Government Maplewood

Read It Here: Text of Proposed Maplewood Immigration Status Resolution

After impassioned discussion at several Township Committee meetings, Maplewood leaders are poised to introduce a resolution that spells out the values of the community regarding equal treatment of immigrants — regardless of status — without using the term “Sanctuary Community.”

The resolution (read it in full below) is titled “Expressing Maplewood’s Commitment to Equal, Respectful and Dignified Treatment of All People, Regardless of Their Immigration Status.”

When asked if this resolution did or did not confer Sanctuary Community status on Maplewood or if it would impact any federal funding for the town or it’s shared school district, Mayor Victor DeLuca said that the resolution, crafted involving the Chief of Police, did not violate or supercede any laws — whether local, state or federal —and that “[i]f the federal government threatens to withhold any funds from the Township because of this resolution, we will fight those actions.

See DeLuca’s full written response:

“We crafted a resolution that speaks to our community’s values and how we will protect everyone’s liberties and freedoms under the constitution. Based on the comments during two public meetings, we decided to draft a positive message of our beliefs and not have our actions defined by anyone outside the community or by the use of any one term or phrase.

“The resolution is a clear expression of our commitment. It speaks about not conditioning any services or treating anyone a certain way due to their immigration status. Our police will not be enforcing immigration laws. We will not participate in any profiling or registering of individuals based on who they are or what they believe.

“It is a statement of solidarity and support and we believe it is fully within our rights as locally elected officials to adopt the polices set forth in the Resolution without any interference from the federal or state government. If the federal government threatens to withhold any funds from the Township because of this resolution, we will fight those actions.

“Regarding the schools, the Board of Education is a separate unit of government and not covered by actions of the Township Committee.”

DeLuca further clarified his comments on a post on Swap SOMa Lounge, a local Facebook group:

“No one knows the future and how the new administration will act. We can only guess and that is troubling enough. The good thing about a resolution is that it allows us to be nimble and makes changes rather quickly. We can amend the resolution if we feel the federal government is acting in a way that contradicts constitutional rights or our responsibilities as local elected officials. The resolution in its current form is more than a statement. It sets forth policies for town employees and officials to follow to treat all people equally and with respect.”

Below is the Resolution the Maplewood Township Committee will consider on Tuesday, January 3 at 7:30 p.m.

EXPRESSING MAPLEWOOD’S COMMITMENT TO EQUAL,
RESPECTFUL AND DIGNIFIED TREATMENT OF ALL PEOPLE,
REGARDLESS OF THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS

WHEREAS, the Township of Maplewood has long embraced and welcomed individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, demographic information prepared by the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race shows that 26 percent of Maplewood’s adult residents are foreign born; and

WHEREAS, fostering a relationship of trust, respect and open communication between Township officials and residents is essential to delivering effective public services and maintaining a high quality of life; and

WHEREAS, mutual respect and trust between the community and the Maplewood Police Department are critical to promoting public safety, since the Police depend on the cooperation of individuals, whether documented or not, who are victims of or witnesses to crimes; and

WHEREAS, the Maplewood Police Department is committed to preserving and enhancing relationships with all people within the community while performing its mission to keep the community safe and to enforce the law; and

WHEREAS, it is the Maplewood Township Committee’s intention to clarify the relationship between the Township and the federal government regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Maplewood, County of Essex, State of New Jersey that:

FIRST: No department, employee or official of the Township of Maplewood shall condition the provision of Township services or benefits on matters related to citizenship or immigration status, unless required to do so by statute, federal regulation or court decision.

SECOND: All departments, employees and officials of the Township of Maplewood shall comply with the United States and New Jersey Constitutions, New Jersey Attorney General Directives and federal and state nondiscrimination laws; shall not take any actions that profile individuals or groups based on religion, race, ethnicity, national origin or immigration status; and shall not engage in racially-influenced policing as defined in New Jersey Law Enforcement Directive No. 2005-1.

THIRD: No department, employee or official of the Township of Maplewood shall take part in the registration or reporting of individuals based on religion, race, ethnicity, national origin or immigration status.

FOURTH: The Maplewood Police Department’s overriding mission is to enforce state and local criminal laws and to protect the community it serves and does not administer federal immigration laws. The federal government is the authority responsible for enforcement of immigration laws.

FIFTH: Consistent with providing fair, impartial and professional police services to all individuals, the Maplewood Police Department shall not initiate investigations, inquiries or actions of any individual’s immigration status for the sole and singular purpose of conducting enforcement of federal immigration laws.

SIXTH: The Maplewood Police Department shall adhere to the directives and guidelines of the New Jersey Attorney General with respect to the manner in which local law enforcement agencies interact with federal immigration authorities.

SEVENTH: The Township of Maplewood shall not expend Township funds or resources to enforce federal immigration laws unless required by federal or state statute, regulation, court decision or directives and guidelines of the New Jersey Attorney General.

EIGHTH: Within ninety (90) days after passage of this Resolution, the Chief of the Maplewood Police Department shall develop an operational order and appropriate training for enforcement of immigration laws by the Maplewood Police Department consistent with the intentions and conditions set forth by the Maplewood Township Committee and statute, regulations, directives and court orders.

NINTH: Within seven (7) days after passage of this Resolution, the Township Administrator shall disseminate this Resolution to all Township employees and officials and within forty-five (45) days shall develop appropriate employee training.

TENTH: Nothing in this Resolution shall be construed or implemented to conflict with any obligation imposed by federal or New Jersey State law, all applicable regulations, and Directives of the NJ Attorney General and Essex County Prosecutor.

ELEVENTH: Township employees and officials shall monitor any efforts by the federal government to withhold or withdraw federal funding as a result of the Township’s policies to protect and defend the rights and liberties of all its residents and shall take action to protect such funding.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Maplewood, County of Essex, State of New Jersey that:

I, Elizabeth J. Fritzen, Township Clerk of the Township of Maplewood, in the County of Essex and State of New Jersey, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of a Resolution adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Maplewood, County of Essex, State of New Jersey, at a regular meeting of said Committee held on January 3, 2017.

Research/reporting for this article was supported in part through an immigration reporting grant from the Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University, and is part of “In the Shadow of Liberty,” a year-long look at immigration in New Jersey.

This story is part of “In the Shadow of Liberty,” a year-long look at immigration in New Jersey sponsored by the Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University.
This story is part of “In the Shadow of Liberty,” a year-long look at immigration in New Jersey sponsored by the Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *