The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People- Hoboken Branch (NAACP) is questioning the validity of Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise’s decision to renew the County’s 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The county’s 287(g) agreement explicitly states that the Hudson County Department of Corrections “shall follow ICE’s civil immigration enforcement priorities,” which means that Hudson County is now legally obligated to carry out Trump’s executive order.
According to a New Jersey Opinion article, DeGise falsely claimed that Hudson has the right under law to “continue to operate 287(g) under the Obama standard.” He was either deliberately lying or has no idea how 287(g) works. Hudson County Corrections Officers are now legally bound, deputized agents of the Trump Administration’s “deportation force.”
The reason DeGise decided to renew the partnership with ICE was for the $20.5 million the county received in 2015 from the federal government for incarcerating immigrant detainees. The county profits financially, when, rather than being released, immigrants whose criminal charges have been dismissed or otherwise resolved continue to be held on immigration matters. It seems that Hudson County is in a race to fill empty criminal defendant beds with immigrant detainees to collect federal cash. Yet DeGise mentioned none of this in his address.
DeGise falsely claimed that the reach of 287(g) is limited to a “tiny number of very dangerous individuals”; falsely claimed that the priority enforcement standard set by President Obama are still in effect’; falsely claimed that Hudson County has the right to continue to operate 287(g) under the Obama standards and failed to disclose that 287(g) is a tool to funnel immigrants into detention beds to fill the county’s purse.
Jersey City, the largest city in Hudson County, recently regained its title as the most diverse city in the United States. Many of these residents are immigrants and are extremely fearful of being deported. Jersey City with a population of 264,000, ranked No. 2 in ethnic-racial diversity and No. 1 in linguistics.
When news that the president had signed orders to target cities where local leaders refuse to hand over immigrants who have entered the nation illegally, Mayor Steve Fulop said Jersey City stands by its immigrant population.
Recently, DeGise endorsed Fulop on his re-election bid for mayor. This endorsement has residents wondering if DeGise is going to lock up immigrants as they arrive in Jersey City because he has to adhere to 287(g) if the county wants federal dollars.
The NAACP and Hudson County residents demand that the county immediately end 287(g) and its immigrant detention contract with ICE because under it our county is legally obligated to carry out the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim policies of Donald Trump.
Eugene G. Drayton, President
Hoboken Branch NAACP