Town Attacks Immigrants

April 8 , 2007

The Mayor and town council of Morristown, New Jersey have asked the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train and deputize 10 local policemen so that they could charge people with immigration violations and initiate deportation proceedings against them in federal court.

Morristown will be one of the first municipalities to gain such powers under a new program which seeks to drastically extend the powers of the ICE by incorporating local police departments. So far, the Florida and Alabama state police have joined the federal program along with eight prisons across the country. In addition to Morristown, about 20 other municipalities have applied to join.

Morristown residents are organizing in opposition to the town's attacks on immigrants. About 300 residents protested outside the town hall on the night the council passed its resolution. They have vowed to continue the protests at every council meeting until the decision is reversed. Already thousands of residents have signed a petition opposing the attacks on immigrants.

Speaking to those who are fighting against the town's repression, one councilman said: they "don't have a clue what this town is about, not a clue, and they should get out of town, too."