New Jersey AG ‘deeply disappointed’ by feds’ decision to back sanctuary state lawsuit

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New Jersey's attorney general says he's “deeply disappointed” that the U.S. Justice Department is backing two counties in their lawsuits against his directive limiting law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

On Friday, the office backed Cape May and Ocean County officials, saying that barring state and local officials from providing information about undocumented immigrants conflicts with the federal government's "statutorily granted powers."

In response, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed that the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have suddenly chosen to challenge New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive in court over a year after it was issued. At a time when we need to be building bridges with our immigrant communities, the federal government is working to push them further into the shadows.”

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Grewal said the directive ensures that all residents feel safe interacting with state and local police, which helps protect public safety.

But the sheriffs of several New Jersey counties, including Cape May and Ocean, have said that they do not agree with Grewal’s beliefs. They have said that they will continue to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as they see fit.

Grewal said officials would respond to the lawsuits in court.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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