Cost of Sanctuary: County Spends $250,000 on Top Defense Lawyers for Illegals


While President Donald Trump and his administration have worked to reduce illegal immigration into the United States, those on the progressive left have worked just as hard to obstruct those efforts.

Campus Reform recently offered an example: a county government in New Jersey is using taxpayer money to hire a top-tier legal team to represent illegal aliens fighting deportation orders.

New Jersey’s Essex County recently provided a grant of $250,000 in taxpayer money to Rutgers Law School to cover the costs of legal services for illegal aliens detained at the Essex County Correctional Facility.

The county awarded similar one-year grants to Seton Hall University School of Law and the Legal Services of New Jersey organization.

A July 11 news release from Rutgers confirmed the awarded grant. The release also announced that Anju Gupta, director of the school’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, would oversee the grant.

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Gupta will use the funds to pay for an attorney and paralegal who will handle the cases of detained illegal aliens facing deportation. Campus Reform noted that an illegal alien with legal representation was 10 times more likely to avoid deportation.

According to the Rutgers release, the legal services counsel will include cancellation or deferment of a deportation order, a release on bond, a claim of asylum, and even claims under the Convention Against Torture.

The grant appears to be the continuation of a pilot program begun in 2018 that, according to Campus Reform, involved a $125,000 grant from the county government to Rutgers for the same services as those dispensed in 2019.

The initial grant money to Rutgers came from a pool of $2.1 million in taxpayer money allocated to the defense of illegal aliens by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

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“This project is another step toward our goal of universal representation for all detained immigrants,” Gupta said in the statement.

“The funding will allow us to continue to provide high-quality legal representation to detained immigrants in New Jersey — representation that ensures that immigrants will not be deported without due process.”

There are a couple of problems with Gupta’s statement. First, illegal aliens facing an order of deportation have already had “due process,” having either appeared in court before an immigration judge or skipped their court date and been sentenced in absentia.

Second, it’s ironic that New Jersey’s taxpayers are funding “high-quality legal representation” for illegal aliens when American citizens charged with crimes who are unable to afford an attorney are typically stuck with low-quality public defenders.

Dale Wilcox, executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, told Campus Reform that “the residents of New Jersey should be furious about [the grant].”

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“The taxes they pay are being used to create yet another free service for illegal aliens in their state, one which will only serve to attract more foreign nationals and exacerbate the problem,” Wilcox added. “This is the corrosive nature of sanctuary policies. There is no limit to the ways that politicians will steer resources away from legal residents and toward those here illegally.”

Yet again, the progressive left that has taken over the Democratic Party has shown the American people that they place a higher priority on defending the rights of illegal aliens than caring for the well-being of American citizens.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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