Hispanic Leadership and Community

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

NORTHFIELD — Local immigration justice organizations and community leaders spoke out Tuesday against a resolution by Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson that they called xenophobic.

Levinson called on the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners to pass a resolution requesting the New Jersey state legislature to end the state’s status as a “sanctuary state” for immigrants.

Immigrant supporters gathered at the Stillwater Building in Northfield to speak out against Resolution No. 555.

Highlighting the great culture and leadership in South Jersey’s Hispanic community.

“I strongly encourage the Board of Commissioners to adopt a resolution requesting the State Legislature to rescind New Jersey’s status as a sanctuary state,” Levinson said in his message to commissioners last week, according to WPG Radio. “If the federal government won’t close our national borders to those entering illegally, we must ensure New Jersey does not become a desired destination for illegals.”


Immigration supporters called the proposed resolution “xenophobic” that attacks Murphy’s “Fair and Welcoming Policies For Immigrants” legislation.

“We see right through the dog-whistle tactics of County Executive Dennis Levinson and the Atlantic County Commissioners,” said a statement from protest organizers, led by Cristian Moreno-Rodriguez, before Tuesday’s gathering.

“We will not let elected officials spread hate and misinformation nor will we let them scapegoat the undocumented community for all of society’s ills.”

Levinson’s resolution call is an outgrowth from a Sept. 1 news conference and Republican and Democratic elected officials called on Gov. Phil Murphy to reject a proposal to move 60,000 undocumented from New York to the Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township.

READ: Immigration Supporters Speak Out Against Sept. 1 Meeting

Local Latino and immigrant rights leaders charged that the Sept. 1 gathering turned into immigrant-bashing, blaming them for everything from inflation to slow police response times.

“What initially began as a bipartisan press conference where elected officials voiced their opposition to the proposed relocation, swiftly devolved into a collective display of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment, which immigrant justice advocates condemned,” local immigration supporters said.

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