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.


American Friends Service Committee; Asbury Park Transformative Justice Initiative; Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative; Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice; Casa de Esperanza; Casa Freehold; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Cherr

Date filed

May 20, 2020


United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; Third Circuit Court of Appeals