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What You Need to Know About the Attorney General’s New Immigration Directive

Recently, we have released articles such as “Changes to New Jersey Expungement Law”, as well as our “DUI’s, DRE’s, and THC”, which have shown that the state is moving in directions to help those who may be so unfortunate as to get caught up with the law. In this instance, we are discussing provisions not just to help people who may be offenders, but to protect people from unnecessary questioning, and any other proactive attempts to cooperate with ICE when there are no grounds for one to be approached other than suspicion of immigration status.

In this case, the Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey has just released a new set of guidelines, titled Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive No.. 2018-6, “Strengthening Trust Between Law Enforcement and Immigrant Communities”, which provides a significant overhaul of the boundaries law enforcement are allowed to maintain when working based on suspected immigration status within the state of New Jersey. Should you be one of those
residents, we have analyzed this directive, and the following is what you need to know:

You cannot be stopped, questioned, arrested, searched, or detained by any officer within the state based solely on your suspected immigration status or any federal violations that may be associated with it,

With that, this same law enforcement cannot ask you about your immigration status, unless doing so is: “a) necessary to the ongoing investigation of an indictable offense by that individual; and b) relevant to the offense under investigation”

Further, if you are here illegally, these same law enforcement officers are not allowed to even do so much as give access to you for an interview by customs enforcement, unless you sign a form of consent.

Essentially, these same provisions, as well as others included within the directive, have recently been fortified by Rutgers University as well. Beyond this, Rutgers has pledged that immigration status won’t be taken into account in student housing decisions. The main list of points outlined through Robert Barchi, the President of Rutgers University’s, record are:

  • Rutgers won’t share undocumented students’ records without a warrant, subpoena or court order.
  • Rutgers won’t inquire into the immigration status of a student unless directed to do so by state rules.
  • The school doesn’t and won’t use the E-verify system other than to comply with a longstanding federal law regarding employment eligibility.
  • Immigration status won’t be taken into account in student housing decisions.
  • Engagement with ICE will follow “due legal process”, including requiring a warrant where appropriate.
  • Rutgers will continue to advocate for a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, also known as a “Dreamer” law, to provide legal status for children brought to the country illegally by their parents at a young age
  • To continue following state rules that allow immigrants here illegally but who graduate from state high schools to receive in-state tuition, under the state’s own “Dream Act.”

This position shows to the Rutgers students and their families that the University and surrounding community are now taking a strong stance in protecting immigrants. The University is sending the message that students that are not citizens will not have to live in fear of being wrongfully detained or questioned.

Here, at our law offices, our team prides ourselves in helping immigrants and students navigate the legal system. We handle all types of criminal defense cases, municipal court matters, expungements, and cases where immigration status is an issue . For a complimentary consultation, contact us at 732-249-9933.

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  • New Brunswick Office
    142 Livingston Avenue
    New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
    Phone: 732-249-9933
    Fax: 732-249-9934