The U.S. Justice Department sued the State of New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy and NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal yesterday, seeking to halt the elements of Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive which 1) prohibit law enforcement officers from honoring ICE detention requests on illegal aliens in custody for other crimes and 2) require law enforcement officers to give those aliens written notice in their native language that ICE is looking for them.
“Jurisdictions that adopt sanctuary policies and instead release these criminals put all of Americans in harm’s way,” President Donald Trump said during remarks to the National Governors Association on Monday according to The Washington Post. “I know we have different policies, different feelings, different everything. But sanctuary cities are causing us a tremendous problem in this country. We have stone-cold killers that they don’t want to hand over to us and then they escape into communities and they cause, in some cases, tremendous havoc.”
“Let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible,” U.S Attorney General William Barr said at meeting of the National Sheriffs Association, according to FoxNews. “When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape. These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society. Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”
“Today’s lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, seeks to restore the balance of power between the Federal and State governments,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a press release. “The complaint challenges two provisions of the Directive, which limit the situations in which local, county and state officials can provide notice to federal immigration authorities of a detained individual’s upcoming release and mandates that local, county and state officials inform detainees of certain events. Today’s filed lawsuit presents important legal issues concerning whether the Directive’s prohibitions and restrictions on information sharing and basic cooperation with federal officials violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Grewal responding on twitter, calling the lawsuit an “election year stunt.”
It’s no surprise that the President, facing re-election, has suddenly decided to challenge the Immigrant Trust Directive, a policy we announced in 2018.
What’s disappointing is that my former colleagues at the Justice Dept have agreed to go along with this election year stunt.
— AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) February 10, 2020