New Jersey AG Issues Rule Forbidding Police & ICE Cooperation

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has introduced new rules for state and local law enforcement regarding their relationship with immigration officials. The rules are designed to limit the police’s ability to turn over undocumented immigrants to immigration officials. Titled the “Immigrant Trust Directive,” the new rules have taken effect immediately.

Under the new directive, officers:

  • Can’t arrest or detain any individual based on actual or suspected immigration status
  • Can’t ask an individual their immigration status unless it is relevant to the investigation of a serious crime
  • Can’t participate in ICE raids or civil enforcement operations
  • Can’t give local resources to ICE, including access to information or property
  • Can’t let ICE interview suspects unless that person is advised of their right to an attorney

ICE officials criticized the rules for making the public less safe. However, Grewal said the new rules do not stop police from enforcing court orders or federal law. Police can still work with ICE in emergency situations or work on joint task forces. ICE just can’t use local resources or personnel to conduct its own investigations. More importantly, the public becomes less safe when people are unwilling to report crime. If immigrant communities feel at risk for deportation for simply talking to an officer, the public is unsafe.

AG Grewal said the point of the rules, as indicated by the directive’s title, is to foster open communication between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

“The new rules are designed to strengthen trust between New Jersey law enforcement officers and the state’s diverse immigrant communities,” Grewal’s office said in a statement. “No law-abiding resident of this great state should live in fear that a routine traffic stop by local police will result in his or her deportation from this country.”

Were Your Rights Violated? Call Our New Jersey Immigration Lawyer!

The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. faithfully serves the immigrant communities in New Jersey. Our New Jersey immigration lawyers have provided hundreds of people with hope, results, and second chances when they faced deportation or other penalties. Our firm is glad to hear that the Attorney General is doing what’s best for all us by not allowing ICE to use local police as a tool of immigration enforcement.

Local law enforcement serves the residents of our towns and cities, regardless of immigration status. The “Immigration Trust Directive” is a step in the right direction in keeping our communities safe for everyone.

If you are detained and questioned about your immigration status while in the custody of police in New Jersey, call our firm. Dial (800) 909-8129 to get immediate and effective legal protection.