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Quijano Condemns Federal Bill That Would Halt Homeland Security Funding for Sanctuary Cities

Assemblywoman: Flawed GOP Approach to Immigration Policy Compromises Public Safety

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, is calling on Republican members of Congress to focus more on implementing common-sense reforms to the nation’s immigration system and less on denigrating sanctuary cities.

“The vast majority of undocumented immigrants to the United States want nothing more than to work hard and give their children a better future. If Republicans in Congress put as much energy into creating a viable pathway to legal status as they’ve invested in scapegoating the undocumented community, our nation would be far better off,” said Quijano (D-Union). “The reality is that their condemning sanctuary cities only fosters fear among immigrants, decreasing the likelihood that an undocumented victim of domestic violence or witness to a murder will call the police for help.”

Quijano’s appeal follows the House’s approval of legislation that would prohibit municipalities from receiving federal Homeland Security funding if they limit their cooperation in responding to the federal government’s requests for information regarding undocumented residents. All five of the state’s Republican congressmen support the legislation.

Withholding community policing grants and funding for counterterrorism efforts from sanctuary cities ultimately will hurt all New Jersey residents while doing nothing to address the immigration system directly, said Quijano.

“Mayors of sanctuary cities – the men and women who are on the ground seeing what’s happening in their communities every day – understand that trust between law enforcement officers and the public is critical to keeping the people of New Jersey safe,” said Quijano. “The congressmen who sit in Washington and propose taking essential homeland security funding away, and therefore endangering all of our residents, are misguided in their approach to both immigration policy and national security policy.”