Wirths to AG: Sheriffs have duty to protect communities from criminals living here illegally

Wirths to AG: Sheriffs have duty to protect communities from criminals living here illegally

Harold J. Wirths

TRENTON, N.J. – Yesterday, top officials in Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s office issued letters attacking sheriffs for cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through the 287(g) Program, which allows designated state and local officers to work with ICE to identify incarcerated illegal immigrants with criminal charges or convictions.

Assemblyman Hal Wirths said the continued threat to county sheriffs, which includes Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada, coupled with the AG’s immigrant trust directive is endangering the welfare of citizens.

“It’s completely outrageous that the Murphy administration continues to block law enforcement from protecting their own communities against illegal immigrants who have committed egregious crimes,” said Wirths (R-Sussex). “The sheriffs have a duty and right to stop rapists and murders living in New Jersey illegally from seeking asylum in their towns. It’s time our attorney general starts protecting law-abiding citizens.”

Under the program criticized by the AG, gang members, sex offenders, and murderers are taken into ICE custody after serving their criminal sentences. According to ICE, the program allows them to actively engage criminal illegal immigrants while incarcerated in a secure and controlled environment as opposed to the alternative of conducting at-large arrests which can pose safety concerns for the officers and community.