Immigration officials arrest another 123 in ‘sanctuary state’ NJ
NEWARK — New Jersey's limits on local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration officials did not hinder recent ICE arrests of more than 100 people living in the country illegally.
One of them, a 38-year-old Guatemalan national who had previously been deported, had been convicted of aggravated assault and weapons offenses.
The arrests in the past month follow 105 busts that ICE announced in December as New Jersey implemented new rules that have been described as "sanctuary state" policies.
Federal authorities say the latest sweep targeted people with prior convictions or those facing drunk-driving charges. About 90% of the 123 suspects had criminal records or were facing criminal charges, ICE said.
According to the ICE office in Newark, the state's regulations did not affect the agency's ability to take anyone into custody and none were being held by any local agencies.
The state's new rules, designed to prevent immigrant communities from fearing the authorities, prevents police from inquiring about a person's immigration status unless it is relevant to an investigation. County jails, meanwhile, are not allowed to detain inmates past their release date. The new rules don't stop cops from cooperating with ICE on criminal investigations.
Those arrested range in age from 19 to 56 and included 41 people from Mexico, 24 from Guatemala, 16 from Ecuador and 14 from Honduras.
Arrests were made in Bergen (4), Burlington (4), Camden (4), Cumberland (9), Essex (13), Hudson (8), Mercer (10), Middlesex (14), Monmouth (12), Morris (10), Ocean (3), Passaic (2), Somerset (6), and Union (23). One was arrested in Pennsylvania.