Republican Councilmembers Oppose Township Becoming a Sanctuary City

Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani, Councilman Michael dePierro, Councilwoman Emily Peterson, Council President Paul Carifi, Jr., Council Vice President Janice McCarthy

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council voted R2019-101, “Resolution of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, Opposing New Jersey becoming a “Sanctuary State” and resolving that Parsippany Township never becomes a “Sanctuary City.”

Mayor Michael Soriano stated “Let me be clear. No one has ever proposed declaring the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills a ‘Sanctuary City’. We are a law abiding community, and are required to follow Attorney General guidelines relative to immigration. Our Police Department is trained to adhere to these requirements. The resolution put forth by the Republican majority on the Council was nothing more than grandstanding as they head toward a bitter Republican Primary on June 4.”

Before voting Council Vice President Janice McCarthy questioned Township Attorney James Lott regarding the wording of “never.”

Lott stated “It’s always difficult to say never in Government because future governing bodies can always change the policy direction of the Township.”

“As I said at Tuesday’s meeting, it’s a solution looking for a problem. It’s grandstanding in an election year. The Mayor’s position was clear on this and declaring Parsippany a Sanctuary City was never a consideration,” said Council Vice President Janice McCarthy.

Council President Paul Carifi, Jr., said “If I may clarify something, the Attorney General’s guidelines. It is just for what Police are to enforce or not enforce. It really doesn’t say anything about Sanctuary Cities. Basically, he has told the Police Department’s not to help ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).” Mayor Michael Soriano said “If ICE were to come to town and say that we have a wanted criminal in the township, that is undocumented, we’re going to help ICE because I don’t want violent criminals running around in our township and I’ll help the government to whatever we have to do. That’s in the statute. I mean, we’re not giving certain levels of crime. Right? We’re not giving comfort to criminals.”

“I would recommend that we table this until it is clarified, to be more in line with something that the Governor will pay attention to,” stated Councilwoman Emily Peterson.

The resolution was passed 3-2, with Council President Paul Carifi, Jr., Councilwoman Loretta Grangani and Councilman Michael dePierro voting in favor of the resolution.