I have found myself angry many times over the past 13-months since since Governor Murphy took office. There may not have been a time when I was more angry then this morning when I learned that New Jersey is 1 of 16 states that joined a lawsuit filed Monday against President Trump to block his emergency declaration to build the wall. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal who was appointed by Murphy said in a Tweet “The only emergency today is a President who refuses to adhere to the rule of law”. This of course coming from the AG who released his Immigrant Trust Directive last year making New Jersey a sanctuary state, refusing to cooperate with ICE and defying federal immigration law. Murphy even budged $2.1 million for the legal defense of illegal immigrants facing detention or deportation (monies to fight the federal government in its efforts to enforce federal law).
ICE has responded to the new sanctuary rules by New Jersey’s Attorney General with a threat of more immigration raids in New Jersey. ICE says it has no choice but to conduct more arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites in New Jersey. A representative of the ICE office in Newark told NBC News that ICE raids will “likely increase” as a result of the directive. “The probability is that at-large arrests and worksite enforcement operations, which already exist, will likely increase due to the fact that ICE will no longer have the cooperation of the jails related to immigration enforcement,” ICE spokesman Emilio Dabul added “the highest priority is public safety and enforcing immigration laws, we must pursue that to the best extent possible, which will likely involve more at-large arrests and worksite enforcement operations.” Attorney General Grewal has not responded.
We knew it was coming. Murphy campaigned on making New Jersey a sanctuary state. Just a couple of weeks ago Attorney General Grewal said he would hand down new sanctuary rules and directives on how New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies should interact with ICE. At the time I asked why New Jersey’s Governor and Attorney General do not feel they have to enforce the law. I also pointed out at the time that Murphy and Grewal’s refusal to cooperate with federal law enforcement to enforce immigration laws is costing the state $16 billion in federal funding. Today is the day New Jersey became a sanctuary state. Knowing it was coming doesn’t make my anger any less.