Democratic and Republican candidates in the first legislative district agree on sanctuary states.
Neither side wants New Jersey to be one.
“Last week, an illegal immigrant charged with raping a teenager under 16 was released from the Cumberland County jail despite ICE requests to detain him,” Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan said. “This is an outrage and should offend every law-abiding person in our state, regardless of their political affiliation. New Jersey Attorney General Grewal claims our Garden State is not a Sanctuary State… he’s dead wrong.”
Last week, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called the term “sanctuary state” a red herring, saying immigration hard-liners were using it to suggest the state was giving a free pass to immigrants in the country illegally who committed crimes.
Under Gov. Phil Murphy, the state has limited the degree to which its local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency tasked with deportations.
Cumberland County Republican Chairman Michael Testa and his running mates have long made criticism of Murphy a central point of their campaign against Democratic incumbents, but the attack over immigration policy ignores the stances of State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak and the incumbent assemblymen.
“Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State policy is threatening the safety of our families, neighborhoods, and schools, yet all he’s worried about is trying to bully Cape May County Sheriff Bob Nolan into stopping his cooperation agreement with ICE,” McClellan said. “Let me be clear: I stand proudly with Sheriff Nolan, the Cape May County Freeholders, and my running mates Mike Testa, Jr. and Erik Simonsen in this fight. We will not be bullied and we will not back down, unlike our silent Democrat legislators who have done nothing but offer lip service to this public safety crisis.”
Cape May County Robery Nolan sought to ignore a directive Grewal issued that prevented local law enforcement agencies from renewing contracts with ICE without the approval of the state government.
As recently as Friday, Andrzejczak made it known that he opposed Grewal’s policy.
“There have been no louder voices against making New Jersey a sanctuary state than Bob, Bruce and Matt. It’s nice to see Team Testa has decided to join Bob Andrzejczak in the fight to uphold the rule of law in South Jersey,” Andrzejczak campaign manager Sam Rivers said. “It’s a welcome change from Testa’s usual work defending murderers and people charged with assaulting police officers.”