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Fair and Welcoming

PASSAIC COUNTY’S

FAIR AND WELCOMING COUNTY POLICY

I.      REQUESTING INFORMATION PROHIBITED

No County agent, employee or agency shall ask any individual or request information from any individual about their citizenship or immigration status unless such inquiry or investigation is required by state or federal law or regulation or  Attorney General directive or court order.

II.    BIAS-BASED PROFILING PROHIBITED

No County officer, employee or agent shall rely to any degree on actual or perceived national origin, immigration or citizenship status, race, ethnicity, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, housing status, financial status, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence, criminal history, or status as a veteran when determining services or otherwise providing information, as well as, in deciding when to initiate a stop, or in deciding whether to question, search, arrest, detain, or take any other law enforcement action against any individual, except when a specific suspect description includes information on the above protected categories and that information is taken in conjunction with information or circumstances that link a specific person to suspected criminal activity.

               Nothing herein shall be construed or implemented so as to

        discourage any person, regardless of immigration status,

        from reporting criminal activity to law enforcement agencies.

III.   NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE         LAW

        County agents and employees are hereby prohibited from         conditioning County services on immigration status, except   where required under applicable federal or state law or     regulation or directive or court order.

               County agents and employees are prohibited

        from verbally abusing or coercing individuals or

        threatening to report them or their family members to ICE

        or take other immigration-related action against them or

        their family members.

        

       

     

IV.    NON DISCRIMINATION IN IDENTIFICATION

 Where an applicable standard or practice ordinarily requires a state driver’s license for purposes of identification, County agents and employees shall accept alternate forms of identification in lieu thereof, provided they provide adequate evidence of identity; examples of documents that should presumptively be treated as adequate include a photo identity document issued by the person’s nation of origin, such as a driver’s license, passport, or consular-issued document. Presenting such a document in lieu of a U.S. driver’s license shall not subject the person to a higher level of scrutiny or different treatment, unless otherwise required by federal or state law, regulation, directive or court order.

V.     FAIR AND WELCOMING OMBUDSPERSON ESTABLISHED

A Fair and Welcoming County Ombudsperson is hereby established. The Ombudsperson shall be a County employee appointed by the County Administrator in consultation with the Board of Chosen Freeholder.  The goal of the Fair and Welcoming County Ombudsperson shall be to ensure implementation of policies that preserve and protect our diverse and inclusive community, and the Ombudsperson will serve as a resource for immigrant community members with questions, comments or concerns about safety or local government’s role in defending vulnerable communities.

In addition, community stakeholders, including civil rights organizations, social service agencies and faith-based groups serving Passaic County will be invited to speak with and share their insight with the Ombudsperson on how to keep newly arriving immigrants informed of the services in Passaic County and otherwise assist in navigating the Offices therein.

VI.   Nothing set forth herein shall restrict the maintenance, or communication and exchange between local officials and federal immigration authorities, of information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of an individual, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1373 and 8 U.S.C. 1644.

VII.  SEVERABILITY

If any part of this policy, or the application thereof, is held to be invalid, the remainder shall not be affected thereby, and this policy shall otherwise continue in full force and effect.  To this end, the provisions of this policy, and each of them, are severable.