Immigrant Rights Advocates Denounce Monmouth, Cape May Counties' Secret Renewal of 287(g) ICE Contracts
287(g) ICE contracts deputize local law enforcement to do ICE’s bidding, drain limited local resources, and create barriers to building trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement officials.
New Jersey — (July 12th, 2019) In response to the uncovering of Monmouth and Cape May counties secretly renewing 287(g) contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), New Jersey immigrant rights and civil rights advocates released the following statements.
Chia-Chia Wang, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at American Friends Service Committee – Immigrants Rights Project said,
“287(g) is a highly flawed program that does not only hurt the trust relationship between immigrant communities and local law enforcement agencies, but leads to many deportations and family separation. Renewing 287(g) signals Cape May and Monmouth County officials’ continued desire to identify, detain and deport immigrants. We must hold them accountable and call for permanent end to 287(g) in New Jersey immediately.”
Kevin Escobar, Community Leader at Wind of the Spirit said,
“Our law enforcement officials are responsible for protecting and serving all of our communities, and the Attorney General’s directive ensures that our resources are used in a matter that accomplishes this. Our law enforcement is not required by law to do a federal agency’s job, and in fact their missions can often run counter to each other. The renewal of this type of non-mandatory, immigration contract not only erodes communication between immigrant communities and law enforcement, but also breaks up families. This leads to irreparable traumas and long term negative consequences for individuals and communities.”
Farrin Anello, Senior Staff Attorney with ACLU-NJ said,
“Renewing 287(g) agreements in secret, behind closed doors, not only denies the public its voice, but disregards the spirit of transparency outlined by the Attorney General’s Immigrant Trust Directive. We commend Attorney General Grewal for building trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities. When counties use local resources to carry out the responsibilities of federal immigration agencies, everyone loses: the public becomes less safe, and the county becomes liable for unconstitutional detentions and other violations of civil rights. We will continue fighting to protect the civil rights of all New Jerseyans and to ensure that decisions as consequential as county contracts with ICE be considered openly, honestly, and with community input.”
Johanna Calle, Director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice said,
“The purpose of the Immigrant Trust Directive is to create trust between Law Enforcement and Immigrant communities. Many who fear reporting crimes or being witnesses in investigations. The renewal of these agreements, done seemingly in hiding from the public, only diminish the trust in law enforcement and the process by which they decided to enter into agreements that use local resources for the Trump administrations family separation efforts.”