Sussex Freeholder Hertzberg slams Murphy Sanctuary State scheme on South Jersey radio

In April, the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to place an advisory question on the November ballot.  It asks county voters whether they want to direct their Sheriff (who is paid for by their property taxes) to (1) abide by the Murphy administration’s Sanctuary State directive or (2) respect the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America and follow federal law on matters related to national borders, immigration, and citizenship.  

The Murphy administration quickly acted to block this exercise in direct, advisory democracy.  Governor Murphy is threatened by people having the opportunity to voice their opinion on this important issue.  Murphy doesn’t want people to have a vote about an office for which they pay entirely from taxes imposed on them.  

Governor Phil Murphy is telling voters:  You pay, but you don’t have a say.  

In defense of his Governor, Murphy appointee Gurbir Grewal has embraced the woke practice of philosophical inversion.  It’s the same practice that eliminates free speech in the name of “freedom” and that eliminates a diversity of opinion in the name of “diversity”.  We see it at work in government, academia, and – increasingly – in corporate and work environments.  It is George Orwell’s nightmare come true.

It is sad to see the state’s top law enforcement official – the Attorney General, no less – repeat the political lies he’s been taught by his master. Everyone knows that the very first victims of any immigrant community are the immigrants themselves.  But Grewal did as he was told and issued an edict demanding that the public question be removed from the November ballot.

Responding to the June 7th deadline imposed by Murphy (via Grewal) to muzzle democracy, county Sheriff Mike Strada stood up to Murphy and rallied county Freeholders to do the same.  The Freeholders flipped Murphy the collective “bird” and – along with County Clerk Jeff Parrott – allowed his June 7th “deadline” to pass. 

Sheriff Strada has written to United States Attorney General William Barr to request his advice and direction on the matter.  And he reserved the option to himself request a public question be placed on the ballot.  

The Freeholders have been no less open in their opposition.  Here is the audio of a recent talk show appearance by Freeholder Josh Hertzberg. Freeholder Hertzberg was on the Rich Zeoli show – one of the top talk radio venues in the Philadelphia/ South Jersey media market. 

Murphy’s Sanctuary State Directive Endangers Women & Children

By Dawn Fantasia, Sussex County Freeholder

According to the U.S. Department of State, the United States is a destination country for thousands of men, women, and children trafficked from all areas of the world. These individuals are being introduced into sex trafficking and forced labor, organ trafficking, sex tourism, and child labor.

Individuals often flee to the United States seeking a better life, but through dangerous means, and they are preyed upon and victimized because of the way they are choosing to enter the Country. To compound the matter, there is grave danger from those illegally entering the Country with the specific intent of committing violence and breaking our laws.

Under the direction of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has issued a Directive for state and local law enforcement agencies to, in essence, run interference against a Federal agency and to supersede protocol with a reckless State directive. As such, I am vehemently opposed to the name and the characterization of this Directive as the Immigrant Trust DirectiveThis Directive contains additional language that has little or nothing to do with building trust to encourage cooperation between undocumented immigrants and law enforcement agencies, and Attorney General Grewal’s characterization as such is disingenuous and blatantly false. The specific aspects of the Directive for which I take exception are as follows:

State and local police officers, correctional officers working in state prisons and county jails, and state and county prosecutors:

  • Cannot provide ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are readily available to the public;

  • The directive prohibits police and correction officers from continuing to hold a detained individual arrested for a minor criminal offense past the time he or she would otherwise be released from custody simply because ICE has submitted an immigration detainer request signed by an ICE officer, and prohibits notification to ICE of such an individual’s upcoming release.

  • With respect to detainees charged with violent or serious offenses – such as murder, rape, arson, assault, bias crimes, and domestic violence offenses – New Jersey law enforcement and correction officials may notify ICE of the detainee’s upcoming release, but may continue to detain the individual only until 11:59 p.m. that day.

Ironically, the Directive is followed by the language below in a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage further interference with the following statement:

“Nothing in the Directive prohibits law enforcement agencies from imposing their own additional restrictions on providing voluntary assistance to federal immigration authorities.”

This Directive absolutely limits the types of voluntary assistance that New Jersey’s 36,000 law enforcement officers may provide to federal immigration authorities, and to encourage further noncooperation at the local level is foolhardy and dangerous. The language above clearly demonstrates that this Directive is masquerading as a means to encourage cooperation of undocumented immigrants with law enforcement agencies.

New Jersey does follow specific laws that grant legal immunity in order to promote and preserve the health, safety, and well-being of our residents, including the following:

  • New Jersey’s Good Samaritan statute ensures that doctors, paramedics, and bystanders are able to, in good faith, provide assistance at the scene of an accident without fear of being subject to legal action. 

  • The Overdose Prevention Act was created to encourage people to contact emergency workers if they believe that someone overdosed on illegal or prescription drugs. An individual who attempts to obtain medical help after experiencing a drug overdose is immune from being arrested, charged, or prosecuted for using the controlled substance.  

  • New Jersey’s Safe Harbor Law is an affirmative defense to prosecution for prostitution should a defendant be a victim of human trafficking, and was forced to commit a prohibited act.

  • The Safe Haven Law is in place to provide a safe means to surrender your healthy newborn without fear of criminal prosecution. 

In sharp contrast, the Immigrant Trust Directive far exceeds the simple protection of immunity from deportation based on immigration status in order to engender trust and promote cooperation between law enforcement agencies and undocumented immigrants. This is a gross mischaracterization of the Directive by the Attorney General. The Directive PROHIBITS state and local agencies from providing notification to ICE and PROHIBITS holding an individual who is alleged to have committed the most egregious of offenses past 11:59 the same day.

In a recent video interview published on nj.com, Attorney General Grewal states, “…and if ICE doesn’t pick them up, that’s on ICE”, further positing that there should be no finger-pointing at state or local agencies if an alleged criminal is released prior to the arrival of ICE on scene.

This is nonsense. The finger is pointed squarely at this reckless Directive; with it, Attorney General Grewal himself has created disingenuous and dangerous conditions.

He continues: “If a judge says they are free to go, who are we to say otherwise, unless we have a federal warrant?”

As reported in this piece by the New Jersey Herald:

A 38-year-old Newton man was arrested in for sexual assault of a minor, and two hours after his release from custody was again arrested after the victim found him hiding in her Newton home.

Fernando Diaz, was arrested three times prior to an indictment charging him with second-degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13 while he was 20 years older; third-degree endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct; and three counts of fourth-degree contempt by violating a restraining order.

He was charged with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering and a judge granted a temporary restraining order against Diaz. Diaz spent a night in jail and was released the following day at 2 p.m., police said.

Two hours after his release, Newton patrols responded to the victim's house for a report that Diaz was inside the home, according to an affidavit of arrest.

When patrols arrived, the woman indicated her child, who was the alleged victim, was inside the house and Diaz was in the basement.

After announcing who they were, patrols told Diaz to "stop hiding and come out," before they found him hiding in a shelving unit in the corner of the basement, the affidavit states.

Diaz is being held on an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, detainer by the Department of Homeland Security. The detainer provides ICE agents extra time to determine if the individual should be taken into federal custody and ultimately deported.

We are fortunate that Federal intervention prevailed for the safety and welfare of the victims. And I am frankly disgusted at the willful ignorance displayed by the State for the safety and welfare of our residents, a State which continues to perpetuate this false narrative of trust in relation to criminal offenses committed by undocumented immigrants. As the former Bergen County Prosecutor, Attorney General Grewal took a firm and active stance on combatting the human trafficking crisis, often taking the lead in training sessions and symposiums. So why now would he issue a directive that further endangers those undocumented victims of crime, and endangers the population as a whole by restricting and/or prohibiting cooperation with the very agency dedicated to combatting human trafficking and smuggling?

As outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, ICE's role in combating human trafficking and smuggling is the following:

“ICE works with its law enforcement partners to dismantle the global criminal infrastructure engaged in human smuggling and human trafficking. ICE accomplishes this mission by making full use of its authorities and expertise, stripping away assets and profit incentive, collaborating with U.S. and foreign partners to attack networks worldwide and working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations to identify, rescue and provide assistance to trafficking victims.”

It is my belief that our county and local agencies need to fully cooperate with ICE, so that any undocumented individuals with criminal offenses are deported, and the residents of Sussex County have the right to have a voice on this issue.

The state continues to let the people of Sussex County down. From the shameful display in Vernon Township by the DEP Commissioner McCabe regarding illegal and hazardous dumping in Vernon, to grossly inequitable school funding through the School Funding Reform Act, to the crippling restrictions of the NJ Highlands Act; how many more times will the State of New Jersey turn a blind eye to the safety and welfare of our rural communities?

Phil Murphy tries to suppress voting in Sussex County

In a move that is rich in hypocrisy, the Murphy administration has “ordered” the Sussex County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, not to place on the ballot a public question that allows voters in that county to instruct their Sheriff on the Sanctuary State directive issued by Governor Murphy’s attorney general.  The ballot question gives voters a choice to instruct their county Sheriff to (1) obey the state directive or (2) follow the laws passed by the Congress of the United States of America, signed by successive Presidents of both parties, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. 

So Phil Murphy is telling Sussex County that they must obey him – and join him in disobeying the laws of the United States of America.  And he is attempting to suppress the rights of voters to have a say in the matter.

The “order” was issued by Murphy ally Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who Murphy appointed in January of 2018.  The Attorney General is the scion of a very wealthy but controversial family of developers.  And it is no secret that Grewal is angling for a spot in some future Democrat administration in Washington, DC, if he can get past the confirmation hearings (which are a whole lot tougher in Washington than they are in Trenton).  That controversial family of developers thing again (it’ll get you every time).

The “order” to deprive the voters of their right to voice their opinions on a ballot question pits Murphy and Grewal against Sussex County’s Sheriff, Mike Strada, who has strongly supported the ballot question and opposed Murphy’s Sanctuary State plan every step of the way. Strada, a career law enforcement officer who led a U.S. Army platoon in Iraq (Desert Storm), has no time for federal law breakers like Murphy and Grewal.

murphy grewal.jpg

Murphy & Grewal vs. Sheriff Mike Strada

 
StradaPortrait+2019.jpg
 

New Jersey Herald reporter Bruce Scruton did a good job of covering this breaking story, which appeared on that newspaper’s website late last night.  It can be accessed here:

https://www.njherald.com/20190524/attorney-general-nixes-countys-anti-sanctuary-ballot-question

Reactions from the Freeholders have been mixed, with some clearly in the mood to stand up for the rights of voters and others a bit tepid.  Four of the five member freeholder board cast votes in support of the ballot question earlier this year, but there is a long history in Sussex County of elected officials taking the advice of “go-along-to-get-along” establishment types.  This is what lured them into the solar debacle that cost taxpayers $26 million but has yet to identify a guilty party (despite nearly $600,000 in “studies” to find out what went wrong and who done it).

You can’t put a cost on doing the right thing – and the right thing is standing up for the right to vote and the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Too often doing the right thing is dismissed on grounds of cost (unless it can be monetized, as with the $600,000 in “studies” into the solar debacle). 

This is a moment of truth for Sussex County Republicans.  We’ve heard a lot about the “walk away” movement among the Democrats.  Republicans should understand the frustrations of their own base – at least enough to prevent a “walk away” movement of their own.

Child sex trafficking: Learn what you can do to stop it.

Kudos to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal who last week arrested two dozen men for using social media to lure underage girls and boys for sex. Thankfully, the children targeted turned out to be undercover officers, part of an operation put together by our AG called “Open House”. 

Attorney General Grewal said that most of the defendants were arrested when they arrived at a location in Toms River, where they allegedly expected to find their victim home alone. What they found instead, were law enforcement officers ready to arrest them..

"It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable," AG Grewal said. "To counter that threat, we are working collaboratively and aggressively across all levels of law enforcement to apprehend these sex offenders. We want child predators to know that we are on social media too - and the child they target may be the undercover officer who puts them in handcuffs. That is the message of Operation Open House."

The arrests were made over a five-day period from September 5th through September 9th.   All 24 were arrested and charged with second-degree luring, and other crimes, including second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree attempted debauching the morals of a child. Five of those arrested face third-degree charges of attempted sharing obscene materials with a child for allegedly sending photos of their genitals to undercover detectives.

Those who deal in the trafficking of women and children for America’s booming sex industry use the same on-line methods that those arrested last week used. This isn’t a victimless crime.  Many of the victims have been brought to America to be sold into this modern slavery.  A United Nations study estimated that the criminal cartels who control the trafficking of human beings and illegal narcotics into the United States collect $6.6 billion annually. 

And who is being trafficked?  Here, meet some of the victims…

The United Nations has issued reports showing human trafficking is the fastest growing organized criminal activity on earth.  Secure borders help prevent human trafficking and the exploitation of children.  Secure borders fight modern day slavery.

Porous borders are not only a boon to modern day slavery – the trafficking and sale of human beings, especially children – they facilitate the trafficking of illegal narcotics, opioids, and illegal firearms to. There have been irresponsible calls to abolish ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) and to open the doors to a nightmarish wild west scenario.  If ICE is gone, who will be around to prevent the living horror of modern slavery? 

Some have adopted dangerously naïve views about border security.  A lot of those on the Far-Left want to permit the border to grow more and more porous – allowing thousands more victims (mainly women and children) to be shipped and sold like cattle, welcoming more dangerous illegal drugs into our communities, and providing illegal firearms for organized criminal gangs.  We must address this in no uncertain terms.

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 4.13.40 PM.png

On Thursday, there will be a reception to discuss the Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act.  This is a bi-partisan initiative aimed at stopping the trafficking of children in the United States at the source… the Internet.

We hope you can attend.