Federal agents are blasting New Jersey officials, after an illegal man who was twice-deported was just charged in a rape and murder case.
New Jersey is a sanctuary state, and according to NJ 101.5 New Jersey law enforcement now has to follow these new procedures when dealing with immigrant communities and federal authorities are now in effect.
After state Attorney General Grubir Grewal outlined the new “Immigrant Trust Directive” back in November, all agencies were to establish policies and train officers regarding the directive by this past Friday.
The “Immigrant Trust Directive” says all levels of NJ law enforcement:
- Cannot stop, question, arrest, search, or detain any individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration status;
- Cannot ask the immigration status of any individual, unless doing so is necessary to the ongoing investigation of a serious offense and relevant to the offense under investigation;
- Cannot participate in civil immigration enforcement operations conducted by ICE;
- Cannot provide ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are readily available to the public;
- Cannot allow ICE to interview an individual arrested on a criminal charge unless that person is advised of his or her right to a lawyer.
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After a twice-deported Honduran man was charged with the brutal strangulation murder of a Jersey City nanny, federal authorities criticized New Jersey’s “limited cooperation” on immigration issues.
The federal rebuke came after the arrest of Jorge Rios, 33, who was charged in the death of Carolina Cano, 45, of Jersey City. Cano was found dead in a lake in Lincoln Park in Jersey City on March 24, according to Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Rios, identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as Jorge Alberto Rios-Doblado, previously was removed from the U.S. for immigration violations in 2003 and 2004, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The dispute arose just before President Donald Trump’s visit Friday to the U.S.-Mexican border in Calexico, California, where he consulted with immigration agents.
“There is indeed an emergency on our southern border,” Trump said at a border security briefing, adding that there has been a sharp uptick in illegal crossings. “It’s a colossal surge, and it’s overwhelming our immigration system. We can’t take you anymore. Our country is full.”
Rios is charged with felony murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.
“ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety,” the Newark ICE office said in a statement. “ICE will seek taking custody of Rios-Doblado at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings, despite limited cooperation in the state.”
Immigration officials were referring to a November directive issued by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that barred state and local cops from assisting federal immigration on authorities with “civil immigration law,” with some exceptions. Grewal’s directive stressed that his policy didn’t stop cops from enforcing state law or pursuing crimes.
When asked about Rios, Grewal’s office pointed to comments he made during his remarks to the state Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday, in which he explained the immigration directive was inspired by “overly zealous enforcement of immigration laws” by the federal government at sensitive places like schools, churches and courthouses, which Grewal said discouraged people from approaching the police to report crimes.
“Our job as state law enforcement officers is to enforce the criminal laws of this state and that’s all we told our law enforcement officers through that directive,” Grewal told state lawmakers who questioned the state’s immigration policy. “We don’t enforce civil immigration deportation orders.”
An ICE spokesman said it’s unknown when Rios returned to the U.S. and how he got here.
The fence that Trump toured Friday is a 2-mile section that was a long-planned replacement for an older barrier, rather than new wall. The White House says the barrier is marked with a plaque bearing Trump’s name and those of top homeland security officials.
Trump on Friday denied that he changed his mind about shutting down the border with Mexico, a threat he backed off on Thursday. Trump said he reversed course because he saw Mexico get tougher in stopping an influx of immigrants from moving north.
“Mexico has been absolutely terrific for the last four days,” the president said as he left the White House. “I never changed my mind at all. I may shut it down at some point.”
As Trump landed in California, the state’s governor ripped the president’s push for Congress to pass legislation that would tighten asylum rules to make it harder for people to qualify.
“Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge – a safe haven for people fleeing tyranny, oppression and violence. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American,” said Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.