Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 36
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Town Talk

A forum for Princeton residents to express opinions about local and national issues

Question of the Week:

"What are your thoughts about the new state mandate requiring police to ask immigration status upon making an arrest for certain types of crime?"

"This is a serious matter for us, and we, the Township governing body, are looking at it very carefully. Discussions will be held with our police department and the state. The great burden of this directive falls on the police, and the concern is whether it may have a heavily negative impact on their community policing program."

Township Committeewoman Vicky Bergman, Leabrook Lane

"Our local police departments should not be and are not extensions of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Forcing them to act in this manner goes against everything community policing works to achieve. This is short sighted and causes harm at the local level, this is something that should be reversed or overturned by the courts."

Mark Freda, Fisher Avenue

"What is most unfortunate about the directive is that it reinforces the idea that undocumented aliens do not have any roots in the community. Some have been here for 10 to 20 years, and they live in mixed-status families, where some family members are documented or are citizens. It will make police work more difficult and cops will have to decide individually whether to refer someone or not, and it will go against their efforts to do community police work. This directive will have strongly negative unintended consequences."

Maria Juega, Chair, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund

"The state's directive is overbroad because it includes persons charged with petty offenses and traffic offenses. It will drive criminals underground, make witnesses hard to find and make victims unwilling to step forward to enforce the law and make the rest of us unsafe."

Borough Councilman Roger Martindell, Prospect Avenue

"It will severely damage already fragile community relations. It is not the mandate of the local police to investigate immigration: that rests on the federal government."

Alex Orleans, Meadowbrook Drive

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