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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    N.J.'s Gurbir Grewal, the nation's first Sikh attorney general, says American dream i

    (Signed onto, in opposition, to lawsuit brought by Texas and other states)

    N.J.'s Gurbir Grewal, the nation's first Sikh attorney general, says American dream is alive and well



    March 2, 2018


    Soon after Parthiv Patel earned a law degree at Drexel and passed demanding bar exams in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, doors slammed shut. A so-called Dreamer who was illegally brought to the United States from India at age 5, Patel was denied a law license because he is not a citizen.

    His story grabbed the attention of Gurbir S. Grewal, New Jersey’s newly appointed attorney general, weeks after Patel won the right to become a lawyer through a yearlong legal battle. Bucking tradition — and the Trump administration’s plans to rescind the rights of Dreamers — the first Sikh attorney general in the nation decided he would personally congratulate and swear in Patel as an attorney at a ceremony in the statehouse.


    “The American Dream is in fact alive and well in New Jersey for all, including Dreamers like Parthiv,” Grewal said before announcing plans to join litigation challenging Trump’s proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which affords hundreds of thousands of Dreamers temporary protection from deportation and allows them to work.

    The ceremony, attended by Gov. Murphy, a Democrat, and other dignitaries, was one of Grewal’s first public events — and it was deeply personal and symbolic. Typically, lawyers and judges administer the oath of office for newly minted attorneys, but Grewal said he wanted to do the honors and “send a positive message about the value of Dreamers in this country.”

    In his first six weeks as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, Grewal has undertaken a host of progressive actions and has made it clear that he wants to have a significant impact on social justice and civil rights issues. Immigration enforcement, police-community relations, transgender rights, the release of dash-camera videos to the public, and the opioid epidemic are among the topics he has already begun to tackle.


    “We’re all informed by our life experiences in everything we do,” he said in an interview last week. “My experience growing up as a Sikh in this country, and having dealt with bias, hate, and bullying has sensitized me to the effects that this conduct can have on others and motivates me a great deal.”


    Grewal, 44, grew up in Essex County with his parents, an engineer and a bookkeeper who became naturalized citizens. His parents came from small villages in India and immigrated to the U.S. “with a hope to make a better life for themselves and their family,” he said. They taught him to be humble, grateful, and proud of his heritage. There is “no incompatibility between honoring their religion and being an American” they told him.

    In January, when two Indonesian Christians were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers while dropping their children off at school in Middlesex County, Grewal fired off a letter to the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, asking for a review of the case and saying he believed the action violated federal policy.


    “My job is to stand up for New Jerseyans,” he said, adding that that includes seeking to reverse federal actions that trample on people’s civil liberties.


    At Grewal’s initiative, New Jersey has joined more than a dozen multistate lawsuits that were filed against some of President Trump’s more controversial policies in the last six months, including the ban on transgender people serving in the military. All the while, he is continuing traditional law enforcement activities and stepping up investigations.


    One of his proudest moments was when he announced that his office had broken up a gun-trafficking ring in Camden. “One of our biggest concerns is kids playing outside when the weather warms up and being hit by a stray bullet. … That’s the prosecutor side of me,” he said.



    At an early age, Grewal was certain he wanted to be an attorney and he never wavered.
    “I’ve always been a fan of history, and when you look at history, American history, lawyers have played a critical role in the civil rights movement and in making sure there’s equal protection under the law,” he said. Asked whether he ever had any other, perhaps more glamorous, dream job in mind growing up, he chuckled and said no.


    After earning a degree from William and Mary Law School, he built a career as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in New York and New Jersey and tackled terrorism and Russian hacking cases. In New Jersey, he rose to become chief of the Economic Crimes Unit.


    In 2016, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, appointed Grewal, a Democrat, to serve as the Bergen County prosecutor.

    Lawmakers balked at approving the nomination, and Grewal initially held the title of acting prosecutor.


    “One of the strikes against him was he was an outsider. No one knew much about him and he wore a turban and it was strange — you don’t normally see people walking around with a turban,” said Sen. Gerald Cardinale, a Republican from Bergen County and the only lawmaker to vote in favor of Grewal back then.


    Grewal quickly “won people over by being fair, honest, and an extremely competent guy” and he earned the title of prosecutor, Cardinale said. “He’s an independent thinker and a gem.”


    In January, Grewal was unanimously confirmed when Murphy tapped him to be attorney general. Murphy touted Grewal’s stellar background and said he wanted diversity in his cabinet.


    The new attorney general has found supporters in improbable quarters. Amol Sinha, the executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says Grewal has signaled he is willing to collaborate on social-justice issues. “He’s set the tone and let us know he is available and will try to remedy injustices,” Sinha said.

    The ACLU had represented Patel after he was denied admission to the bar associations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The challenge was successful and he became the first Dreamer to obtain a law license in each of the two states. The night before Patel was sworn in, Grewal messaged Sinha to find out whether Patel would swear or affirm the oath of office and which holy book, if any, he would want to use during the ceremony.

    “Imagine that. The attorney general is calling the ACLU to find out what holy book the first DACA recipient in New Jersey would like to use at his swearing in,” Sinha said. “I was so moved.”


    Patel said he was glad his experience as a Dreamer allowed Grewal “to give an extra push” to his announcement that New Jersey would join 15 other states in litigation to prevent DACA recipients from being deported. Grewal’s “extraordinary sensitivity” and attention to detail about the holy book also impressed Patel. “He could have sworn me in without any book. All that’s required is I raise my right hand,” he said.

    Grewal also took the time to welcome and deliver a personal message to a roomful of immigrants from 18 countries at a naturalization ceremony in Trenton last month. He acknowledged the political climate and anti-immigrant backlash in the country, but told them to hold on to hope.

    “If there’s any doubt whether or not the American Dream is alive and well, I think I’m also proof of it,” he said. “So I want to encourage each of you to continue to pursue that American dream and I hope that together we never awaken from it.”



    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/ne...-20180302.html
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-27-2018 at 05:10 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Senate confirms Grewal as nation's first Sikh attorney general



    Grewal is the first member of Murphy’s Cabinet to be approved by lawmakers and is likely to be the most influential. | AP Photo

    January 16, 2018

    Ryan Hutchins



    TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers on Tuesday confirmed former Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal as state attorney general, placing him in one of New Jersey’s most powerful unelected offices just hours after Gov. Phil Murphy took office.

    In a late afternoon session, the state Senate voted 29-0 in favor of the nomination, installing Grewal as the nation’s first Sikh attorney general and New Jersey’s first attorney general of South Asian-American descent. He was born in Jersey City to Indian-American parents and raised in Bergen and Hudson counties.

    “I never imagined that my life's journey could bring me here today,” Grewal told lawmakers at a confirmation hearing earlier in the day.

    Grewal, 44, is the first member of Murphy’s Cabinet to be approved by lawmakers and is likely to be the most influential, with a broad mandate to oversee all law enforcement agencies and county prosecutors across the state, and to head up the massive Department of Law in Trenton.

    The historic nature of his appointment was hailed by both Democrats and Republicans, some of whom noted he had also been picked by former Gov. Chris Christie for the role of prosecutor.

    State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, a Bergen County Republican, said Grewal’s nomination for prosecutor had initially faced resistance “because he was not part of the good ol‘ boys network.” Eventually, he won over county residents “through his meritorious action,” the senator said, calling Grewal an “exceptional human being.”
    “I believe he is one of the best attorney generals we’re ever going to have in the state of New Jersey,” Cardinale said on the Senate floor before the vote.

    Grewal, a Democrat, had sailed through a confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee just minutes earlier, winning the approval of every member of the panel. He faced questions on how he would handle a number of policy issues, from going after polluters to drawing a line between state and federal law.

    The attorney general vowed to focus litigation efforts on environmental and consumer protection issues. And he said the fight against opioids — one of Christie’s top initiatives — would be among his key priorities. He said he’d look to better coordinate how county prosecutors handle heroin and opioid cases and would look to leverage the Division of Consumer Affairs in the battle against the opioid crisis.

    But Grewal will also be looked to as Murphy, who has positioned himself as a leader in the Trump resistance, tries to combat federal policies that have angered Democrats. Murphy has said he’ll turn New Jersey into a “sanctuary state” if necessary, is looking to legalize recreational marijuana despite a federal prohibition and is considering legal action to combat the federal tax code changes President Donald Trump signed in December.

    In introducing Grewal as his nominee last month, Murphy said the state needs “an attorney general unafraid to join our fellow states in using the law to protect all New Jersey residents.”

    But Murphy, who was sworn-in at a noontime ceremony at the War Memorial on Tuesday, also promised to not to influence Grewal in any unethical ways, allowing the Attorney General’s Office to “be fully independent and free to conduct its business without political interference from the governor’s office or anywhere else.”

    At Tuesday’s committee hearing, Grewal was questioned about federal policy issues, including immigration and drug issues. Asked by Cardinale what he would do if Murphy ever told him to issue a broad directive to county prosecutors to prioritize the enforcement of some laws over others, Grewal said he would decline to do so.

    “My reaction would be to have a discussion with the governor’s office and advise them on what can be done and can’t be done,” he said.

    Grewal was sworn in as Bergen County prosecutor last year. The Glen Rock resident abandoned his work in private practice several years ago to pursue a career as a prosecutor.

    Before his appointment by Christie, Grewal was an assistant U.S. Attorney under Paul Fishman, a Democrat who was ousted this year in a shakeup of federal prosecutors across the country and also attended the hearing on Tuesday in the statehouse.

    Grewal headed up the economic crimes unit for several years and oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all major white collar and cyber crimes. He also worked briefly in the federal prosecutor’s office in Brooklyn.

    Grewal graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and obtained his law degree from the College of William & Mary in 1999.



    https://www.politico.com/states/new-...general-192003


    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-27-2018 at 05:17 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    ____________________

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  3. #3
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    NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal seeks to intervene in Texas-led suit meant to end DACA

    May 21, 2018

    Monsy Alvarado

    Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Wednesday making New Jersey the tenth state to offer financial aid to undocumented college and university students. Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com



    New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal is moving to intervene in a Texas-led lawsuit that seeks an end to a federal program that shields from deportation young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

    In a brief filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Texas, Grewal asserts that New Jersey should be allowed to intervene in the suit as a defendant because terminating the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, would directly harm New Jersey and its residents. More than 17,000 New Jersey residents currently benefit from the program, whose participants are often referred to as "Dreamers."

    "Dreamers are as American as those of us who were born here, and we’ll do everything we can to protect them,” Grewal said in a statement announcing the submission of the brief. “Unfortunately, the State of Texas has brought a lawsuit to force the federal government to end protections for Dreamers, an action that would put 17,000 New Jersey residents at risk of deportation.

    "Typically, the U.S. Department of Justice would be responsible for defending DACA from this type of Texas-led lawsuit," he added, "but given everything going on in Washington these days, it’s clear that New Jersey needs to step in to protect the interests of Dreamers in our state and across the country."



    The filing comes as Grewal, who became New Jersey's attorney general in January, and Gov. Phil Murphy are asserting themselves more forcefully on the national stage as bulwarks against the conservative policies of the Trump administration. In the last few months, Grewal has joined lawsuits challenging Trump's immigration, environmental and health care initiatives led by Eric Schneiderman, the former New York attorney general.

    Schneiderman's abrupt resignation this month after he was accused of physically assaulting four women raised the question of whether Grewal would step in to lead the state-level resistance to Trump. In a previous interview, Grewal said he is not shy about stepping up when he believes the rights of New Jersey are under attack.

    Advocates for DACA recipients and other immigrants welcomed his move to intervene in the Texas case.
    "As DACA recipients continue to be under attack, including the thousands of DACA recipients in New Jersey, we are grateful that our attorney general is standing up to fight back and to show that immigrants have a place in our state and he is going to defend that,'' said Sara Cullinane of Make the Road New Jersey, which has organized protests across the state in support of DACA recipients.
    Piash Ahamed, 27, of Woodbridge asked Murphy what he was going to do about the Texas lawsuit when the governor was at Rutgers University in Newark this month to sign a bill that makes state financial aid available to undocumented college and university students. Ahamed, who is a DACA recipient, said Monday that he was happy to hear that New Jersey wants to intervene in the suit.
    "It's awesome that they are doing something about it," Ahamed said. "It makes me realize that he does care."

    Trump wants to end DACA

    The Trump administration announced last fall that it would end DACA, which President Barack Obama created with an executive order in 2012, on March 5. That day came and went with the program continuing to operate after a pair of federal judges blocked the administration’s plan to end it. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to receive and process renewal applications for DACA, though new applications are not being accepted.

    Earlier this month, Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas arguing that DACA is illegal because it was created without congressional action. The suit seeks a halt to the processing of renewal applications and asks that the court direct the federal government to implement its plan to end DACA.

    Grewal's brief included references to declarations by Robert L. Barchi, president of Rutgers University, and at least four DACA recipients in support of the move to intervene in the Texas suit.

    In his brief, Grewal said DACA grantees are health care professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, bankers, software developers, designers, research assistants, professors, architects and construction workers, some of whom own homes and cars and have family members who are citizens.
    "They are full members of the New Jersey community, our neighbors, friends, and students, brothers, and sisters, and colleagues,'' he wrote in the brief.

    Grewal argued that New Jersey has a proprietary interest in ensuring the “continued operation and vitality” of state agencies that employ DACA grantees, and of its colleges and universities, which enroll and also employ them. The brief also notes that New Jersey has a strong interest in protecting its state treasury and the state's economy, which benefit from the contributions of DACA grantees.
    “Without the ability to work to support themselves, many DACA students may be forced to drop out of school without finishing their degrees,” Grewal argued. “That would cost New Jersey’s public educational institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost tuition revenue.”

    Nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants have benefited from DACA in the six years since it was implemented. New Jersey is home to an estimated 53,000 DACA-eligible residents and a total of 17,400 current DACA grantees.

    About 15,900 DACA grantees in New Jersey are currently employed; more than 900 own their own businesses; 7,800 are in school; 5,600 are pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree; and 12,650 have an American citizen as a sibling, spouse or child, according to Grewal's statement.

    Cinthia Osorio, 23, of Dover was among the DACA recipients whose declarations in support of New Jersey's intervention were quoted in Grewal's brief. Osorio recently graduated with a degree in social work and completed an internship with the state Department of Children and Families' Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Osorio, who grew up in a low-income immigrant household and speaks Spanish, was able to "truly understand" the challenges of the division's clients, the brief states.
    "I'm really happy that my experience as an undocumented immigrant and as a recipient of DACA can be used to explain the importance of having this program or working towards a permanent protection for myself and for the other eligible or active DACA recipients,'' she said Monday. "Hopefully, with my declaration and the other Dreamers, [we] can show that we are needed in various work environments and that we are an asset to the state and to the country. "
    The spending power of DACA-eligible people in New Jersey was estimated at $679.7 million in 2015, and they pay $57.2 million in state and local taxes, according to a New American Economy report cited in the brief.


    https://www.northjersey.com/story/ne...rom=new-cookie
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-27-2018 at 05:29 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    ____________________

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Related:

    N.J. just jumped into the national immigration fight over DACA

    https://www.alipac.us/f12/n-j-just-j...5/#post1604324
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    ____________________

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)


  5. #5
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Related:

    LIVE: Gov. Murphy and Attorney General Grewal announce NJ to join federal DACA lawsuit





    https://www.alipac.us/f13/governor-m...awsuit-360026/
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-27-2018 at 05:50 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    ____________________

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)


  6. #6
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    “If there’s any doubt whether or not the American Dream is alive and well, I think I’m also proof of it,” he said. “So I want to encourage each of you to continue to pursue that American dream and I hope that together we never awaken from it.”
    But
    Grewal, 44, grew up in Essex County with his parents, an engineer and a bookkeeper who became naturalized citizens. His parents came from small villages in India and immigrated to the U.S. “with a hope to make a better life for themselves and their family,” he said.
    His parents came to the U.S. legally. He is a born American. That is the American Dream, not DACA. Parthiv Patel is an illegal alien and should be treated as such.
    avenger and Beezer like this.

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