At the June 14 Weehawken Town Council meeting, Mayor Richard Turner agreed to review the model resolution for Fair and Welcoming Communities, drafted by the NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice, rather than pass a toothless resolution that would provide no direction to local law enforcement, nor any new immigration-related policy in Weehawken.
Hudson County View coverage of meeting: http://hudsoncountyview.com/turner-opposes-trump-on-climate-change-health-care-and-deportation/
Although it is the long-established custom of current Weehawken leadership, administration, and law enforcement, not to inquire into or discriminate on the grounds of documentation status, that practice is not backed by the rule of law. Furthermore, although the Federal immigration agenda is harmful to the North Hudson community and distasteful to its elected officials, there is no policy in place stating that local municipalities will not voluntarily cooperate with ICE in executing that agenda unless required to do so by judicial warrant or by NJ state law.
At the core of the NJAIJ resolution is the policy that local police and government agents will not enforce federal immigration law nor help facilitate ICE deportations, except where legally required to do so. Furthermore, strong anti-discrimination policies would be put in place to protect vulnerable communities.
The fact that Mayor Turner is willing to review and consider the NJAIJ model resolution shows that Hudson County elected officials may be ready to back their principles with real policy.
Putting a face to the fear that has gripped the Hudson County community, Janice Ventura provided testimony regarding her Cuban father’s detainment after 37 years in Hudson County. Mayor Turner quickly offered to put Ms. Ventura in touch with agencies that could assist her father in his plight. See the video below to hear Janice’s story.
In the same meeting, Mayor Turner and the Town Council passed resolutions in support of the Paris Agreement, condemning TrumpCare, and to establish a bike rental program in Weehawken, similar to that in Hoboken. The 13 Weehawken resident advocates in attendance applauded this clear statement of principle by Mayor Turner. Full video of resolution readings is below.
R E S O L U T I O N # 114 – 2017
RESOLUTION DENOUNCING THE DECISION TO EXIT THE PARIS CLIMATE
AGREEMENT AND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO GREEN INITIATIVES (PDF, 58 KB)
R E S O L U T I O N # 117 – 2017
OPPOSING “TRUMPCARE” (H.R.1628) AND ANY
SUBSEQUENT LAW THAT MAY BE AMENDED THEREFROM (PDF, 63 KB)