Is The Election of Chris Christie Actually Good For Pro-Migrant Supporters?
The Republicans are celebrating their victory in New Jersey and there may be reason for pro-migrant supporters to celebrate as well. Chris Christie is not your standard Republican. In fact he has spent many years fighting Morristown, New Jersey mayor Donald Cresitello on Cresitello's desire to institute 287g. Cresitello actually had quite a distaste for Christie due to his constant push back on the 287g program. Prior to the election Cresitello stated about Christie:
I couldn't understand how a Republican could come out against a program to deport people who come here illegally and are accused of further illegalities. I figured the mayor might offer some insight. Chris Christie leans to the left of even some Democrats NJ.com
Last year Chris Christie stated in a town hall meeting:
"Being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime," Christie told more than 60 residents and town officials. "The whole phrase of 'illegal immigrant' connotes that the person, by just being here, is committing a crime."
"Don't let people make you believe that that's a crime that the U.S. Attorney's Office should be doing something about," he added of entering the country illegally. "It is not."Christie: Immigrants are not criminals - NJ.com
The desire to see Christie's selection in a positive live for right-wingers is so strong that even Numbers USA is touting Christie's stance. Time after time Christie has shown he is not for immigration enforcement as a top priority; however, in a post titled Pro-Enforcement Candidates win in Virginia and New Jersey they cite one instance where Christie opposes driver's licenses for undocumented migrants as a strong stance against immigration.
On Christie's website he makes no mention of immigration as an issue at all. It may be possible, as this article states, that this is a tactic to garner a broader range of support in this election, but the verve of his lashings against Cresitello would suggest that he really has no desire to make immigration enforcement, as a function of the state, a priority during his term.
However, we do need to look at his running mate Kim Guadagno:
Christie's running mate, Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, heads one of only three jurisdictions in New Jersey that are in the program. Her support for 287g, and her nomination as Christie's running mate, has worried immigrant advocacy groups such as the Latino Leadership Alliance, which says the police can misuse the program for racial profiling. N.J. candidates on immigration - Philadelphia Inquirer
We'll need to watch closely to see how Christie's administration will deal with this issue. Will Christie allow Guadagno to invoke 287g and spread it around the state or will he stick to his original position? Currently Christie believes that immigration enforcement is a job of the federal government, but will he sway? Keeping pressure on his organization to protect immigrants will be very important in this state. With many viewing New Jersey's election as a hope for future Republican victories it may be too soon to say what will happen in New Jersey. Thankfully there are many wonderful pro-migrant groups in that state working to ensure migrants are treated as human beings and not criminals.What do you think?
Further reading: Form The Sanctuary check out 287(g) Partners Dropping Like Flies.