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 the District of New Jersey, 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.
After the District of New Jersey dismissed the case, Ocean and Cape May counties appealed the decision to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ACLU of New Jersey, with a diverse group of 46 organizations working across New Jersey, again filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Directive is a lawful, important policy to keep New Jersey safer and healthier. These organizations represent or advocate on behalf of a wide range of New Jersey communities, including immigrants, women, religious communities, law enforcement professionals, parents, youth, individuals suffering from addiction, survivors of intimate partner, family violence, and sexual assault, people living with HIV, workers, people living in poverty, individuals identifying as LGBTQ+, formerly incarcerated people, and survivors of detention and isolated confinement.
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.