To the Editor:
I grew up on a farm in Monmouth County and am a strong believer in that adage attributed to farmers: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” That is the case for why we don’t need “287(g)” in New Jersey, more specifically Monmouth County.
If one looks at crime statistics, the trend in crime including violent crime is downward. Our county is, relatively speaking, a very safe one. Therefore, there is no demonstrable need for ICE (“Immigration and Customs Enforcement”) to deputize local law enforcement officers to perform federal civil immigration duties as is the case if “287(g)” is implemented.
Furthermore, “287(g)” agreements undermine public trust but do not enhance safety. Benefits are achieved through the Immigrant Trust Directive (to be referred to as the “DIrective.”).
There is nothing in the “Directive” that creates a so-called sanctuary state. If someone breaks the law they go to jail regardless of immigration status.
The “Directive” allows county jails to identify and refer violent offenders to federal authorities. There is no reason, under the Directive to release dangerous offenders back into the community.
The “Directive” does draw a clear line between the responsibility of New Jersey’s law enforcement officers and immigration authorities (including ICE). By doing so, immigrant communities are more likely to report crimes as well as come forward as witnesses. “The DIrective” allows referral of violent offenders to ICE.
Again, under the Directive: It ain’t broke. Changing it will muck up the works so don’t change it. That is why a large number of Monmouth County residents do not support 287(g).
Margaret S. Beekman