New Jersey is Weakening the Most Effective Tool in Battling MS-13



The optics were undeniably good. Standing inside a historic rail terminal that welcomed millions of immigrants coming to the U.S., New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal unveiled the Immigrant Trust Directive, a set of rules he claimed would promote public safety by building trust with local police.

The directive, however, is undeniably bad. The directive imposes new restrictions on how local police may interact with immigrants and when they may transfer unauthorized immigrants to federal officials for deportation.

In the words of Matthew Albence, deputy director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the directive “shields certain criminal aliens, creating a state-sanctioned haven for those seeking to evade federal authorities, all at the expense of the safety and security” of New Jersey residents.

Under the new rules, local law enforcement cannot participate in ICE immigration operations, interview subjects arrested on criminal charges without an attorney, and ICE agents would be barred from accessing any state or local law enforcement equipment, databases or other resources.

Nevertheless, Grewal insists nothing in the directive could be read as implying that New Jersey was a “sanctuary” for criminals. The state attorney general might be better served focusing on the optics of a photo-op and more on the real-world consequences of tying the hands of ICE, which happens to be a central reason New Jersey has been able to combat the brutal MS-13 gang.

Days later, the State Commission of Investigation issued a report to Gov. Phil Murphy on the ongoing threat of organized crime, including gangs. The authors state that “despite the absence of recent high-profile violence, it’s clear New Jersey remains a place where gang members seek safe harbor after committing crimes in other states.”

While MS-13 remains “a persistent threat in New Jersey, preying primarily on immigrant communities,” the report adds that “visible MS-13 activity in New Jersey has waned considerably in the past three years, the result of aggressive prosecutions at the state and federal levels and a close partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

The Commission contends MS-13 realizes the value of the state’s weak enforcement approach because “across New Jersey, there are indications that cliques are intentionally lying low to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.”

Grewal’s view of ICE as the enemy is unsurprising considering his boss, Gov. Phil Murphy, frequently flirts with the idea of making the Garden State a criminal alien sanctuary.

The report also lays to rest the notion popular among open border media that MS-13 is a nothing more than teenagers who like to ride bikes and smoke weed.

In fact, the Commission says a decade-long effort by MS-13 leaders in El Salvador to exert greater control over U.S.-based cliques “has fully taken root,” and now “take orders from El Salvador, seek permission from El Salvador for killings and pay tribute by wiring cash to leaders in the Central American nation.”

The myth-making and Hollywood photo ops may make good television, but it endangers the lives of those in the real-world.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    You’re so right Jennifer.
    I’ve said this before , but for the sake of those who have not read my message. Come and spend a few days in Salinas CA. You will be sending apology letters to the President and begging ICE to protect you instead of being at the front of the tug rope pulling the Trojan Horse .
    I’d like to ask any of you that are against border control “What you are thinking is going to happen if amnesty is given to the terrorists? Are we just going to become one big happy family? Are you willing to let 4-5 people come to your house and stay for a while . Will you all sit around the fireplace singing songs and telling stories?
    You must like having vehicles parked on your lawn and racing up & down your streets, Chickens wandering your yard, Loud music, Dog Fights, Satanic Animal Sacrifices , Fire works (not the legal kind. The bigger louder ones) , Dirty diapers and fast food containers thrown out on the streets and parking lots of shopping centers. Forget about having your car serviced or having a Doctors appointment because there won’t be any appointments available for month. I hope you like ordering everything you buy on line because your local markets will always be out of everything. Oh, but make sure you are home to receive the packages or they will be stolen off your porch.Rents and mortgages will rise and so will Insurance premiums, crime rates, and utilities. You better learn to home School because your Children won’t be safe in public Schools.
    When things get out of hand, don’t bother calling the police. They won’t be working for you anymore.

  2. avatar

    It was pretty hilarious watching the little Oval Office spat between Trump and Schumer, with Trump lecturing him about how Democrats don’t want border security and Schumer sitting there chagrined like teacher caught him throwing spitballs in class. Schumer then claimed that Democrats want a strong border but “experts” say a wall won’t work. Those “experts” also happen to be almost unfailingly for amnesty and increased immigration into this country. Funny how it goes hand in hand with those people.

    Maybe Schumer should have a talk with “expert” Bill Clinton, whose administration built a double layer fence, which is no different than a wall, same thing, along the San Diego/Tijuana border and crossings then dropped to almost nothing. Maybe clueless Chuck can follow this logic. That’s when a lot of illegals made the much longer and more dangerous trip across the deserts of Arizona.

    Not because they wanted to, but the far easier California route was shut down. Of course Chuck apparently has a bad memory because he, Hillary, Obama, and Biden voted for seven hundred miles of double layer fence in 2006, something he is now opposed to. Not to mention, poor forgetful Chuck doesn’t remember being part of the 1986 amnesty, something he wants to repeat, and came with a promise that it would be a one time thing and the border would be secured “henceforth”. Meanwhile, 20 million illegals later….

    And while Schumer and Pelosi blather on about no wall needed, earlier this year in a poll of border agents by their union, the National Border Patrol Council, 89% said a wall enables them to perform their job. Is that expert enough, Chuck?

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