New protocols for N.J. law enforcement in working with federal immigration officials

David Madden
November 29, 2018 - 3:50 pm
New Jersey state capitol building in Trenton

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New rules will soon be in place that will govern how New Jersey law enforcement interacts with federal immigration officials. 

The bottom line? 

To improve relations between police and immigrant enclaves across the state.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal used Liberty State Park as the backdrop to unveil the state’s “Immigrant Trust Directive,” which will set limits on how far police, prosecutors and corrections officers can cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

They won’t take part in immigration raids, ask someone about their immigration status or, in most circumstances, hold someone merely on an ICE retainer request.

“Nothing in this directive prevents officers from enforcing valid court orders, including warrants signed by state or federal judges,” Grewal said. “And nothing in this directive provides sanctuary to those who commit crimes in New Jersey.”

The hope is to get immigrants to trust local police more, since many don’t know the difference between a cop and an ICE agent.

“We are telling our state law enforcement agencies to focus their resources on their core priorities such as solving crimes and protecting the public, rather than advancing Washington’s immigration agenda,” he added.

Grewal was joined in his announcement by law enforcement officials from throughout the state, including Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and County Police Chief Scott Thomson.

The policy takes effect mid-March with statewide compliance training set for some 36,000 cops, prosecutors and corrections officers.