Ocean County v. Grewal
Nolan v. Grewal

When Attorney General Grewal issued the Immigrant Trust Directive in 2018, he recognized that all New Jerseyans are safer when our state and local governments direct their limited law enforcement resources toward building the community trust necessary for just and effective policing, rather than helping the federal government deport people. When residents fear that reporting a crime or sharing information with police could lead to the deportation of themselves or their loved ones, everyone is less safe.

Ocean and Cape May counties challenged the Immigrant Trust Directive in court, arguing that certain federal statutes prevent New Jersey from deciding how to use its own resources.

The ACLU of New Jersey filed a friend-of-the-court brief in defense of the Directive, explaining why the Directive is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and federal law, and why it is so critical to the safety and rights of our communities.

A diverse group of 24 organizations working across New Jersey joined the ACLU of New Jersey on this brief. These organizations speak on behalf of immigrants, women, religious communities, law enforcement professionals, parents, youth, survivors of domestic violence, and survivors of detention and isolated confinement. They are united in their strong belief that the Immigrant Trust Directive keeps all New Jerseyans safer.


On July 29, 2020, the Court granted the Attorney General’s motion to dismiss, and declined to rule on the state law questions at issue in the case. In its opinion, the Court cited to the amicus brief filed by the ACLU-NJ and 24 partner organizations. Ocean and Cape May counties appealed this decision. The case is now pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

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