ICE Official Addresses Recent Enforcement, Removal Operations in NJ

NJTV News | December 17, 2018 | Immigration
He says recent arrests have nothing to do with Attorney General’s directive scaling back law enforcement’s cooperation with the agency

The national discussion about immigration and customs enforcement has focused on U.S. borders. Meanwhile contentious arrests and deportations are happening in New Jersey.

The issue has come more into focus in New Jersey in the wake of state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s new directive scaling back local law enforcement’s cooperation with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, leaving some to wonder if ICE is intentionally ramping up arrests here.

According to ICE, it made 100-plus arrests over five days at the end of November. Asked whether this was in response to Grewal’s directive, New Jersey’s ICE field director John Tsoukaris, said “This operation was pre-planned… But in terms of going forward, when police departments or jails in the state do not refer cases to ICE to review to determine if this individual is deportable based on his criminal history, and they’re released into this community, it leaves us no choice but to go out into the community and find these individuals.”

In an extended interview with NJTV News senior correspondent Brenda Flanagan, Tsoukaris said ICE does not have a quota for arrests in New Jersey.

As to the question of whether ICE is investigating the reported employment of unauthorized immigrants at President Donald Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, Tsoukaris said, “I can’t speak on that.”

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.