On the same afternoon that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal ordered the Monmouth and Cape May County Sheriff's to discard their 287(g) agreements with ICE, Sheriff Shaun Golden has issued a statement of his own.

Attorney General Grewal was very critical and irate at both Sheriff's for renewing the agreements which he feels goes against the state's directive to limit local law enforcement cooperation with civil immigration proceedings.

Today Grewal said both county's continued agreements with ICE blurred the line that the directive had tried to draw between ICE and the local authorities, who need victims and witnesses in immigrants to come forward and cooperate with investigators and prosecutors.

Grewal on Friday said that the state's directive allows jails to inform ICE about defendants charged with serious, violent crimes and notify ICE about their expected release. On Friday, Grewal added weapons and more domestic violence offenses to the list of charges that would trigger notification of ICE.

The existing policy also allows jails to hold the defendants for a period of time in order for ICE to detain them, Grewal said.

ICE this week picked up more than 50 individuals in New Jersey suspected of being in the country illegally.

"We are the ones arresting them in the first place," Grewal said about the suspects that ICE complained about having been released. "If they (ICE) are not picking up people, that’s on them."

In July, when Attorney General Grewal ordered both sheriff's to justify their agreements, and again today Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said that their cooperation with ICE is ONLY in their correctional institution.

Here is the full response to Attorney General Grewal from Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden:

"It’s a disappointing day for law enforcement in the State of New Jersey, as a result of the directive issued by the Attorney General to put an end to all 287(g) agreements in  New Jersey. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the major arrest of 54 immigrants who had been released from local jails instead of being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In Monmouth County, the 287 (g) program, utilizes the “Incarceration Model” and is therefore  implemented at the correctional facility, and, has been in effect for a decade.  The highly successful program is of great value to maintaining safety in our communities. Law enforcement throughout Monmouth County never wants to be faced with a situation where a dangerous, undocumented immigrant is released from jail and poses a threat to a community. However, this sanctuary directive will make our communities less safe, since it places people in those communities at risk for increased violence.

These are challenging times for law enforcement, as we do not recall a directive that has ever been issued to ignore the laws of this country or state. As a result, we shall continue to pursue legal remedies to this directive, which deprives Monmouth County of the ability to identify individuals who have committed crimes and are here illegally.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office number one priority is to keep residents of Monmouth County safe and 287 (g) supports that mission."

Here is what Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said about the 287(g) agreements back in July:

Reporting by Sergio Bichao was used in this article.

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