South Orange Becomes a Sanctuary City, Will Montclair Follow?

Sanctuary City
A protester at the Montclair Township Council’s February 7 holds up a sign asking the council to keep the township “on the right side of history.”

Earlier this week, the South Orange Village Board of Trustees voted to make South Orange a Sanctuary City, reports The Village Green. The resolution was modeled on Maplewood’s “Welcoming Community” resolution, which was passed on January 17. Bloomfield is also considering a designation as a “Welcoming City.”

Montclair may join their Essex County neighbors. At last week’s Montclair Township Council, residents who support designating the Township as a Sanctuary City came out in droves asking that a resolution be drafted. The council was overall supportive of the pro-sanctuary opinions expressed.  Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville said she had introduced a sanctuary city resolution earlier, and that she and the rest of the council had been doing research to write a resolution with help from Township Attorney Ira Karasick, who recently shared with the council a draft that could pass muster legally.


  1. I honestly wonder if the town council is insane enough to go along with this, and we allow illegal immigrants safe passage here, (many of whom no doubt will be felons because that’s who they are deporting right now) and god forbid, someone in this town is raped &/or murdered by one of these people – what will you libs say then? If it’s your daughter – like Kate Steinle. She was shot by an illegal alien in San Francisco who had previously been deported five times & was seeking refuge in “sanctuary city.”

  2. I just finished reading Maplewood’s ordinance. It has a lot of words but zero practical effect. Every police officer in New Jersey already must comply with a State Attorney General directive that flatly precludes asking a crime victim or witness to a crime about his or her immigration status. The U.S. Supreme Court long ago held that all children are entitled to enroll in public schools without needing to prove immigration status. Maplewood’s ordinance makes a show of directing Township employees not to cooperate with federal authorities, but then the ordinance explicitly recognizes that Township employees must — ordinance notwithstanding — comply with federal and state laws. As a result, the ordinance puts the Township’s federal (and possibly also State) funding at risk without actually causing Maplewood employees to do anything different from what current law requires.

    I have absolutely no problem with Montclair’s Council passing a resolution expressing strong disagreement with President Trump’s Executive Order. Similarly, I think the Council should clearly inform everyone that our police and school officials already cannot ask crime victims, witnesses, students, and parents about their immigration status. Neither of those steps should create any risk to Township funding. As for passing an ordinance ordering Township employees not to do something they already are barred from doing, the question really needs to be whether the feel-good benefits of doing so outweighs any risks to the federal and state funding on which we depend. If saying “we strongly dissent” has fewer risks than saying “we are a sanctuary,” and there is no operational difference between the two, I’d respectfully urge the former.

  3. After the backlash of the last article written, now “Baristanet staff” is writing articles. Please stop probing that this is a remotely good idea for Montclair. When and why is it a good idea to harbor illegal immigrants. What is wrong with you people?

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