Elected Officials Should Listen

Devika Gupta
Published: 11/16/2019

Activists have raised two issues in NJ that demand immediate action from our elected officials. The first is ending the ICE contract in Essex and other counties, and our implicit collaboration with the Trump administration to execute unethical policies against immigrants. The second issue is making NJ residents eligible for driver licenses regardless of immigration status.

The issues are controversial but also connected. The ICE contracts generate millions of profits for the county governments. And shockingly, four out of five ICE detainees either have no record, or have only committed a minor offense such as a traffic violation. So not only are county governments profiting from and enabling ICE policies, local politicians are also enabling a key method for ICE to find more detainees. The drivers license law would protect these families from the hands of ICE, improve road safety, and coincidentally generate millions in state revenues.

Maybe some of those funds could be used to fill the gap in county revenues once the ICE contracts are ended? Just a thought. Regardless, local elected officials should respond to activists’ continued demands to end the ICE contracts and pass the driver license law. It’s the right thing to do.

Topics: ICEEssex County, NJDrivers Licenses for AllImmigration