The Northern New Jersey Sanctuary Coalition (NNJSC) advocates for a fair and humane immigration system and process, both for those asylum seekers who are detained and those released. As an extension of our mission to serve individual asylum seekers, the NNJSC allies with other organizations to advance public laws, policies, and practices that respect the human rights of all seeking status to live freely and productively within our borders.

August 24, 2021

Press Statement:

New Jersey Becomes 4th State to Limit, Ban ICE Detention Statewide

Immigrants, Advocates, Attorneys Celebrate Law Banning New ICE Detention Contracts

New Jersey becomes 4th state to limit or ban ICE detention contracts after Governor Murphy signed S3361/A5207 that would ban new, renewal, and extensions of ICE detention contracts

Newark, NJ — Monday, August 23rd, 2021 — On Friday, New Jersey became the fourth state to limit or ban Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention contracts joining California, Illinois, and Washington State after Governor Murphy signed S3361/A5207. Under the new ban, which took place immediately upon signature, public or private entities are prohibited from entering into new ICE detention contracts and prohibited from renewing and extending current ICE detention contracts in New Jersey.

Civil rights advocates, faith and community leaders called on local and federal officials to ensure the release of individuals currently detained in ICE detention facilities and thanked Governor Murphy for signing the bill.

Ami Kachalia, Campaign Strategist with ACLU-NJ said,

“Today, New Jersey sent a firm message that we refuse to be complicit in ICE’s cruelty, and made clear that we cannot allow our communities to suffer the indignities of immigration detention. With this monumental step, New Jersey demonstrates its commitment to the national movement to end the mass detention of noncitizens.”

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham, Board Secretary of Faith in New Jersey said,

“Joseph was forgotten in his prison, but on his release, he saved the whole nation. We are a country of immigrants. It is not only a moral failure to imprison those whose only “crime” is to want a better life for themselves and their families, but we forget that those who have come here are choosing blessing over curse, not just for themselves, but for all of us. When we choose justice and compassion, we not only improve the lives of others but of our whole polity. May this legislation be the next step toward liberation.”

Giselle Holloway, Executive Director of First Friends of NJ & NY said,

“We are grateful to Governor Murphy for signing the anti-detention bill—a bold and historic step toward making New Jersey a fair and inclusive state for everyone including immigrants. However, this bill does not affect the current contracts in Bergen and Hudson counties and in Elizabeth. Therefore, much work still needs to be done to advocate for releases, humane conditions, and alternatives to detention not only in New Jersey but across the country.”

Jon Moscow, Co-Chair, Northern NJ Sanctuary Coalition said,

“(The) Northern NJ Sanctuary Coalition, composed of 10 cross-denominational faith-based congregations and organizations, welcomes Gov. Murphy’s long-overdue action in signing the anti-detention bill into law. We call on New Jersey and federal elected officials now to take all possible steps to close existing ICE detention centers. We strongly urge Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton and the Bergen County Commissioners to immediately exercise their power to end the Bergen County Jail ICE contract. Most importantly, detained immigrants must be released, not transferred to sites away from their families and attorneys. #ReleasesNotTransfers.”

Abire Sabbagh, Community Engagement Coordinator with the Palestinian American Community Center (PACC) said,

“We are excited and relieved that the Anti-Detention Bill has finally been signed and will now be put into action! To us, this win symbolizes the strength of community, coalition building, and solidarity networks. We are one step closer towards holistic rights for all immigrant communities, and are so grateful to and inspired by all those who put in hours of work to make this happen.”