Many New Jersey police officers are misusing a 2007 directive by the state attorney general by questioning the immigration status of Latino drivers, passengers, pedestrians and even crime victims, reporting them to federal immigration authorities and jailing some for days without criminal charges, charges a Seton Hall Law School study reported by the New York Times. “The data suggests a disturbing trend towards racial profiling by the New Jersey police,” said Bassina Farbenblum of the school's Center for Social Justice.
Attorney general Anne Milgram will look into the cases. As the Obama administration pushes for legal status for millions now vulnerable to deportation, the report points to a disconnect between the changed tone on immigration in Washington and what is happening on the ground. In one case, police officers questioned a man at a train station after asking to see his ticket. Unable to show one, he was arrested and held for seven days before being turned over to federal authorities. Another man was transferred to immigration agents after being held for four months, cited only for driving without a license.