Advocates Condemn President Trump’s Latest Attempt To Attack Immigrants By Ending Constitutionally Protected Birthright Citizenship

In response to President Trump’s statement on his intentions to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship, Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement:

We condemn this latest xenophobic attempt by President Trump to attack immigrants by stating he will end birthright citizenship with the signing of an executive order. This is clearly another political ploy by the administration in the wake of the upcoming elections. While President Trump’s proposal is unconstitutional, his continued nationalist rhetoric is creating fear for immigrant and American families alike, many who have relatives with mixed status. Our rights are protected under the constitution, regardless of immigration status, and as the federal administration continues to undermine American values, we must continue to fight in New Jersey for state policies that are fair and welcoming to all.”

Share

Response to Hudson County’s proposed resolution on the ICE jail contract

In response to Hudson County’s proposed resolution on the ICE jail contract, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement:

While the whole country is horrified over the cruel separation and detention of families seeking asylum at the border, Hudson County continues to be a part of this system by financially profiting off the detention and deportation of people.

Unfortunately, while advocates and residents are fighting to end immigration detention and deportations across the country, Hudson County Freeholders continue to play politics with the lives of immigrant detainees and their families. Public statements have been made, yet what is before the freeholder board today is not what they committed to. The proposed resolution on the Intergovernmental Service Agreement maintains the status quo of their relationship with ICE until 2020, at which point they are free to continue that relationship with another resolution.

Hudson County can plan their phase out with the input of advocates to ensure that our families gain freedom and are not negatively impacted by this transition. Specifically, the proposed resolution does not propose an end date, does not impose a cap of the number of detainees, comply with latest detention standards to better the treatment of detainees and inmates, and adding resources to ensure that our families gain freedom.

All the Hudson County Freeholder actions indicate that they are simply hoping this pressure dies down. They are hoping that in two years this won’t be an issue anymore and that they can go back to previous excuses for partaking in this inhumane system. As Hudson County is one of the most diverse counties not just in New Jersey, but in the country, these actions do not reflect the values of their residents’ values. Today’s resolution should be tabled until the freeholders can lay out clear steps to phase out the contract and meaningfully engage with impacted community members and the advocates who support them.

Share

Hudson County Renews IGSA Detention Contract With ICE

                       

Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Respond to Hudson County Renewing IGSA Detention Contract With ICE

Yesterday, Hudson County freeholders voted to renew its IGSA contract with ICE to detain immigrants in the Hudson County Jail. In response, immigrants’ rights advocates released the following statements:

“It is disheartening that majority of Hudson County Freeholders voted to continue the lucrative immigration detention contract with the federal immigration agency that often tears immigrant families apart. At the time local governments should push back egregious and harmful immigration enforcement activities, Hudson county chose profit over what's right. Hudson and New Jersey residents deserve much better than that,” said Chia-Chia Wang, organizing and advocacy director, American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program.

“It was disappointing that the Freeholder’s rushed and voted to continue the IGSA agreement, without further review of what is written in the contract and without acknowledging Freeholder Torres’s request to table the item for further research and discussion. Clearly profits before humans was the driving point, given there are 800 ICE detainees to 400 inmates incarcerated in the facility,” said Sally Pillay, program director, First Friends of New Jersey and New York.

“We condemn this vote to renew the ICE contract with Hudson County Jail. With this vote, the county is making a deal to profit off of family separation of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants over the next decade,” said Johanna Calle, director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “Immigrants held at this jail experience some of the worst conditions in any detention facility in the country. In a moment when it has become increasingly clear that ICE’s cruel and racist tactics lead to family separation, immigrant communities and advocates demand all New Jersey counties and localities end all relationships with this rogue agency. Hudson County is the profiteering off of attacks on our communities while they fail to meet high standards for care of all detainees. We are committed to continue fighting end all detention and deportations in New Jersey and across the United States.”

Share

Thousands March in Newark to Demand Family Reunification and Ending All New Jersey State and Local Resource Use for Federal Immigration Enforcement

 

Elected officials, advocates joined marchers to call for an end to family separation and detention

 

NEWARK, NJ-- From City Hall to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Newark Field Office, thousands of people marched in Newark to call for an end to family separation at the border and in New Jersey. The march was lead by immigrant youth and children separated from their family members. Marchers demanded New Jersey state leadership stand up to Trump’s systematic criminalization and cruel dehumanization of migrants and immigrants by immediately ending all local and state resources from being used on ICE and CBP’s cruel treatment of immigrant families. Most of the 2,500 children separated at the border have yet to be reunited with their families. In New Jersey, thousands of families have been separated by ICE with arrests 42% higher than previous years.  

Immigrant youth who have faced detention spoke about the traumatic experience of family separation and called on New Jersey policymakers to protect immigrants in the state. Speakers also called on state leaders to guarantee effective, pro bono legal counsel to all people in immigration proceedings and ensure that all immigrants can live, drive and study safely in New Jersey.

“I was only 5 when I was held in immigrant detention, away from my mom. I lived in fear for a long time after that. Wind of the Spirit has taught me that fear and hate cannot win if we work together. That is why I march, because we need everyone, especially our state and local representatives, to act. We need NJ to protect all of us from terroristic ICE practices. We must abolish ICE and decriminalize asylum, to make our country safe for all,” said Alondra, Youth Advocate, Wind of the Spirit (Last name withheld).

"As a Dreamer who crossed the border as a small child seeking refuge in the United States with my family, the Trump administration's cruelty shakes me to my core. Immigrant youth are under attack by a government that rules with an agenda of white supremacy and hate, and ICE officers who seek to detain and deport us all - whether its at the border or here in New Jersey. Today we stand in unity and resistance because our families belong together. It's time to abolish ICE and stand up for our families," said Erika Martinez, Make the Road New Jersey.

“As a mother, there is nothing more cruel and inhumane than seeing children ripped apart from their families,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “The President has made it his mission to tear families apart, but we won’t stand for this. Phil and I will continue to fight tooth and nail to protect immigrant rights and defend the values that our country was founded upon.”

“Family separation is not just happening at the border. New Jersey has more counties that carry out immigration enforcement on behalf of ICE than some border states like Arizona. Our tax dollars used to separate thousands of New Jersey families. Moms and dads are stalked and detained by ICE on their way to work or while dropping their kids off to school. A simple traffic violation puts someone is danger of being separated by ICE,” said Johanna Calle, director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “New Jersey state leadership must act now expand access to driver’s licenses and to stop all state and local resources from going towards these harmful immigration enforcement tactics and make New Jersey a Fair and Welcoming state for all immigrants.”

“I’m proud to stand with New Jerseyans across our state to condemn the Trump Administration’s heartless zero tolerance policy. I applaud the decision of a federal court ordering the Administration to reunite the separated children, and I hope the Administration promptly complies. But we must be vigilant and make sure the more than 2,000 children who were torn away from their families at our southern border reunite with their parents. We will not let this President bully us into believing that we should fear immigrant children and families who seek safety and asylum in the United States. Here in New Jersey we believe that the United States must always be a beacon of hope to those fleeing violence and injustice in the darkest corners of the world, and we are proud to stand together to say once and for all that families belong together,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

“It’s hard to find words to describe the policy of separating children from their mothers and fathers as they seek safety from violence and persecution. Words like cruel, inhumane and heartless have been used, but they fall short. Public outcry led the President to stop ICE from ripping terrified kids away from the only sense of safety that they have, but we cannot afford to  quiet down for his bait and switch. Instead of caging kids and families separately, he wants to hold them indefinitely — and he’s been silent about reuniting the hundreds of children who were separated from their parents over the past several weeks. We have to be the voices of these people who have come here, to a nation of immigrants, for asylum and for opportunity. I’m proud to continue to fight on their behalves, and equally proud to see so many others do the same. We cannot allow Republicans in Congress and the White House to commit these atrocities,” said Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman.

"In a span of a few months, we've seen the cruelty with which immigrant and migrant families are treated at the border and in New Jersey. The treatment of people fleeing their countries and seeking asylum in the U.S. is not only unjust but very often inhumane. It is time to shine a light on the destructive power the current administration has over human lives. We march in solidarity with all immigrants," said Erin Chung, President of Women for Progress.

"The criminalization of immigration is a stain on the fabric of this nation. To treat people like this, tearing them apart from their families without a trace of compassion, shows the true character, ignorance, and heartlessness of officials in Washington, from the White House down to the Congressional Republicans that support it with their compliance or silence. And this is not only about what's happening at our borders; it's about the mass deportations carried out by ICE, at a rate higher than the national average, that are separating families right here in New Jersey. We demand that our state legislators act now to protect all NJ families,” said Elizabeth Meyer, Founder, Women's March on NJ.

“It is not enough for the Trump Administration to use xenophobic and racist policies to attack our immigrant and migrant brothers and sisters. Their zero tolerance policy rips away the humanity of these families and shows the heartless of this administration. It is time for our federal and state legislators to stand on the side of families and stand up to denounce the caging of these kids and families,” said Analilia Executive Director of New Jersey Working Families.



###

 

In partnership with:

Communications Workers of America - NJ Chapter

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ

Make the Road NJ

BlueWaveNJ

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Working Families

NJ 11th for Change

Wind of the Spirit

Women for Progress

1199 SEIU

ACLU-NJ

American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program

Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

Health Professionals and Allied Employees

Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey

Ironbound Community Corporation

National Association of Social Workers - NJ Chapter

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Labor

NJ08 for Progress

SPAN

Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ

###

 

In partnership with:

Communications Workers of America - NJ Chapter

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ

Make the Road NJ

BlueWaveNJ

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Working Families

NJ 11th for Change

Wind of the Spirit

Women for Progress

1199 SEIU

ACLU-NJ

American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program

Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

Health Professionals and Allied Employees

Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey

Ironbound Community Corporation

National Association of Social Workers - NJ Chapter

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Labor

NJ08 for Progress

SPAN

Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ

 

Share

Immigrant Advocates Condemn Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Muslim Ban

Today, the Supreme Court released its 5-4 decision to uphold the third version of the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban denying visas and protection for travelers and refugees from six Muslim-majority countries. In response, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement,

“By upholding the Muslim ban, the United States Supreme Court has sided with a racist and xenophobic attack on Muslims and immigrants. Banning travelers and refugees from Muslim majority countries has been a part of the Trump Administration's policies against immigrant communities from the beginning. The continuation of this ban will harm Americans and immigrants with family members in those countries who will not be able to see their loved ones. This goes against American values of reuniting families and welcoming immigrants. We will continue to stand up and fight back against attacks on immigrants to ensure that families are never separated,” said Johanna Calle, director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

 

Share

Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Applaud Governor Murphy’s Executive Order to Prevent Use of State Resources for the Separation of Immigrant Families

 

New Jersey--  In response to Governor Murphy issuing an executive order prohibiting state agencies to separate children on the basis of immigration, Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement,

 

“Immigrants’ rights groups across New Jersey commend Governor Murphy and his administration on taking this step to make it clear that our state is not in the business of separating families. We look forward to working with the Murphy Administration to address the horrifying realities that immigrant families and children face when they come in contact with ICE and CBP in New Jersey. As long as ICE is able to operate in the state, families and children are at risk of detention and deportation. We ask those who support immigrant families to join us on June 30th in Newark to demand that ICE and CBP stop terrorizing immigrant families in New Jersey and across the nation.”

Share

New Jersey Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Respond to President Trump’s Executive Order which Replaces Family Separation with Family Detention

 

New Jersey--  In response to President Trump issuing an executive order to address the crisis his administration’s anti-immigrant policies have created, Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, released the following statement,

 

“This executive order does little to fix the immigration crisis Trump’s administration has created and jails children with parents, continuing the practice of detaining families who are seeking refuge. Family detention centers are not the answer. Putting families behind bars and giving them no real chance to appeal their case for asylum goes against the American tradition of welcoming migrants and refugees.

 

In recent months we’ve heard not only the cries of families from the border but those of families in our own state where parents have been arrested by ICE and separated from their children. New Jersey’s ICE’s operations have called our families criminals and have detained thousands in our own backyard. Immigrant advocates across the state call on New Jersey to ensure that no local and state resources are going towards supporting ICE’s federal immigration enforcement tactics.”

Share

Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Applaud Hackensack Board of Education Passage of Fair and Welcoming School Policy

Hackensack Board of Education unanimously votes to limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement by adopting Fair and Welcoming school policy

 

In response to the Hackensack Board of Education’s unanimous vote in support of a district-wide policy protecting students and parents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) and Hackensack Board of Education member, Johanna Calle, issued the following statement:

"This is a great step forward for the Hackensack community and its students where almost 40 percent of the community members are immigrants. Hackensack Board of Education adopting this Fair and Welcoming school policy will help foster community trust between local residents and community leaders. Immigrant youth will feel comfortable knowing that the school administration, staff, and leadership are committed to enhancing their educational experience and are not wasting precious time and resources working with ICE. This is especially important because ICE has been disregarding honoring sensitive locations like schools. Just last month, the Second Reformed Church of Highland Park saw two parishioners detained by ICE as they dropped their kids off to school. Unfortunately, practices like this, and those that violate people's constitutional rights to privacy and due process, are becoming more common under the Trump administration.  

“Immigrants’ rights advocates across the state applaud Hackensack for adopting a Fair and Welcoming school policy and encourage other districts to do the same by protecting immigrant youth and their families in their schools.”

Share

Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Call on New Jersey to Use Power of State to Protect Immigrant Communities from Deportation

SDSLtd_NJAFIJ_Logo.png

Advocates call on state leadership to do more to shield immigrants from Trump administration’s attacks

In light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice will be bringing a lawsuit against the state of California due to their policies limiting the use of local and state resources for Federal immigration enforcement, immigrants’ rights advocates across New Jersey released the following statement:

The Trump administration’s lawsuit against California is another racist attack on immigrant communities and a baseless attempt to block state and local laws that protect communities and increase public safety. Federal courts have overwhelmingly ruled against the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies including the racist travel bans on Muslim-majority countries, and lawsuits brought by the administration against localities and cities which limit cooperation with ICE. We are confident that courts will yet again uphold the constitution and protect American values.

New Jersey sent a strong message last month by joining a lawsuit that challenges the Trump administration’s policy to block funding to cities and jurisdictions that limit the use of local resources on federal immigration enforcement. New Jersey’s participation shows that the Garden State values its immigrant communities and will stand by cities and jurisdictions that choose to use their resources for community policing and public safety.

As the federal landscape continues to look bleak for immigrant communities, with no permanent solution for Dreamers and their families while the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being litigated in the courts, the phasing out of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and escalating arrests and deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), immigrants’ rights advocates call on state leadership to take steps to continue to stand up to the Trump administration’s mass deportation scheme. This includes using the power of the state to ensure that local resources are not used to conduct federal immigration enforcement activities and to proactively protect the privacy of all residents by placing clear limitations on the data that state and local agencies collect.

“New Jersey can support making our entire state safer by implementing Fair and Welcoming state policies, thereby limiting local, county, and state cooperation with ICE which puts entire communities at risk,” said Johanna Calle, Director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “The legislature can also pass common-sense policy expanding access to driver's licenses to all qualified NJ residents, regardless of status. A routine traffic stop, such as getting pulled over for driving without a license, could put an individual at risk of deportation.”

“States and local jurisdictions should not be strong-armed into diverting local resources to pay for the work of the federal government,” said Farrin Anello, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of New Jersey. “We’re proud that New Jersey is challenging the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to intimidate fair and welcoming jurisdictions nationwide. When survivors of crime and witnesses are afraid to speak to police because of local collaboration with federal immigration enforcement, our communities become less safe.”

“In the past two years, we have seen ICE increase their efforts to arrest and detain average folks, including moms and dads dropping their kids to schools, Indonesian migrants seeking refuge in New Jersey from religious persecution, and even victims of violence seeking protective orders in courthouses. They do not deserve to be whisked away by ICE without notice,” said Chia-Chia Wang, Advocacy and Organizing Director of American Friends Service Committee.Immigrant communities need to be able to trust that law enforcement’s first concern is public safety, not deporting immigrants. New Jersey’s leadership must take action to protect people from the escalating attacks on immigrant communities and families within the state.”

"New Jersey state officials must not be intimidated by the racist bullying of the federal government," said Olga Armas, member-leader of Make the Road New Jersey. "Here in New Jersey, we rely on our local officials to serve and protect us. I want to make sure that the police will protect me and I want to feel safe dropping my kids off at school. We must continue to champion New Jersey values that respect diversity, inclusion, public safety, and fairness for our families."

New Jersey’s has the third largest foreign-born population in the United States, including over 53,000 young immigrants who are eligible to benefit from the DACA program. Additionally, neither the constitution nor United State’s statute law mandate that states participate in federal immigrant efforts. New Jersey lawmakers must remain steadfast in protecting our communities and prioritizing public safety.  By implementing fair and welcoming policies statewide, New Jersey will ensure that local resources are used to address local and state needs, shield our immigrant neighbors and families from harmful ICE enforcement practices, and stand up to the Trump administration’s coercive tactics and racist mass deportation scheme.

Share

Statement on Hudson County Ending 287(g)

      

Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Respond to Hudson County Ending 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act Agreement

 

Advocates applaud Hudson County terminating its 287(g) contract and call on state leadership to make statewide policy changes limiting involvement with ICE

 

HUDSON COUNTY-- Today, Director of Corrections of Hudson County jail, Ronald P. Edwards, announced Hudson County’s termination of its 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The 287(g) program deputizes local or county officers to do federal immigration enforcement using local resources to screen individuals based on immigration status as part of its deportation program. Three other counties in New Jersey including Monmouth, Salem, and Cape May county jails have 287(g) agreements. Too often ICE’s practices violate individual’s fourth amendment rights to due process and privacy. In response, immigrants’ rights advocates released the following statements:

"We are so excited to hear that Hudson County made such a rightful decision in terminating the 287(g) agreement. Local law enforcement should not in any way help carry out immigration enforcement. 287(g) has undermined the trust from the immigrant community and only negatively impact their citizen friends and families. We are seeing more family separations caused by immigration arrests, detention and deportation. Other countries that have similar agreement should terminate it now," said Chia-Chia Wang, Advocacy and Organizing Director of American Friends Service Committee.

“The 287(g) program has been referenced by the Trump administration as a key component of their deportation machine. Today, by ending participation in 287(g), Hudson County has made it clear that they will not support President Trump in his efforts to terrorize immigrants,” said Andrea Long, an organizer with Hudson for All and donor relations manager for the ACLU of New Jersey. “We applaud the freeholders for their role in bringing this contract to an end, and we thank them for supporting all of our neighbors.”

"It is an honor to have been a part of this effort and see the work of our colleagues produce major change for our communities. Counties across the state should follow Hudson County's lead and end their relationships with ICE immediately. These contracts undermine public safety, community trust, and put our localities at risk of legal liability,” said Johanna Calle, Director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “We will continue to fight to make sure the rest of the state becomes Fair and Welcoming and that our local resources are not used to separate families. We applaud Hudson county for this major step in putting their community over following ICE's unconstitutional practices.”

“I’ve always felt welcomed and safe especially for the past decade that I’ve lived in Hudson County. However, ever since the 2016 election, and with Hudson County having the 287(g) ICE agreement, for the first time, I started to feel unsafe. I’m grateful to County Executive, Tom DeGise and the Hudson County Freeholders for recognizing that this was hurting the entire County and all its residents, including citizens, and that justice should, can and must be prevailed. I feel safe again.” said Nadja K. Rutkowski, Organizer with Hudson for All.

“We commend Hudson County for moving to end the county’s 287(g) program, bringing us one step closer to creating safer spaces for immigrants. Today’s victory is thanks to the tireless organizing by advocates and allies, but our work is far from over, we will continue to fight to defeat policies statewide that terrorize our communities,” said Sally Pillay, Program Director of First Friends New Jersey and New York.

Collaborating with ICE decreases public safety, tears families apart, and creates liability for jurisdictions that participate in these agreements. The rest of the state now has an opportunity to follow Hudson’s lead. We look toward to state and local leadership to follow suit in terminating 287(g) contracts and making New Jersey a Fair and Welcoming state.

Share