A new directive significantly limits the amount of assistance provided by state, county, and local law enforcement to federal immigration officials.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal created the directive as a strong response to Trump administration immigration policies. The directive prevents any New Jersey law enforcement officials from searching or detaining any immigrants at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, officials are allowed to collaborate with ICE if the immigrant is wanted for serious crimes, violent crimes, or for final deportation orders.
What Does the Directive Do?
The order is known as the Immigrant Trust Directive and has the following key rules. New Jersey law enforcement officials:
- Are not allowed to investigate or arrest a person based on their suspected immigration status. Police are only allowed to ask about a detainee’s immigration status while investigating a serious or violent crime.
- Must not participate in ICE raids or any other operations with the agency.
- Will not honor any requests from ICE to detain a specific individual. However, officers will arrest individuals accused of serious or violent crimes. Arrests are also allowed if the individual has a final deportation order signed by a judge, or if they have been charged with a crime in the last five years.
- Must get the attorney general's approval for agreements made with federal officials regarding immigration enforcement.
- Are barred from allowing ICE to interview detained individuals before they are informed of their right to legal representation.
- Are not allowed to use a person’s immigration status for pretrial detention. Prosecutors are also not allowed to use a witness’s immigration status against them.
- Must inform defendants that their charges and convictions may carry immigration consequences.
The directive contains additional requirements for law enforcement officials to properly notify detainees if ICE is requesting any information regarding their release date, potential interviews, or of any requests to continue detaining the individual past their release date.
Why Was the Directive Created?
Several New Jersey law enforcement officials support the Immigrant Trust Directive because they claim that cooperating with ICE undermines a positive relationship between the police and the communities where they work. Officials argue that police need the trust of immigrant communities to provide effective and safe law enforcement.
Will New York Dairy Suffer Because of Immigration Enforcement?
Farmers throughout New York are reporting difficulties with finding and keeping reliable laborers. The industry relies on immigrant labor to a significant degree. As current immigrant workers age, farmers are having trouble finding new employees to replace them thanks to current immigration policies and the state’s border with Canada. The New York Times is reporting that representatives from both parties are deadlocked in finding a solution for dairy farmers.
New York Voters: Opposed to Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Residents
A poll conducted by Siena College between March 10 and March 14 found that 61 percent of New York voters oppose giving licenses to undocumented residents. The poll asked 700 registered voters about their opinion on licenses for the undocumented. Immigration advocates have recently pushed for these licenses in the courts to have lawmakers approve them during the next legislative session. Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed he would sign a bill for the licenses, but has reportedly discouraged senators from voting for it.
Hudson City Police to Receive Warrant Training
Earlier this month, Columbia Sanctuary Movement’s Bryan MacCormack was stopped by ICE agents as he was driving two undocumented immigrants home from Hudson City Court. When MacCormack refused, the ICE agents called Hudson City police, who watched the interaction but did not intervene. The ICE agents eventually gave up, but MacCormack claims that Hudson City Police violated the city’s sanctuary policies by responding to the call. The city’s police chief denied these allegations but admitted that the officers needed better training for a situation such as MacCormack’s. Members of the Hudson City Police Department will undergo further training for confirming ICE’s authority to investigate immigrants.
Democrats Push for Change to Prevent Deportation of Undocumented New York Residents
Democratic State Senator Jessica Ramos is pushing to reduce the maximum sentence for some misdemeanors from 365 days to 364. Though this change may seem minor, it has the potential to change the lives of undocumented immigrants. Under the current law, undocumented immigrants accused of non-violent class A misdemeanors face up to a year of prison and, as a result, deportation. The senator is pushing for the law to protect undocumented immigrants who might plead guilty to a misdemeanor without understanding their rights.
Investigation Finds Unaccompanied Minors Unofficially Held in Shelters
When a migrant child is unaccompanied, they are typically overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement at a publicly-disclosed shelter. However, an investigation by Reveal found that several facilities that are previously undisclosed to the public are holding children with mental health or behavioral challenges. A 1997 law requires the ORR to report every facility housing a minor under its care—these undisclosed facilities appear to be violating this law. Alarmingly, a large company with a history of mismanagement runs two of these shelters.
Asylum Seekers in Tijuana Have First U.S. Court Hearings
Immigration officials have sent approximately 240 asylum seekers back to Tijuana from the San Ysidro port of entry under the Migrant Protection Protocols. These protocols require asylum seekers to wait outside the country as they wait for their case to progress. Migrants sent back to Tijuana in January are having their first court hearings. Many of the migrants were unable to find adequate legal representation before their cases.
ICE Wants to Build Detention Center Near Chicago
For the last few years, ICE has attempted to have a private prison company build a large facility to detain immigrants in. It wants to build the detention facility about 80 miles from Chicago’s immigration court. An earlier attempt to build the facility was shut down by Governor Pritzker. Now, the town of Dwight has reached an agreement with the private company to build the facility. While some local opposition is present, town officials insist the most resistance is coming from outside Dwight.
If you need help with your immigration case help is available right now from The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. when you call (800) 909-8129