On March 28, 2017, newly-elected Morris County Sheriff James Gannon spoke to a divisive crowd at the Morris County Library in Morris Township on his position to assist the help the federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws.
Sheriff Gannon was met with vocal opposition groups standing by undocumented immigrants in a sign of solidarity. In a move to assuage their concerns, Sheriff Gannon told the crowd that he would not voluntarily participate in the ICE 287(g) program, but would only comply if ordered by the federal government.
The ICE 287(g) program authorizes the secretary or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enter agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies permitting designated law enforcement officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions within a certain limited scope, received the proper training, and are under the supervision of ICE officers.
Sheriff Gannon staunchly supported the view that law enforcement must look into the immigration status of those accused of serious crimes, but not those that are victims of alleged crimes or aiding law enforcement in solving a crime.
As of now the designation of a sanctuary city, meaning they will not assist ICE in deportations, has been made by each individual municipality in the State.
It will be interesting how the possible removal of federal funds will impact a municipalities decision or if a suspected perpetrator travels from a non-sanctuary city to a sanctuary city while in pursuit.