NJ Legislature Sends Bill to Stop Immigration Detention in State to Governor’s Desk

June 24, 2021

In a historic move, the New Jersey Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Murphy’s desk preventing New Jersey from entering into new, expanded, or renewed contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If signed, New Jersey would be among the first states to bar the expansion and renewal of immigration detention within state borders, building on a national movement to end immigration detention.

“New Jersey took its place among the states to say no to the cruelty of immigration detention, and passing this legislation sends an important message about what – and who – New Jerseyans stand for,” said ACLU-NJ Policy Director Sarah Fajardo. “One in four New Jerseyans is an immigrant – and all of us are better for living in a place that understands that for all people to thrive, we must end immigration detention in our state.”

S3361/A5207, sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, bans state, local, and private corrections facilities in New Jersey from entering into new contracts with ICE, as well as renewing or expanding existing contracts.

“Our lawmakers acknowledge with this vote that we cannot continue to subject New Jerseyans to the indignities and civil rights violations that are inherent to immigration detention, and we cannot continue to enable the separation of families from their loved ones,” said ACLU-NJ Campaign Strategist Ami Kachalia. “We urge Gov. Murphy to sign this legislation as quickly as possible, to ensure that New Jersey can keep families together and treat all people with dignity.”

The legislation takes effect immediately upon signing.

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