[JURIST] New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram [official profile] issued a directive [PDF text] Wednesday to state law enforcement agencies ordering them to alert US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] officials when an undocumented immigrant is arrested in the state. Milgram wrote that:
After an individual has been arrested for a serious violation of State criminal law, the individual's immigration status is relevant to his or her ties to the community, the likelihood that he or she will appear at future court proceedings to answer State law charges, and the interest of the federal government in considering immigration enforcement proceedings against an individual whom the State has arrested for commission of a serious criminal offense.
Milgram stipulated that state police officers could only inquire into the immigration status of any person arrested for an indictable offense or for driving while intoxicated.
The directive, which takes effect immediately, comes after a triple murder in Newark earlier this month of three college students. One of the six suspects in the killings was an illegal immigrant who was out on bail for charges of child rape and aggravated assault without notification of federal immigration officers. In addition to Milgram's swift response, New Jersey Sen. Shirley Turner (D) [official website] on Wednesday proposed legislation [news release] that would require undocumented immigrants to post full cash bail when charged with a crime in New Jersey. Currently, illegal immigrants are subject to the same bond reductions as US citizens. AP has more.