When local law enforcement voluntarily cooperates with or works on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), significant gaps in trust and cooperation grow between immigrant communities and the police. Local police and county jails in New Jersey routinely cooperate voluntarily with ICE by honoring warrantless detainer requests and administrative warrants issued by ICE; provide access to jail facilities to ICE agents; provide inmates in their custody to ICE for interviews or other investigative purposes; and use local resources to notify ICE of an inmate’s pending release. New Jersey localities should not be in the business of immigration enforcement—except where required by law.
With such close ties between local law enforcement and ICE, immigrants are less likely to report crimes, act as witnesses in criminal investigations and prosecutions, or provide intelligence to law enforcement. Better community policing depends on trust with every community.
NJAIJ urges municipalities and counties to join localities around the country in adopting policies declining to cooperate with ICE requests to detain an individual unless ICE provides a judicially-issued warrant, and declining to use local resources to facilitate ICE enforcement, except where required by law.