New Jersey’s Boom in Illegal Immigrants
Hightstown has enacted a no-questions-asked policy on immigration status and is now considered a “sanctuary city”. The borough, with a population of 5,300, “allows its undocumented residents to officially interact with local police and access city services without fear of being reported to federal authorities”.
One illegal immigrant at the complex where the raids were staged called on the police recently to help place a family member in alcohol rehabilitation; others have reported domestic abuse, extortion, theft and other crimes. Some are calling the town's pro-immigrant mayor for advice on City Hall weddings and landlord troubles. Hightstown has added services aimed at immigrants.Hightstown Mayor Robert Patten, a Republican, is under the impression his community would be a ghost-town without illegal immigrants, while Governor Jon Corzine is spending taxpayer money to build affordable housing. New Jersey’s illegal immigrant population, estimated at close to 1 million, has apparently already discovered plenty of affordable housing in places like "Paradise Town".
Blue Jersey’s ‘Hopeful’ sees Hightstown’s “sanctuary city” policies as providing “A Better Approach to Immigration” than communities actively working with federal law enforcement to reduce problems associated with illegal immigrants. “The result: Crimes are reported, and the town is flourishing.” From the sounds of it, Hightstown is flourishing with crime. We fail to see how turning a blind eye to immigration status s is a better approach, assuming the valid reasons for our immigration laws and the public‘s desire to see them enforced.
Illegal immigration in New Jersey has grown so dramatically in size and impact that the League of Municipalities recently formed a task force to study the cost to municipalities of providing education, law enforcement, health care and other services to illegal immigrants. Readers may remember our post about “One Loud Councilperson's Opinion” after voters rejected Hightstown’s school budget for the second straight year. If there’s an advantage to illegal immigration for legal residents and taxpayers, we’ve yet to hear it.
Fausta writes, “Hightstown is subverting the principle of the rule of law”. “The message is clear: the immigrants are taught that the law applies to someone else.” “Having, supporting and countenancing a group of people whose entire existence is predicated on evading the rule of law” is “erosive to our society”.
It’s also expensive, especially for a state that’s basically bankrupt. Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies said, "You're also talking about a group of people who often work off-the-books but are getting access to expensive city services. It's not fair to everyone else paying the bill."