State of New Jersey. Not only from law enforcement, but from those who want to deport them back to their country of origin. Murphy has made available a few million, in legal defense funds for those accused of being in the State of NJ, illegally.

The “Immigrant Trust Directive” says all levels of NJ law enforcement must do the following:

  • Cannot stop, question, arrest, search, or detain any individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration status;
  • Cannot ask the immigration status of any individual, unless doing so is necessary to the ongoing investigation of a serious offense and relevant to the offense under investigation;
  • Cannot participate in civil immigration enforcement operations conducted by ICE;
  • Cannot provide ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are readily available to the public;
  • Cannot allow ICE to interview an individual arrested on a criminal charge unless that person is advised of his or her right to a lawyer.

Among the directive’s exceptions and exclusions:

  •  Nothing stops officers from assisting federal immigration authorities in response to emergency circumstances.
  • Officers may participate with federal authorities in joint law enforcement task forces, provided the primary purpose is unrelated to federal civil immigration enforcement.
  • Nothing in the directive prevents officers from requesting proof of identity from an individual during the course of an arrest or when legally justified during an investigative stop or detention.
New Jersey Sanctuary State

Is New Jersey a “sanctuary” state? Depends on who you ask. While campaigning, Murphy did suggest New Jersey might become a ‘sanctuary state’ in order to to protect law-abiding residents. Murphy is a man of his word.

Are those in the country illegally……criminals? Depends who you ask.

ICE officials do not like this one bit. They may be forced to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites.

“The New Jersey attorney general’s decision to further limit law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with ICE undermines public safety and hinders ICE from performing its federally mandated mission,” Matthew Albence, deputy director of ICE, said.

“Ultimately, this directive shields certain criminal aliens, creating a state-sanctioned haven for those seeking to evade federal authorities, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people the NJ attorney general is charged with protecting,” Albence said.

New Sanctuary state rules in New Jersey went into effect on March 15. NJ law enforcement is no longer allowed to ask a suspect’s immigration status and or help with ICE raids.