Trump won’t stop Newark from protecting ‘undocumented immigrants,’ mayor says
NEWARK — Mayor Ras Baraka says despite the outcome of the recent presidential election, the city will continue to protect its undocumented immigrants from being deported.
Baraka released a statement Monday saying the state's largest city has no intention of changing its policy on undocumented immigrants in the wake of Donald Trump's election as president.
“Newark already has a policy of protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation by U.S. immigration authorities. Despite the election of Donald Trump, we see no reason to change that policy," Baraka said.
His statement appears to be an effort by the administration to quell the fears of residents of Newark who may fear deportation due to President-elect Trump's stance on deportation. Baraka said he will not allow families to be torn apart by deportation, adding that the undocumented immigrants residing in Newark are a part of the community.
“We are not going to sacrifice thousands of people who live among us, who are part of our community, and who contribute to the economy and vitality of Newark," Baraka said. "We are not going to tear families apart."
In an interview Sunday on the CBS television show "60 Minutes," Trump said his focus will be on the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. His statement on the show appeared more lenient than his previous stance on immigration. Since the beginning of his campaign, the president-elect has vowed to build a solid wall along the southern border of the United States to stop immigrants from entering the country illegally. In his "60 Minutes" interview, however, he said he would accept a border fence in some areas where he previously vowed to construct a wall.
According to the Newark mayor, the city doesn't hold undocumented inmates in jail at the request of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The only exception would be an order from a judge. When an undocumented immigrant is placed under arrest by Newark police "continue to be subject to the law the same as criminal suspects who are American citizens," Baraka said in his statement.
“In Newark, we comply with federal immigration agencies, but insist that detainer requests be handled constitutionally," Baraka said. "I hope that no president would violate those principles, the very foundation of our nation, by taking punitive action against cities that are simply protecting the well-being of residents.”
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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