Jersey City mayor bolsters sanctuary city policies

With a crowd of immigrant advocates standing behind him, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democrat, signed an executive order Friday promising no Jersey City police officer or any other municipal resource would ever question the immigration status of anyone in Jersey City no matter what the federal government does or says.

"It actually sets the tone for what New Jersey's going to do to make sure that we protect ourselves from being targeted," said New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice Program Coordinator Johanna Calle. She helps immigrants -- with and without documentation -- find jobs, make friends, participate in their communities, and bring their interests to the ears of state politicians who she hopes duplicate Fulop's order in their communities.

"The fact is that those folks should be enforcing federal law," Republican Gov. Chris Christie said. He told Bill O'Reilly he supports President Trump's executive order stripping federal funding from all sanctuary cities but suggested his state might not try to enforce it. "Governors can't do that on their own," he said. "They need the federal government as a partner."

"I would point to it more as a political opportunism more than it is what he may believe, based upon his history," Fulop said.

"I'm not sure exactly what the governor's role is going to be in this," political expert Steve Adubato said. "I think it's going to be directly between the feds and municipal officials."

Adubato recalled that then-U.S. Attorney Christie standing up for the Muslim community and sees some part of both Christie's alliance against sanctuary cities and Fulop's executive order declaring Jersey City as one as political posturing. "This is going to be a legal battle, I think, all the way to the Supreme Court," he said.

"I think immigrant communities really need to hear that their communities are behind them," Calle.