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You are here: Home News "Beyond Bergen" - News From Across New Jersey Shame on N.J.? Nope. Shame on ICE for letting criminals loose | Editorial

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Shame on N.J.? Nope. Shame on ICE for letting criminals loose | Editorial

The message is clear: Let ICE do its job, and let the fire inspectors and the cops do theirs.

New Jersey's sensible new policy on immigration enforcement has elicited the predictable histrionics, mostly from President Trump's propaganda machine at Fox News and some miffed bureaucrats.
 
No, this will not "handcuff cops from arresting illegal immigrants," as Fox's Laura Ingraham claims. Anyone who breaks the law will still be arrested, regardless of their immigration status.
 
Police in New Jersey know this. Kim Guadagno, whose slimy "Willie Horton"-style ad stirred up the worst fears of immigrants and helped her lose the governor's race to Phil Murphy, knows it too.

Ex-AG Milgram: Why I agree with AG Grewal to change my rules on cops and immigration
 
Yet there she was on TV, chiming in with Ingraham, one of Fox's most anti-immigrant blowhards, fanning the same flames again as she parroted the talking points of Trump officials.
 
In truth, the new policy announced by Murphy's Attorney General does nothing to protect criminals. They will still be arrested and jailed, and if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does its job, deported.
 
What Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal does is set some reasonable limits on cooperating with ICE, because police can't do their jobs and arrest criminals without community trust. "Create trust - do you buy that?" Ingraham scoffs.
 
The answer is yes. It's not hyperbole to say that immigrants are often afraid to report crimes when they fear that the cops will turn them over to ICE. They don't even report fire code violations, or domestic abuse.

Another day, another slander by ICE | Editorial
 
This culture of secrecy only makes it harder for cops to find the witnesses they need to catch criminals, as police chiefs in urban departments confirm.
 
"If an illegal immigrant witnesses an assault or a shooting, we want them to call us," says James Shea, Jersey City's director of public safety. "That's how we prevent crimes, and that's how we solve them. And I want them to know they can come to us without any fears."
 
His counterpart in Newark, Anthony Ambrose, believes that if cops flagged immigrants for deportation, it would actually boost violent crime. "Without a doubt, we would definitely see an increase," he said. "Right now they can be witnesses and they've been very helpful."
 
For this reason, Grewal's directive says cops should not be stopping people and interrogating them about their immigration status. His office recorded videos in a dozen languages, by police officers who grew up speaking them, to assure the community that if you get pulled over or report a crime, you aren't at risk of being deported.
 
The message is clear: Let ICE do its job, and let the fire inspectors and the cops do theirs.
 
Local jails are a different story. They should tell ICE when a dangerous criminal is about to be released into the community. Such people are our first priority for deportation.
 
What Grewal says is that ICE needs to do its part and pick up detainees in a timely manner, or get a court order to authorize their added time in detention. It can't just expect jails and local taxpayers to assume all the legal risk in holding people past the final date of their sentences.
 
Courts have repeatedly declared this unconstitutional, putting us on the hook for big settlements, paid for by property taxes. Yet over and over, ICE has blamed the jails that follow a responsible policy like Grewal's for its own incompetence.
 
Take the Luis Perez case cited by Fox News. He was arrested on domestic violence charges and held in Middlesex jail. ICE could have gotten an order from a federal judge to keep him in the jail until it could pick him up. Instead, for 51 days - until he was sentenced to time served and released - ICE took no action.
 
It never responded to the jail's notification that under its guidelines, it could not detain Perez past the final date of his sentence, and never took him into custody. Then he got out and killed three people. "New Jersey, it's a shame. Shame on you," Ingraham said.
 
No. Instead of ranting about so-called "sanctuary" policies and threatening more indiscriminate sweeps to arrest pizza guys and grandpas, why not get over to the jail to pick up a violent criminal? That's your job, ICE. Shame on you.

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Read full article at NJ.com


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