Transcript: “Today, we have a President that works tirelessly to dehumanize immigrants. By referring to them as “thugs”. By claiming they want to “infest our country”. By separating families and putting children in cages. By warning of marauding caravans. And by pursuing half-baked immigration policies that do nothing to make us safer. And only serve to whip up support for his nationalist agenda.
The result is that the federal government has cultivated a culture of fear. A fear that drives some of our most vulnerable residents deeper into the shadows.
These residents fear that a traffic stop will now land them in a detention center. And so they avoid the day-to-day tasks that the rest of us take for granted.
They fear that a call to the police will end in deportation. So they don’t say anything when they’re victims of violence or fraud. They fear that an ICE officer will be waiting for them outside the courthouse. So they refuse to testify at trial.
Crimes go unreported.
Criminals remain on the street.
Justice goes unserved.
Part of the problem is that some of our most vulnerable residents don’t understand the difference between an ICE officer and a local cop.
They simply fear anyone with a badge.
That makes it harder for law enforcement to protect our communities.And that affects everyone’s public safety.
So at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, we did something about this. Just last month, we issued a new law enforcement directive. To draw a clear, bright line between New Jersey’s law enforcement officers on the one hand and federal civil immigration authorities on the other.
The directive applies to all 36,000 law enforcement officers in New Jersey. Everyone from State Troopers to local beat cops to correctional officers. Our approach is simple.
We’re limiting the voluntary assistance that New Jersey’s law enforcement officers provide to federal civil immigration authorities.
And in doing so, we’re telling our state law enforcement agencies to focus their resources on their core priorities such as solving crimes and protecting the public rather than advancing Washington’s immigration agenda.
We want to create an environment where all our residents feel safe around law enforcement officers.
Because you can be pro-immigrant and pro-law enforcement at the same time.”