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Judge Dismisses Challenge to New Jersey Immigrant Trust Directive

The Immigrant Trust Directive bars collaboration between state and local law enforcement, but doesn't stop federal agencies from enforcing their laws

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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday that challenged New Jersey state rules aimed at preventing local law enforcement from collaborating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Immigrant Trust Directive was issued by state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in 2018 and bars local jails from entering into 287(g) agreements with ICE. Local law enforcement and elected officials have been fighting the directive ever since. Cape May Sheriff Robert Nolan challenged the directive in this lawsuit, saying it violated the constitution

U.S. Chief District Judge Freda L. Wolfson said the directive does not interfere with the federal government’s ability to enforce its own laws, including through the Immigration and Nationality Act. “In sum, the Court finds that the information-sharing provisions of the directive are not conflict pre-empted by the INA, because they do not impose a true ‘obstacle’ on the federal government’s execution of federal civil immigration law,” Wolfson stated in the ruling. 

Grewal said the state has the authority to draw a “clear, bright line between the work of state law enforcement officers and federal civil immigration officers.” New Jersey had four counties that participated in the 287(g) program: Monmouth, Cape May, Salem and Hudson counties. New York still has just one county in the program: Rensselaer. North Jersey

In other local immigration news…

Manhattan Federal Judge Blocks Public Charge Rule

A federal judge of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan has blocked the Trump administration from enacting its “public charge” rule, which is essentially a wealth test for prospective green card applicants. The Supreme Court ruled in January that the Trump administration could move forward with the rule, but the coronavirus pandemic changed the situation. “No person should hesitate to seek medical care, nor should they endure punishment or penalty if they seek temporary financial aid as a result of the pandemic’s impact,” Judge George B. Daniels wrote. The judge granted a nationwide injunction halting the rule. New York Attorney General Letitia James was one of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit. The New York Times

Undocumented Immigrant Who Used to Work for Trump Organization Placed in Deportation Proceedings

An undocumented immigrant who worked for years at President Trump’s luxury golf resort in New Jersey and blew the whistle on the organization for hiring other undocumented immigrants has been placed in deportation proceedings. Victorina Morales worked at the golf club for over five years using counterfeit identification that her supervisors knew was fake. Those revelations were disclosed by The New York Times, which promptly led to the Trump Organization to firing dozens of workers. Morales was notified she was placed in removal proceedings by federal authorities this week. The New York Times

New Jersey Immigrant Professional License Bill Sent to Gov. Murphy’s Desk

The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill on Thursday which would allow immigrants, regardless of their status, to apply for professional and occupational licenses in the state. The legislation was approved by the state Senate last week and is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy (D). Immigrants could now be authorized to work as accountants, architects, acupuncturists, audiologists, beauticians, court reporters and many other jobs. The legislation would be the first on the east coast to remove all immigration barriers in obtaining professional licenses. North Jersey

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