COURT HOUSE - In a letter dated Sept. 27, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has given Sheriff Robert Nolan seven days “to wind down your agreements with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).”
Attorney General (AG) Gurbir Grewal's letter states that the 287(g) agreements between local law enforcement agencies and ICE “allow ICE to deputize county and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.” Two New Jersey counties, Monmouth and Cape May, have 287(g) agreements in place.
The letter follows on the heels of an updated Immigrant Trust Directive in which the AG ended the ICE agreements, arguing that they hinder cooperation between the state’s immigrant population and local law enforcement agencies.
The AG’s letter dismisses the argument that the agreements enhance public safety, stating that “the asserted benefits are already being achieved by the Immigrant Trust Directive.”
In an Oct. 4 press release, Vineland attorney Michael Testa, Jr., the Republican candidate for state Senate, has offered to assist Cape May County to maintain its 287(g) agreement with ICE. According to the release, Testa will “aid Freeholder (Director Gerald) Thornton in litigation filed by Monmouth and Ocean counties,” aimed at overturning the directive.
While Ocean County has filed suit in federal court, it is not immediately clear what active Monmouth County litigation is referred to in the press release.
Meanwhile, the AG’s letter orders that both Cape May and Monmouth counties “transition to the framework already in place throughout the rest of the state.”