Jackson Township Takes Bold Stand Against NJ Governor
By Colton R. Overcash | October 31, 2018
A potential showdown may be brewing between New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) and the Jackson Township City Council. The city council passed a resolution on Oct. 9 opposing Governor Murphy’s assertion that New Jersey will become a sanctuary state.
The resolution, Agenda Item 314R-18, sharply rebukes Governor Murphy and the state legislature for their positions on illegal immigration, stating that “New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the nation and the Governor of the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Legislature should be more concerned with reducing spending and property tax reduction for the legal residents and taxpayers of the state [instead of illegal aliens].”
It further states that “the Governing Body of the Township of Jackson shall continue to put the needs of the residents of Jackson Township first and thereby determining that Jackson Township shall never [become] a sanctuary city.”
Jackson Mayor Michael Reina (R) applauded the council’s approval of the resolution, saying that “[314R-18] is not a resolution expressing our sentiment about immigrants. It is a resolution stating very clearly that we are opposed to providing sanctuary to those who enter our country illegally.”
The Republican-led Township joins two other localities who’ve passed similar resolutions condemning Governor Murphy, including Wall Township and Wyckoff Township, whose governing committees approved Resolution No. 18-0153 and Resolution No. 18-264 respectively.
Like the Jackson resolution, Wyckoff moved to condemn Governor Murphy for his comments and declared that the township is an anti-sanctuary city. It further proclaimed that it would not commit local taxpayer dollars towards any sanctuary directive or unfunded mandate.
While Governor Murphy is restricted from acting unilaterally to protect illegal aliens by the New Jersey state Constitution, the state legislature may choose to act on the governor’s wishes in the 2019 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers hold majorities in both the assembly (54-26 D) and Senate (25-15 D), and could buoy sanctuary legislation without any support from Republicans.
Lawmakers have attempted to pass sanctuary legislation in the past, including NJ Senate Bill 1724 and NJ Assembly Bill 1925. However, both measures failed to generate enough consensus among lawmakers in each chamber for a floor vote. It’s likely that these bills will be reintroduced by their original sponsors in the 2019 legislative session, or be incorporated into a broader sanctuary bill.
Despite this, Jackson Township and other NJ locales should be commended for their commitment to putting the interests of their legal residents before illegal aliens. Their political courage is unfortunately uncommon in the Garden State these days.