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?

BLM’s Kaepernick joins Nike to sell a company built on modern slavery

Colin Kaepernick – the man who made “taking a knee at football games” fashionable and who became an icon for the Black Lives Matter movement – has agreed to shill for human trafficker Nike sportswear.  How is this for a mixed message? 

For at least twenty years, Nike has been criticized for its labor practices – including the offshoring of jobs to sub-contractors who use child labor and who practice human trafficking or modern day slavery to help Nike turn a very handsome profit.

Yes, Nike has been caught…

Kaepernick will be the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign.  The initial image is a close up of Kaepernick’s face with the caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”  Yeah, believe in something… slavery.

According to Wikipedia and numerous sources, “Nike has been criticized for contracting with factories (known as Nike sweatshops) in countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico… The company has been subject to much critical coverage of the often poor working conditions and exploitation of cheap overseas labor employed in the free trade zones where their goods are typically manufactured.”

“Nike has faced criticism for the use of child labor in Cambodia and Pakistan… Nike continues to contract their production to companies that operate in areas where inadequate regulation and monitoring make it hard to ensure that child labor is not being used.  A BBC documentary uncovered occurrences of child labor and poor working conditions in a Cambodian factory used by Nike.  The documentary focused on six girls, who all worked seven days a week, often 16 hours a day.”

“As of July 2011, Nike stated that two-thirds of its factories producing Converse products still do not meet the company's standards for worker treatment. A July 2011 Associated Press article stated that employees at the company's plants in Indonesia reported constant abuse from supervisors.”

Sources for this criticism include Naomi Klein's book No Logo and Michael Moore documentaries… including the clips from the one below…

This brings us to Tom Malinowski, a candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th District.  Tom used to be one of the good guys… or maybe it was just a stepping stone, a career move?  Back in 2007, when Tom was a lobbyist for a human rights organization, he chastised the Bush administration for its “double-standard” on issues like Human Trafficking – putting foreign policy before principle and allowing regimes viewed as “allies” to get away with murder.

Fast forward to 2015, with Tom Malinowski now a member of the Obama administration and the top State Department appointee concerned with human rights.  The Obama administration decides to put business interests before principle and in an effort to broaden the markets included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reclassifies Malaysia’s human trafficking problem.  The downgrade of the human trafficking crisis in that country comes just as hundreds of bodies of trafficking victims are discovered, buried in the forest.

160 members of Congress – a bi-partisan outpouring – condemn the Obama administration and its State Department for ignoring the plight of victims of modern day slavery.  Here are some headlines…

State Department Watered Down Human Trafficking Report

Senators: State Department ‘Heartless,’ Lacks ‘Integrity’ After Politicized Human Trafficking Report

Lawmakers threaten to subpoena all information about inflated grades for countries that have failed to crack down on forced labor, prostitution

Earlier in May, 139 graves in camps for human trafficking victims were found near Malaysia’s northern border with Thailand.

160 Members of Congress Call on State Department to Not Upgrade Malaysia Ranking in 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

These headlines are from May 2015.  In June 2015, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and claims that it is all about the trade and passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Malinowski argues:

“I am convinced that, on balance, TPP will greatly aid the effort to advance human rights in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Apparently the double-standards that he decried in 2007, under the Bush administration, were okay in 2015, under the Obama administration.  See how the cookie crumbles?

In July 2015, Ranking Democrat Congressman Lloyd Doggett sent a letter to the State Department chastising Tom Malinowski and others responsible for the Obama administration’s policies.  Congressman Doggett wrote:

“Once again trade is being prioritized over trafficking enforcement.  Bending the standards to reward a country that accepts trade in women, children and forced laborers is wrong.  Malaysia adopting some new provision that will not be consistently enforced is no substitute for effective prosecution… It is easier to lower the standard than to insist that Malaysia protect trafficking victims… this (is) another indication that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not being used to bring about meaningful change on critical issues.”

We couldn’t agree more.