Why New Jersey Must Pass the Values Act

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.

S512/A1986 would strengthen and codify the separation between state and 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 cooperating with federal immigration authorities in instances when doing so is voluntary under federal law
  • Ensures that local resources are used to support local priorities rather than fund federal immigration enforcement
  • Eliminates carve-outs in the Immigrant Trust Directive – guidance that limits how state and local law enforcement resources are used to support federal immigration enforcement – 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 hospitals and public schools — can collect
  • Requires public schools, health care facilities, libraries, and shelters to adopt model policies to ensure that people feel safer seeking public services they are eligible to access
  • Builds transparency and confidence in law enforcement through reporting requirements designed to confirm compliance with the Act

Why the Values Act is so Important

The comprehensive protections afforded by S512/A1986 are critical for empowering New Jerseyans to live their lives without fear that routine interactions with law enforcement or public services could lead to permanent separation from their loved ones through immigration detention and deportation.

To truly be a fair and welcoming state, it is essential that all New Jerseyans are able to support themselves and their families and fully participate in their communities without fear. Passing the Values Act is an important step in making that reality.