Responding to community criticism of the recently implemented “Immigrant Rights Directive” by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the Sussex County Board of Freeholders considered a resolution that would put the question of “Sanctuary County” designation to the voters in this November’s general election. According to Freeholder Joshua L. Hertzberg, the resolution lets the:
public and residents voice their opinions. This topic is near and dear to his heart, for he started his career as a Border Patrol Agent. Some immigrants were great people and only wanted a better life, but he didn’t get to make that decision. He had to do what the law told him to do. If you broke the law, he had to do his job and that is what we are asking our politicians to do. Follow the law and stop making arbitrary decisions. The law says if you are illegally here in our Country and you go to jail you are required to be deported. That is the law and that is what they are trying to convince us to not let happen.
Freeholder Dawn Fantasia noted the “unprecedented number of women and children being introduced into sex trafficking and forced labor, organ trafficking, sex tourism and child labor” throughout New Jersey. “These individuals flee to this Country seeking a better life, but it is unsafe and they are victimized because of the way they are choosing to enter the United States,” said Fantasia. Freeholder Fantasia continued:
The worst part is those coming into this Country to wreak havoc and break the law. The fact that we have a Governor and Attorney General who issues us an expectation to ignore Federal Law and supersede with a reckless State directive that defies logic. It is [my] belief that they need to fully cooperate with ICE so any of the undocumented individuals with criminal offenses are deported.
The Board unanimously adopted the motion, placing “Question 185-2019” on the Ballot:
AUTHORIZING THE PLACEMENT OF A PUBLIC QUESTION ON THE OFFICIAL BALLOT FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 5, 2019, CONCERNING A QUALIFIED VOTERS OPPORTUNITY TO INSTRUCT THEIR GOVERNMENT WITH REGARDS TO THE ‘SANCTUARY STATE’ POLICY OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Sentiment over the “Immigrant Rights Directive” at the local level has been “sporadic” according to New Jersey 101.5 FM. In March of 2019, the Freehold Township, New Jersey, Committee passed a resolution “declaring that the township opposes policies to make New Jersey a sanctuary state for immigrants who are in the country illegally.” Several other New Jersey counties and municipalities have enacted or are considering legislation either opposing a “Sanctuary State” designation or fully supporting it. These actions clearly indicate that the divide in New Jersey on the “immigration question” may be larger than most expect.
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