Elizabeth mayor: Police officers won’t help immigration agents without judicial warrant

The Elizabeth mayor says police officers won't help immigration agents without a judicial warrant.

The Elizabeth mayor says police officers won't help immigration agents without a judicial warrant. (2/21/17)

ELIZABETH - The mayor of Elizabeth says that the city’s police officers will no longer help Immigration and Customs Enforcement without a judicial warrant.

ICE agents apparently made their first raid in the city last week and enlisted the police to help them.

Mayor Chris Bollwage says the agents came to Elizabeth Thursday with an administrative warrant to arrest a woman. When ICE agents knocked on a door looking for her, the family apparently refused to answer it. ICE called the Elizabeth police to assist. Bollwage says the family let the officers inside, but not the agents.

Bollwage says that the police force does not have the resources to assist in these types of raids and won’t do so unless officers are presented with a judicial warrant.

Immigration activist Sarah Cullinane says that ICE can make arrests with an administrative warrant, but it takes a judicial warrant to enter a home by force.

“It’s really important people know you do have rights. Even if you don't have lawful immigration status, you still have rights,” Cullinane says.

Immigration activists have been handing out fliers to let people know what to do if ICE comes to their door. The fliers warn people to refrain from opening their doors, remain silent and take pictures and video of a raid while it is happening. 

President Donald Trump says that his immigration policy is designed to get dangerous people who are in the country illegally out of the United States. But it has been met with some resistance.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski says that he is hoping to make New Jersey a sanctuary state.

“The federal government can’t insist, may not, under our Constitution, enforce its laws by using our police officers,” Wisniewski says.

ICE has called its arrests "targeted enforcement."  The Department of Homeland Security said officers had arrested 680 people last week based on the immigration orders, and that some had criminal backgrounds.

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