JACKSON – Council members and a few council candidates voiced their opposition to the idea of designating sanctuary states and cities in relation to the enforcement of law toward illegal immigrants in the country.
Sanctuary sites are cities and counties (and in some instances, states) that have policies in place that limit cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Council members unanimously approved a resolution that opposed New Jersey from becoming a sanctuary state and resolving that Jackson would never become a sanctuary city.
The resolution took aim at Governor Phil Murphy and members of the state legislature who have voiced support of the idea of the state becoming a sanctuary state. The resolution includes, “a sanctuary state means the State of New Jersey would welcome illegal undocumented immigrants.”
“The Township Council of the Township of Jackson opposes New Jersey becoming a sanctuary state as New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the nation and (Gov. Murphy) and the New Jersey Legislature should be more concerned with reducing spending and property tax reduction for the legal residents and taxpayers of the State of New Jersey.”
Three council candidates present in the audience also applauded the resolution.
Republicans Alex Sauickie and Andrew Kern, along with independent Denise Garner, each spoke in support of the resolution.
“The state is taking $2.3 million out of our school system. I find this ridiculous,” Sauickie said.
“This is not about the Dreamers,” Kern said. He noted that the governor’s plan to create a legal fund for illegal immigrants would cost the state money. “This is about people who have committed crimes but would be let back into the population.”
Garner said “I am in support of this. This would be very bad for all of us. We must protect Jackson.”
Councilman Barry Calogero said he had several strong reasons to oppose the creation of sanctuary states/cities.
He noted that it would condone a crime of illegal immigration, would be an unfair cost to taxpayers and would promote crime.
“It would breed disrespect for the law and tell law enforcement to look away and turn their back on the law. What kind of message does that send?” Calogero said.
Councilman Scott Martin also addressed the $2.1 million legal fund by Gov. Murphy for the defense of illegal aliens. “That is your money that is going for illegal immigrants.
“If you want to immigrate here do so through a legal process. We have rules of law that everyone should follow. The governor also has plans to issue them driver’s licenses. This is unacceptable. Gov. Murphy is taking a swipe at us,” he said.
Council President Kenneth Bressi spoke about his daughter having been struck by a vehicle operated by an illegal immigrant. “I will never forget the call we received on Feb. 17, 2001. My daughter (Kristen Bressi-Russo) was run down by an illegal immigrant who was supposed to have been deported. There is no reason to put people at risk like my daughter. She was lucky to survive.”