Another call for New Brunswick to declare itself a ‘sanctuary city’
New Jersey 101.5 related video
NEW BRUNSWICK — Another group will attempt to convince the city to declare itself a "sanctuary city" during Wednesday night's City Council meeting.
The New Jersey Alliance of Immigrant Justice claimed that New Brunswick Police are working with Immigration and Custom Enforcement in raids on undocumented residents and wants the council to adopt policy that "specifically outlines the manner in which the city and NBPD will not cooperate with federal immigration officials and establish safety and protection for our residents."
Previously, Mayor Jim Cahill said his police department follows all guidelines established by the county prosecutor as well as state and federal laws. But he notes that police do not enforce federal immigration laws and don't "participate in raids or investigations involving immigration status."
"Our police have worked hard to build trust with the immigrant community, essential in creating a safe community, and will continue to do so," Cahill has said.
ICE conducted raids on illegal immigrants around the country in the past two weeks that resulted in 680 arrests around the country including 40 "in-and-around New York."
New Brunswick's mayor and City Council are all Democrats.
An estimated 38 percent of the city's 56,300 residents are foreign born. Of those, an estimated 17,100 are not U.S. citizens, a number that includes immigrants who may or may not be in the country legally, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.
Gov. Chris Christie on Monday's "Ask the Governor" program on New Jersey 101.5 said he is not aware that New Jersey was involved in any raids.
The Alliance of labor and political leaders is asking the city to:
- The establishment of strong anti-discrimination policies and privacy protections
- Adopting strong policies ensuring city employees don't discriminate based on actual or perceived immigration status
- Adopt protocols for U-Visa certification by police
- Create a municipal ID program and fund resources for legal representation and English classes
Wednesday's meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.