Not surprisingly, Gov. Phil Murphy says his administration does not agree with the federal plan to deploy agents from Border Patrol tactical units to Newark and other so-called sanctuary cities.

Asked Tuesday at an unrelated news conference about the Trump administration’s move, Murphy reiterated a point he made Friday night on Twitter, where he said “this latest announcement runs counter to our Jersey values.”

“This is politics. This is not a decision based on the data,” Murphy said.

“There are sort of two world views of how you keep people safe, and job number one for me as governor is the safety and security of all residents in this state,” he said.

“Are we nice people? I think we are. Are we on the empathetic side of life? Yes, I believe we are,” he said. “But this is also cold-blooded, and the data supports the fact that when folks have the courage to come out of the shadows, into sunlight, engage their neighbors, their faith leaders, their elected officials and most importantly law enforcement, you have a safer community and a safer state.”

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was more succinct in his agreement.

“I think it creates a culture of fear that undermines public safety. Period,” Grewal said.

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The Border Patrol units are supposed to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with immigration enforcement in 10 cities, including Newark, through May.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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