The Democratic Majority is at it again.

This time reviving a push that prohibits NJ detention facilities, state, local and private, from holding any detainee who is not a citizen.

That's right, with crime on the rise, public spending spiking to accommodate the Governor's 'sanctuary state' policy, the Trenton Democrats are making the job of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement even harder.

Assembly bill A5207, first proposed in 2020 which became law in 2021 makes it illegal for any New Jersey entity to house accused criminals if they are not citizens.

The Democrats are gearing up to appeal a judge's ruling declaring that the Elizabeth Detention Center must remain open for ICE to house detainees, many of whom are suspected criminals and terrorists.

New Jersey State House
The New Jersey State House in Trenton, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature along party lines and the governor signed it after returning from vacation in August 2021.

One of the major consequences of the law is that the Elizabeth Detention Center had an existing contract through August 2023 and would be prohibited from renewing.

The law puts our law enforcement entities in a tough spot. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations has two choices when it comes to protecting the public if prohibited from holding detainees in NJ.

The first is to transport them to other states and the second is to release them. The obvious challenge of transportation is the man hours required from officers who would be pulled off of other critical duties.

Then there is the challenge of ICE being unable to detain suspected terrorists to conduct inquiries and interrogations.

The burden is shifted to other states and has resulted in overcrowding, which increases the danger to federal contractor personnel.

The director of our ICE ERO field office in Newark, John Tsoukaris, joined me on the show to discuss the danger of the law, the benefit of the judge's decision and what's next.

Today we honor Director Tsoukaris and all the men and women who wear the uniform protecting our borders and our citizens.

He pointed out the necessity to detain suspected terrorists pulled by border enforcement.

He also hit on a point that was ignored by the Governor and their team, the health of detainees with medical conditions making the 4, 5 and more hour journey to another facility risky.

The Governor also led the public to believe that there were existing facilities not impacted, turns out that simply not true, only the Elizabeth Detention Center is available to the federal team protecting our communities.

New Jersey needs to elect a governor who will stand up for our law enforcement personnel and reverse the dangerous course we've been put on by irresponsible, short-sighted, ego and agenda-driven politicians.

Governor Murphy attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for Hoboken's Northwest Resiliency Park on on Monday, June 12th, 2023. (Jake Hirsch/NJ Governor's Office.)
Governor Murphy attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for Hoboken's Northwest Resiliency Park on on Monday, June 12th, 2023. (Jake Hirsch/NJ Governor's Office.)

The new governor will need to use the power of the Executive Order to ensure that ICE and other law enforcement entities can act appropriately to protect the public from dangerous criminals and suspected terrorists.

The new governor needs to reverse course on the sanctuary state and increase the ability for law enforcement to identify, arrest and detain potentially dangerous criminals.

Separating the good from the bad

Some of my political colleagues have called me a "liberal" on immigration issues because I believe that there should be a pathway to citizenship for some people who are here illegally.

Yes, some are deserving of "amnesty."

Most people here illegally would fall into the category of "undocumented," meaning they overstayed their legal time here and were unable to raise and spend the money to get through the system or they were brought here as children.

The challenge is that among these people who are working, attending school and otherwise participating as productive members of American society, are criminals, drug deals, gang leaders and terrorists.

How do you separate the groups?


Empower ICE to round up the bad guys and create a process for others to come into the light and start the process of becoming legal.

This can only happen at the federal level, so it's up to the states to push for action.

What the next governor needs to do on Day 1

The best way to get action on this is to eliminate the sanctuary and empower law enforcement to do their job.

The new governor needs to aggressively work with ICE to enforce all legal detainer orders and place detainees in our county lockups, which are now half empty due to bail reform (another thing that needs to be suspended by declaring a public safety emergency on Day One).

The new governor needs to end subsidies for illegals to attend NJ colleges.

If the current administration is willing to export the criminal problem, then the next one should export the financial burden of subsidizing illegals.

NJ taxpayers have enough to worry about and pay for. We shouldn't be footing the bill for a weak administration in D.C. that has allowed millions to pour over our Southern Border.

Photo via Canva
Photo via Canva

We need to protect New Jersey's borders

The new governor needs to aggressively enforce New Jersey's borders as well.

This means stopping the bussing and flying of illegals from the border to NJ transportation centers.

If that means mobilizing the National Guard to protect our airports and the state police to set up stops at the bridges, then that's what should be done.

It's time New Jersey had a governor who puts New Jersey first.

Let's end the woke virtue signaling and restore common sense leadership to government in Trenton.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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