Bill calls for state to replace ‘sanctuary city’ federal funds

Donald Trump on Jan. 25 issued an executive order aimed at cutting off federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities,” a loosely defined term that generally means that local law enforcement does not investigate or inquire about the immigration status of residents not under arrest for crimes (and not defining “crime” as being in the country illegally).

statue-of-liberty-450.jpgIn New Jersey, home to roughly 2 million immigrants, several municipalities—including Newark, Jersey City and Union City—have stated their intention to remain sanctuary cities, and thus face threats of loss of federal funds, in itself ironic as the state sends more tax money to Washington than it receives back in aid.

Now three legislators, all Democrats from Hudson County, have introduced a bill that would have the state pick up any lost funding for cities that refuse to have local law enforcement do the work of federal immigration authorities.

State Sen. Brian Stack, who is also mayor of Union City, and Assembly members Raj Mukherji and Annette Chaparro introduced Senate Bill S-3007 (A-4590 in the assembly), which would allow municipalities denied funds to apply to the Department of Community Affairs to make up the funds, which would be repaid to the state if the Federal government, perhaps in response to a lawsuit, came through.

Gov. Chris Christie, calling the proposed legislation “outrageous,” has vowed to veto it, and Democrats, who control both houses, would have to muster 54 votes in the assembly and 27 in the state senate to override the veto.