Open Public Records Act and Common Law Request Regarding Implementation of the New Jersey Attorney General Immigrant Trust Directive 2018-6

The request was successful.

Rose Cuison-Villazor

S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
123 Washington Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102-3094
p. 973-353-3159

October 13, 2020

Municipal Clerk for Municipal Police

RE: Open Public Records Act and Common Law Request Regarding Implementation of the New Jersey Attorney General Immigrant Trust Directive 2018-6

Dear Records Custodian,

Pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA – N.J.S.A.47:1A-1, et seq.) and common law right of access, we write seeking to obtain records related to how your department (herein referred to as “the Department”) has implemented the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive 2018-6 and how this agency works with federal immigration enforcement officials. We ask that you please direct this request to all appropriate offices, departments, and records custodians within the Department that may supply any of the records sought through this request.

A. Our Common Law Interest

The Immigrant Trust Directive intends to curtail state and local participation in federal immigration enforcement, ensure effective policing, and foster relationships between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities. As part of a scholarly research project, we, the requestors, seek these documents in order to assess the degree to which the Department is committed to implementing the directive and is in compliance with public records request laws.

We the requesters are Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor and Dr. Peter Mancina. Dean Cuison-Villazor is Vice Dean, Professor of Law, and Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar of the Rutgers Law School and Director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Justice. She has written and published extensively about non-cooperation policies or “sanctuary” policies, which have been published in the Columbia Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Washington University Law Review, and UC Davis Law Review. Dean Cuison-Villazor is also Director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice (CILPJ), which engages in interdisciplinary scholarship, research, and advocacy focused on exploring more inclusive immigration and citizenship laws.
Dr. Peter Mancina is Visiting Scholar in the Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Justice at
Rutgers Law School, Researcher in the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm
University, and Research Associate in the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology and Border Criminologies Program. Dr. Mancina has examined the historical development of sanctuary policy in the United States and police compliance with “sanctuary” laws at the local, county, and state levels. He is author of the 2019 policy implementation report Turning the Golden State into a Sanctuary State: A Report on the Impact and Implementation of the California Values Act (SB54).

We greatly appreciate your assistance in providing us the following documents.

B. Requested Records

I. Policies, Regulations, Memorandum, Guidance, and Forms

1. All records of policies, regulations, memorandum, guidance, or forms that the Department has adopted related to the implementation of the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive 2018-6 version 1 (issued on November 29, 2018) and version 2 (issued on March 15, 2019) , herein both versions referred to collectively as the “Directive.” Date Range: November 29, 2018 to the present.

2. All records of policies, procedures, protocols, directives, general orders that the Department has adopted regarding providing any form of assistance to, undertaking joint operations with, or forming joint task forces with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE” (including ICE Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”)).
Examples of such policies may pertain to how the Department
a. books or releases federal criminal or immigration detainees; transfers individuals into federal custody;
b. provides DHS, CBP, ICE, and HSI access to department facilities, Department computers, information technology networks, department databases;
c. provides immigration agencies use of Department offices, desk space, or space where they can carry out their federal work;
d. responds to federal requests for a notification of an inmate’s release date, time, and place, as well as any personally identifying information for the individual;
e. detains individuals for the purpose of enforcing immigration law;
f. acts upon DHS, CBP, ICE, and HSI administrative warrants;
g. responds to federal immigration agency requests to interview people in Department custody and provides access to these individuals to carry out an interview;
h. provides backup assistance including but not limited to traffic control and perimeter security in the event of an immigration enforcement action or emergency situation;
i. provides booking rosters, intake rosters, or lists of detainees in Department detention facilities;
j. asks members of the public, witnesses, suspects, or those who have been arrested about immigration status information;
k. patrols U.S. national borders;
l. processes requests for T- and U-visa certifications; or
m. submits Immigrant Alien Queries (IAQs) to the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (“ICE-LESC”) and acts upon Immigrant Alien Responses (IARs) from the ICE-LESC as part of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Date Range: November 29, 2018 to the present.

II. Agreements, Contracts, or Memorandum of Understanding

3. All agreements, contracts, or Memorandum of Understanding, including any addendum or renewal document between DHS, ICE, ICE-HSI, or CBP and the Department. Date Range: November 29, 2018 to the present

III. Training Records

4. All records that the Department has used to train its members about the Directive, including training materials, manuals, memorandums, and power point presentations. Date range: November 29, 2018 to the present

5. Any training logs records that the Department has created to track the completion of training of its employees in the Directive or Directive-related Department policies. Date range: November 29, 2018 to the present

IV. Incident Reports

6. All incident reports related to the Department providing any form of assistance to CBP or ICE, (including HSI) as described in request number 2, participation in joint task forces, a 287g program, or any other form of joint operation with CBP, or ICE (including HSI).
Date Range: November 29, 2018 to the present

7. All incident reports related to incidents when CBP or ICE, (including HSI) arrested an individual on Department property immediately after they were released from Department custody to the public. Date Range: November 29, 2018 to the present

V. Quantitative Data Reports Regarding Department Assistance to ICE and CBP

8. All records (including electronically stored information in a database, written reports, statistics, memoranda or other data) that provide the number of instances when the Department accommodated an ICE or CBP request for the Department to
a. detain an individual
b. transfer an individual to ICE or CBP custody
c. notify ICE or CBP of the person’s release from Department custody
d. provide backup assistance for an immigration enforcement action
e. provide backup assistance for an emergency situation
f. allow ICE or CBP to interview an individual in Department custody
g. participate in a joint operation with ICE or CBP; or
h. any other form of assistance to ICE or CBP Date Range: November 29, 2017 to the present

9. All reports, emails, and memorandum that explain the reason, purpose, policy basis, or goal for which the Department accommodated ICE or CBP requests for assistance outlined in request number 8. Date Range: November 29, 2017 to the present

10. All records (including electronically stored information in a database, written reports, statistics, memoranda or other data), arrest reports, CAD reports or similar records) that list
a. the number of individuals arrested during joint operations with DHS, ICE, or
CBP;
b. the criminal charges brought against each individual that was arrested during joint operations with DHS, ICE, or CBP; or
c. the number of individuals charged with civil immigration violations during joint operations with DHS, ICE, or CBP.
Date Range: November 29, 2017 to the present

11. All records (including electronically stored information in a database, written reports, statistics, memoranda or other data), that list the number of people that the Department released to the public and who were immediately arrested by ICE or CBP on Department property. Date Range: November 29, 2017 to the present

VI. Detainee Movement Logs

12. All records that include the “movement history” logs of individuals in Department custody for whom an I-247 detainer, notification request, or transfer request was lodged. This may include records logging how individuals are moved through different Department divisions, wings, areas, programs, or Department facilities (ie. Booking, housing). Date Range: November 29, 2017 to the present

VII. Communications Records

13. All communications (herein, “communications” refers to emails, texts, faxes, letters, social media posts) about implementing the Directive in the Department, how the Department interacts with or assists ICE and CBP, or making inmate release information available to the public between Department Command Staff or Supervising Staff and the following types of Department employees:
a. Those who contribute to the development of department policy;
b. Those who directly interact with the public;
c. Those who directly interact with people in Department custody; and
d. Those who directly interact with federal immigration agencies Date Range: November, 29, 2018 to the present

14. All communications about implementing the Directive in the Department, how the Department interacts with ICE and CBP, or making inmate release information available to the public between Department Personnel and individuals in the following external agencies:
a. ICE;
b. CBP;
c. The U.S. Department of Justice;
d. The White House;
e. The New Jersey Department of Justice;
f. The Sheriffs Association of New Jersey; or
g. The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Date Range: November, 29, 2018 to the present
We request that all responsive records be sent as electronic files via email to [email address]. If the Department cannot provide responsive documents to certain requests above, please indicate the number of the request and the reason for the denial.
As N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i) provides that public agencies respond to OPRA records requests within 7 days, I look forward to hearing from you within this time.
Thank you in advance and we look forward to your response. Sincerely,

Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor
Vice Dean, Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar
Director, Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice
Rutgers Law School
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone number: (973) 353-3159
Email: [email address]

Dr. Peter Mancina
Visiting Scholar, Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice
Rutgers Law School
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone number: (415)-226-8714
Email: [email address]

FN 1 . The term “records” as used herein means records as broadly defined by N.J.S.A.47:1A-1.1 and includes, “any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file in the course of his or its official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof, or that has been received in the course of his or its official business by any such officer, commission, agency, or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof. The terms shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material.” “Records” that we are interested in obtaining are those that not only are stored in government office locations, on government servers, or on government computers and devices but also in private locations and storage facilities, on private servers, on private computers and devices, in private email accounts, and in public and private social media accounts.

FN 2. Version 1: https://web.archive.org/web/201905020003...

FN 3. Version 2: https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/direc...

Yours faithfully,

Rose Cuison-Villazor

Donna Belton, Howell Township

Good Morning,

I am in receipt of your OPRA request and will forward onto the Police Department for their response.

Have a good day and stay well!

Regards,

Donna Belton
Administrative Assistant
Clerk’s Office
4567 Route 9 North
Howell, NJ 07731
732-938-4500, ext. 2000
[email address]

show quoted sections

Donna Belton, Howell Township

Good Morning,

 

In response to your OPRA please note that this is a lengthy request and
will need more time for the Police Department to research, with that said
I will need a 3 week extension.  I am hoping to have this completed by the
13^th of November.  If for some reason more time is required, I will keep
you informed.

Thank you in advance, stay well!

 

 

Regards,

 

Donna Belton

Administrative Assistant

Clerk’s Office

4567 Route 9 North

Howell, NJ 07731

732-938-4500, ext. 2000

[email address]

 

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
This message, including any prior messages and attachments, may contain
advisory, consultative and/or deliberative material, confidential
information or privileged communications of the Township of Howell. Access
to this message by anyone other than the sender and the intended
recipient(s) is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of
this message, any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or not
taken in reliance on it, without the expressed written consent of the
Township, is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, you
should not save, scan, transmit, print, use or disseminate this message or
any information contained in this message in any way and you should
promptly delete or destroy this message and all copies of it. Please
notify the sender by return e-mail if you have received this message in
error.

Donna Belton, Howell Township

Good Morning,

 

I realize we had an extension until November 13^th, seems we will need an
additional extension until December 4^th.

 

Please note the Governor’s Executive Order:

Enacted on March 20, 2020, P.L. 2020, c.10 amended N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i) as
follows:

During a period declared pursuant to the laws of this State as a state of
emergency, public health emergency, or state of local disaster emergency,
the deadlines by which to respond to a request for, or grant or deny
access to, a government record under paragraph (1) of this subsection or
subsection e. of this section shall not apply, provided, however, that the
custodian of a government record shall make a reasonable effort, as the
circumstances permit, to respond to a request for access to a government
record within seven business days or as soon as possible thereafter.

[Id. at (2).]

P.L. 2020, c.10 provides that OPRA’s statutory deadlines do not apply for
the duration of a Governor-declared state of emergency pursuant to the
Disaster Control Act (N.J.S.A. App.A.9-33 et seq.) or a public health
emergency under the Emergency Health Powers Act (N.J.S.A. 26:13-1 et
seq.), or when a state of local disaster emergency is declared by a county
or by a municipality. Further, the new amendment requires custodians to
make a “reasonable effort” to respond to an OPRA request during that time.
However, the amendment also adds that any custodian with the ability to
follow the deadlines as set forth in N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(e) and 5(i) should
do so.

In furtherance of a custodian’s “reasonable effort,” the GRC notes that an
available response option is to take extensions of time as needed.
Specifically, OPRA requires a custodian to respond in writing within the
statutorily mandated time frame stating that an extension until a date
certain is necessary. See Criscione v. Town of Guttenberg (Hudson), GRC
Complaint No. 2010-68 (November 2010); Rivera v. City of Plainfield Police
Dep’t (Union), GRC Complaint No. 2009-317 (May 2011); Werner v. NJ Civil
Serv. Comm’n, GRC Complaint No. 2011-151 (December 2012). This is
notwithstanding whether a requestor objects to an extension of time.
However, the GRC has accepted complaints regarding disputed extensions of
time. In determining these complaints, the GRC decided on the
reasonableness of extensions. Ciccarone v. N.J. Dep’t of Treasury, GRC
Complaint No. 2013-280 (Interim Order dated July 29, 2014). Since that
time, the GRC has looked to Ciccarone, GRC 2013-280, to make a
reasonableness determination in other complaints. See Rodriguez v. Kean
Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2015-114 (April 2016); Rodriguez v. Kean Univ.,
GRC Complaint No. 2016-196 (February 2018).

 

Thank you again, stay well!

 

 

Regards,

 

Donna Belton

Administrative Assistant

Clerk’s Office

4567 Route 9 North

Howell, NJ 07731

732-938-4500, ext. 2000

[email address]

 

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
This message, including any prior messages and attachments, may contain
advisory, consultative and/or deliberative material, confidential
information or privileged communications of the Township of Howell. Access
to this message by anyone other than the sender and the intended
recipient(s) is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of
this message, any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or not
taken in reliance on it, without the expressed written consent of the
Township, is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, you
should not save, scan, transmit, print, use or disseminate this message or
any information contained in this message in any way and you should
promptly delete or destroy this message and all copies of it. Please
notify the sender by return e-mail if you have received this message in
error.

Donna Belton, Howell Township

1 Attachment

Good Morning,

 

Attached please find the response to your OPRA.  Below you will find the
response I received from the Police Department.  You will see specific
responses to each enumerated request.

 

 

1.            This request is overly broad and requires further
clarification due to it listing verbiage such as “…related to the
implementation of the New Jersey Attorney General Gubir Grewal’s Immigrant
Trust Directive…”. Determining whether records are “related” is subject to
interpretation, which is what should be avoided by providing further
clarification.

2.            See training memorandum attached. The actual list of
officers, who electronically acknowledged receipt of this document will be
forthcoming.

3.            No responsive records exist for our agency.

4.            Same as #2, in that the list of officers who acknowledged
receipt of training memorandum (electronically) will be forthcoming.

5.            Training logs is the same as the aforementioned.

6.            No responsive records exist for our agency.

7.            No responsive records exist for our agency.

8.            This specific request requires further clarification as it
is overly broad because it requests, “…all records…” which is not
sufficiently clear to respond to.

9.            This specific request requires further clarification as it
is overly broad. As it is currently stated, it would require our
determination as to which reports, e-mails, and memorandums “explain”
various reasons, purposes, policies, and goals.

10.          No responsive records exist for our agency.

11.          No responsive records exist that are maintained by our
agency.

12.          No responsive records exist that are maintained by our
agency.

13.          This specific request requires further clarification as to
which specific people within the agency the requestor is referring to. As
it is currently stated, the request is overly broad as it does not
identify specific persons.

14.          See the above memorandum, which is attached.

 

This will complete this request.

 

Have a good day and stay well!

 

 

Regards,

 

Donna Belton

Administrative Assistant

Clerk’s Office

4567 Route 9 North

Howell, NJ 07731

732-938-4500, ext. 2000

[email address]

 

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
This message, including any prior messages and attachments, may contain
advisory, consultative and/or deliberative material, confidential
information or privileged communications of the Township of Howell. Access
to this message by anyone other than the sender and the intended
recipient(s) is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of
this message, any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or not
taken in reliance on it, without the expressed written consent of the
Township, is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, you
should not save, scan, transmit, print, use or disseminate this message or
any information contained in this message in any way and you should
promptly delete or destroy this message and all copies of it. Please
notify the sender by return e-mail if you have received this message in
error.