The Perth Amboy Question, Guadagno, and the Return of 287(g)

OLD BRIDGE – At a Republican forum in Middlesex County on Wednesday evening, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno noted her implementation of 287(g) when she was sheriff of Monmouth County, the most significant part of her resume that gave some Latino and immigrant advocate groups pause before backing Governor Chris Christie’s gubernatorial candidacy.

Section 287(g) authorizes the Federal Government to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a memorandum of agreement, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training.

During the question and answer portion of her presentation to the Middlesex County Republican Committee, Guadagno listened to a delegate object to a statement made by Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.

“She said if federal immigration agents ask for help she would not lend help, in pother words Perth Amboy is a semi-sanctuary city,” said Perth Amboy municipal chair Sharon Hubberman.

Guadagno dived into the question.

‘How many people in this room think their police officers aren’t busy enough?” she asked. “What you need to know is that in order to get the authorization you’re talking about, you need 22 weeks of immigration, law enforcement training. And you cannot afford to send our officers, who are busy protecting people from human trafficking and terrorism and murder and send them out. What we should bring in, if that’s appropriate, is ICE. I think anybody who designates their town as a sanctuary city is giving people a false sense of security. There is absolutely nothing that prevents an immigration officer from coming into any of our towns and conducting a sweep.

“I’ve been in fed law enforcement, state law enforcement, I had 287(g) in my jail, which means basically that before you get released from your jail we will run your immigration status,” the LG added. “If you commit a crime in New Jersey you shouldn’t be released back out to the public. It was shocking to me in 2008 when I became a sheriff that we didn’t already do that because I suspect most of us to think we already do that. It’s not unless you encourage 287 (g).

“But your program is different. what you’re talking about is having every single police officer in this state become immigration officials,” Guadagno said. “We have other things to do here in New Jersey. If immigration officials want to come here the first place I would target is sanctuary cities. It [naming them as such] gives them a false sense of security. I think it’s a political stunt.”

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