‘Enough is enough’ - ICE official blasts New Jersey’s ‘sanctuary’ directive
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official blasted New Jersey’s “sanctuary state” directive while announcing the arrest of over 50 immigrants who are in the country illegally.
"Enough is enough. We want jurisdictions to rethink their policies and laws they've enacted. That it really comes down to public safety,” said ICE Deputy Executive Assistant Director Henry Lucero.
New Jersey, along with several other states, has enacted rules prohibiting local and state law enforcement agencies from assisting ICE agents in immigration raids.
"Who are these sanctuary policies really protecting? The answer, sadly, criminal aliens,” Lucero said.
New Jersey’s “immigrant trust directive” was implemented by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and backed by Gov. Phil Murphy. It is a directive that Lucero has called “dangerous.”
“I think that if you are carving out only certain crimes in certain scenarios where you should work with ICE, you're basically saying you have a crystal ball,” he says.
Grewal and Murphy have argued the directive is necessary to reduce fear in the immigrant community and encourage immigrants to report crimes. But federal officials argued that ICE would be more effective if local jurisdictions honored ICE immigration detainers.
"By not working with us in the jails and prisons in this area, it forces ICE out into the communities. And really, that's more disruptive to everyone in the community,” Lucero says.
Thursday Lucero announced that 54 arrests were made during a weeklong sweep that targeted those who have previously been released from local jails. But the officials say there are others who remain at large after being released by local jurisdictions.
"We're a federal law enforcement agency. There's not another one, that I know of, that people are actively trying to not help,” Lucero says.
Grewal is expected to respond to ICE at a news conference Friday. His office says he will make an announcement in Newark about immigration and law enforcement.