Council: NJ should not be a sanctuary state

By Neil Schulman

Oceanport — The governing body plans to take a stand against people who enter this country illegally, though not everyone in the borough believes this is a borough issue.

At the Sept. 5 Borough Council workshop, Councilman Joseph Irace advocated for a resolution opposing letting New Jersey be a sanctuary state.

In March, Governor Phil Murphy declared that law enforcement organizations in the state, such as prosecutors and police departments, could not assist ICE, and could not stop or detain someone based solely on their suspected immigration status. Not every town is happy with this.

“It’s been an issue across the state,” said Irace. “I put together an ordinance saying Oceanport shouldn’t be a sanctuary city.”

He said that New Jersey’s treatment of undocumented immigrants is hurting the state financially and placing a burden on taxpayers.

“We’re paying money for a legal fund for illegals,” Irace said. “I think the state has better things to do.”

He also noted that New Jersey has put aside $6 million a year in financial aid for undocumented students to go to college, at a time when tuitions are going up and citizens are paying off hefty college loans.

“It’s not fair, among other illegals should get free college education,” Irace said.

While council members present seemed to support the idea, borough resident Jeff Oakes opposed the resolution, and thought that Oceanport doesn’t need to be involved.

“ICE in Oceanport? When did we have an immigration problem in Oceanport?” he asked.

Oakes also noted Monmouth County wasn’t complying with the governor’s order.

“Elected Republican officials already signed a 10-year contract with ICE,” he said.

In July, Sheriff Shaun Golden signed a contract with ICE to continue sharing information.