STATE SENATOR/UNION CITY MAYOR BRIAN P. STACK, STATE ASSEMBLYMAN RAJ MUKHERJI, AND STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN ANNETTE CHAPARRO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO SHIELD NJ SANCTUARY CITIES FROM THREATENED FEDERAL FUNDING CUTS
UNION CITY, NJ – State lawmakers representing the most ethnically diverse legislative district in New Jersey announced their sponsorship of a bill that will create a program to provide supplementary grant funding to a municipality or county that has been denied or otherwise lost federal grant funding based upon its status as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The bill is numbered S3007 in the Senate, where it was introduced yesterday, and A4590 in the Assembly.
Sanctuary jurisdictions are those that do not use local resources to enforce federal immigration laws. The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the federal government from requiring state or local agencies to implement federal law or regulations. Nevertheless, President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from cities that will not enforce immigration laws. Under the program established by the bill, a sanctuary jurisdiction can apply to the Commissioner of Community Affairs for a dollar-for-dollar match of State appropriated moneys to supplement any deficit created by the loss of federal grant funding.
“Just as Union City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in our nation. Our immigrant communities have enriched our state’s history and contributed to its economic and cultural prosperity,” noted Stack. “Residents need not fear coming forward to assist law enforcement or calling city agencies to access services. We must do our part to protect them, regardless of documentation status or national origin.”
Mukherji added, “Mayors and police chiefs should not be torn between doing the morally right thing and protecting all of their residents or cooperate with unconscionable federal directives that will tear families apart, for fear of losing funding and having to raise taxes. This measure will ensure that if the White House follows through with threats to cut aid, the State will have their backs.”
Chaparro remarked, “Our state and our nation have always valued the principle that it’s not where we came from but where we’re going that matters. When policies start to vilify immigrant communities that made vital contributions to our democracy, we must do our part to protect our neighbors.”
New Jersey’s 33rd Legislative District, represented by Senator Brian Stack, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, is comprised of Union City, which has a long history as a sanctuary city and where nearly 85% of the population was Hispanic or Latino as of the 2010 Census; Jersey City, home to Ellis Island or the “Gateway to America;” Hoboken; and Weehawken. The district is located entirely within Hudson County, which has played a pivotal role in welcoming immigrants to this nation. Regardless of citizenship status, nation of origin, or religion, the nurturing of an environment of inclusiveness, which protects the values of democracy and freedom and respects the human dignity of all residents of the State, is of vital concern to New Jersey.
Watch complete statement as reported by "La Revista Semanal"
ABOUT THE SPONSORS
Senator Brian P. Stack has also served as Mayor of Union City since 2000 and in the Legislature since 2003, when he was first elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. He has a long history of championing local causes. Prior to serving in elective office, Senator Stack was a community activist and tenant advocate. While serving as a Hudson County Freeholder, he fought numerous battles on behalf of local residents. In the Senate, where he has served since 2008, he presently sits on both the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee. He has earned a reputation for accessibility and as a zealous, round-the-clock advocate for his constituents, including immigrant communities. Through the nonprofit Brian P. Stack Civic Association, Mayor and Senator Stack has helped tens of thousands of residents and their families with a myriad of housing, employment, and immigration issues; meeting the needs of victims of disasters; and delivering countless turkeys to indigent families on Thanksgiving and toys to needy children during the holiday season.
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who is presently the only South Asian lawmaker in the state, is a son of immigrants. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of Jersey City. Two weeks after September 11, he sold a successful information technology company he had built as a teen to enlist in the U.S. Marines as a reservist, where he served as a Sergeant in military intelligence. A healthcare lawyer and entrepreneur, Mr. Mukherji has also served as a municipal prosecutor and, for nine years, has volunteered his time to serve as Chairman of the Jersey City Housing Authority. In the Assembly, he sits on the Budget, Commerce and Economic Development, and Labor Committees, in which roles he has earned a reputation as a champion of the middle class, the disadvantaged, and working families.
Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, was first elected to the State Legislature on November 3, 2015. She sits on the Homeland Security and State Preparedness, Law and Public Safety, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees. Assemblywoman Chaparro holds the distinction of being the first woman from Hoboken and only the second woman ever elected to represent the 33rd Legislative District. Ms. Chaparro is a product of the Hoboken public school system, a proud mother of three, and is a Clerk II in the City of Hoboken. She has previously served as a Board Secretary to the Hoboken Planning and Zoning Boards and as a member of the Hoboken Rent Control Board.