The New Jersey Attorney General’s office, headed by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, sent strongly-worded letters to local sheriffs on Tuesday, saying they must request permission to work with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If they fail to do so, legal action will be taken against their respective police departments, according to WHYY-FM.
This harsh letter from Grewal comes after it was discovered that some sheriffs were renewing agreements with ICE without informing the New Jersey Attorney General’s office.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden responded to Grewal’s latest letter, saying that he is “hopeful” the state will allow its agreement with ICE to stand, as his county jail’s staff often has to take on the responsibility of federal immigration officers.
“Cooperation from the federal, state and local level is essential when protecting the public and ensuring that dangerous, undocumented immigrants are not released from jail in order to maintain the safety of our communities,” said Golden in a July 9 letter.
Golden’s statement also notes that 40 out of nearly 8,000 inmates processed at the county jail last year were discovered to be illegal aliens — these undocumented individuals were promptly turned over to ICE, according to WHYY-FM.
In addition, Grewal’s crusade against ICE is being met with fierce criticism by the entire law enforcement community, with one GOP candidate running for Middlesex sheriff lashing out in a blistering, now-deleted Facebook post, Insider NJ reported.
Anthony Gallo, a former auxiliary officer and NRA-certified firearms instructor, called for the arrest of Grewal on Facebook, saying the attorney general has been “harboring ‘criminal’ illegal aliens.”
Gallo continued, expressing surprise at the fact that 19 of 21 New Jersey counties “have been releasing these ‘Criminals’ into our backyards with our Families.”
He then took a swipe at his opponent, demanding Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott be removed as well, claiming he “listens to this Criminal Attorney General and not the People of Middlesex County.”
Gallo finished his passionate rant by saying that politicians should hold no sway over the demands of sitting sheriffs and people should go to the ballot box if they want a change in local law enforcement.
The entire debacle began after the progressive attorney general said late last year that his administration is “issuing new rules that draw a bright line between federal civil immigration authorities on the one hand, and state and local law enforcement officers on the other.”
The policy change has been deemed the “Immigrant Trust Directive,” which mandates that any local law enforcement agency must consult the AG’s office before entering into any contract or agreement with ICE officials.
Ultimately, this goes back to the oath that attorneys general and sheriffs are required to take during their inauguration process, in which they swear to uphold the United States’ and New Jersey Constitutions.
They can’t cherry-pick which laws to follow — they must follow them all. If they don’t like a law, then they should petition that the law be changed in U.S. Congress. That’s just how the system works, plain and simple.
Despite Attorney General Grewal threatening legal action against police departments for continuing ICE arrangements, he could very well end up being the one sued by pro-ICE individuals in New Jersey.
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