Why New Jersey Must Pass the Values Act

New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive prevents state and local law enforcement from using their resources to do the bidding of federal immigration agencies. While powerful, this directive is issued by the Attorney General rather than the Legislature, which means it could be withdrawn or changed in the future to the detriment of immigrant families across the state. The Values Act would codify and strengthen the separation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement and lay the groundwork for similar protections for people who interact with other state and local agencies, such as those providing social services.

What the Values Act does

  • Prohibits state and local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration law, to the extent permitted by federal law
  • Prevents local resources from being used for federal immigration enforcement
  • Eliminates carve-outs in the Immigrant Trust Directive that exclude immigrants entangled in the criminal legal system, and disproportionately harm Black and brown New Jerseyans due to racial disparities in policing and prosecution
  • Protects personal information by limiting the data that public agencies — including hospital districts and public schools — can collect
  • Requires model policies for public schools, health care facilities, libraries, and shelters, to ensure that people feel safer seeking public services

Why the Values Act is so Important

The comprehensive protection afforded by the Values Act are critical for empowering New Jerseyans to live their lives without fear that routine interactions with law enforcement could lead to permanent separation from their loved ones through immigration detention and deportation. The Values Act will allow New Jerseyans to seek protection and support from state and local agencies without fear of deportation. Increasing trust in public agencies allows all people, regardless of immigration status, to seek public services that are essential to health, education, and well-being. This builds a stronger, fairer, more welcoming New Jersey.