New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday he would be setting aside more than $2 million in taxpayer funds to defend illegal aliens who are facing deportation proceedings.
The governor’s budget agreement allocates $2.1 million towards several legal aid groups for low-income people, setting aside $925,000 to Legal Services of New Jersey and the American Friends Service Committee, and $125,000 to each of New Jersey’s two law schools—Rutgers Law School and Seton Hall University Law School.
Murphy announced the funds would come from the state’s budget for the current fiscal year hours before a federal judge appointed by former President Barack Obama blocked the Trump administration’s order to deny asylum to people who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Families who came to New Jersey for a better life do not deserve to be torn apart by the federal government’s cruel and discriminatory policies,” Murphy said in a statement.
New Jersey is the not the first Democrat-controlled state or city in the U.S. to use taxpayer money on legal aid for illegal aliens.
New Jersey Republicans in the state legislature criticized as an “irresponsible” use of state resources.
“The spending choices of this administration are indefensible and irresponsible,” Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Bridgewater) said in an emailed statement.
“When Legal Services already turns away many people who are desperate for help due to resource limitations, we shouldn’t limit how new funding can be used,” State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) said, voicing concerns over how Murphy was putting constraints on how funds can be utilized.
Although U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not release data on how many illegal aliens are detained in New Jersey, the agency does have a record of how many requests to deport illegal aliens had not been honored.
One New Jersey county jail had a record of refusing 92 immigration detainer requests for criminal illegal aliens to be deported.