DiMaio, Peterson Fire off a Letter to Murphy on Migrant Processing Plan

Assemblyman John DiMaio
Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to process undocumented migrants at the former Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in Glen Gardner prompted strident opposition from Assembly GOP Leader John DiMaio and Assemblyman Erik Peterson and its communities.

DiMaio and Peterson sent a letter to Murphy today, noting that the facility was previously deemed unfit to house people during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The letter also included nine questions that would provide more clarity to local officials and which will demonstrate the inadequacy of the Governor’s scheme.

“Our communities cannot manage any additional burden. Keep in mind that if New York City with its vast resources cannot safely and financially manage a few hundred migrants, it will overwhelm in our small rural communities,” said DiMaio (R-Warren) and Peterson (R-Hunterdon), who represent Lebanon Township and the surrounding rural communities. “We are asking that your administration’s plans be fully disclosed to us, the Hunterdon County Commissioners and more importantly to the local elected officials who will have to deal with the mess caused by President Biden’s open border and your declaration of New Jersey as a ‘sanctuary state.’”

Yesterday, Hunterdon County Commissioner Director Jeff Kuhl told Murphy that his board is opposed to the potential plan.

DiMaio and Peterson’s questions were developed in consultation with local elected officials and law enforcement, and requested the same information as New York City when expecting a migrant influx.

The letter is below.

# # #


January 19, 2024


The Honorable Phil Murphy

Office of the Governor

P.O. Box 001

Trenton, NJ 08625


Dear Governor Murphy,

It has come to our attention that the state has a potential plan to use the former Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital as a processing center for migrants. You should know that, in 2014, the facility was found to be an unfeasible location to house people during an Ebola outbreak for many logistical reasons. If you have seen the facility, you would quickly find it is not fit for use.

As you can imagine, leaders of Hunterdon County and its communities have serious concerns, some of which were expressed in a letter to you by Commissioner Director Jeff Kuhl yesterday. Your response to the below questions for clarification about your intentions in this matter will be appreciated.

  1. Please provide a detailed description of what you mean by “processing migrants”?
  2. Will migrants be processed and released? If so, how and where will they be released and under what circumstances?
  3. Will they be housed temporarily or permanently? If temporarily, what happens when the processing is completed?
  4. How will transportation to and from the property be managed?
  5. How many migrants are expected?
  6. Will identities be confirmed, and will identification cards be issued?
  7. Who will educate the children?
  8. Who will be providing EMS, fire, and police services? Be advised that local EMS and fire departments are mostly volunteers with limited capacity, most of the towns do not have a police department, and the one town that has a police department does not have the manpower to take on this mission.
  9. Will the law enforcement community be permitted to work directly with INS?

We believe that Hagedorn is not an appropriate facility for an illegal migrant processing center because any additional demand on local EMS, fire departments and police will create a health and safety crisis. Keep in mind that if New York City, with its massive resources, cannot manage a relatively small number of migrants, how do you expect our rural communities with limited resources to survive.

We are asking for complete transparency by your administration on their plans to use Hagedorn as an illegal migrant processing center and we demand that you immediately provide us and the Hunterdon County Commissioners and local elected officials with a response and open dialogue on this matter.

Thank you,

GOP Leader John DiMaio, LD23

Assemblyman Erik Peterson, LD23

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2 responses to “DiMaio, Peterson Fire off a Letter to Murphy on Migrant Processing Plan”

  1. A useless letter directed to a liberal democrat ruling party that doesn’t give a damn about contrary opinions.

    The GOP must get out in the public and raise the apothetic voters awareness and ire. But they will not.

    Many GOP legislators are silent, or agree with democrats.
    But they will come seeking donations and your vote when they need it.

    Sad but true. That’s the way it is. The Republican party is dead in NJ.

  2. LOL! Where were these two when Murphy declared NJ a sanctuary state, and democrat mayors around the state making their towns “sanctuary cities?”

    THESE were the times to SPEAK-OUT!

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