RED BANK: IN LIMBO, ‘DREAMERS’ HEAD TO DC

red bank daca dreamersCristian Aparicio, Deysi Avila and Itzel Perez Hernandez have all attended Brookdale Community College under their status as DACA ‘Dreamers.’ (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhile the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on the Trump Administration’s move to rescind protections for undocumented young immigrants, a busload of them from Red Bank planned to be out on the streets of Washington, D.C.

The court’s decision “is make-or-break” for them, said Itzel Perez Hernandez, a 26-year-old borough resident who is among the some 700,000 ‘Dreamers’ still afforded protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.

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RED BANK: INTERPRETERS TO AID POLICE

red bank translator program juan sardoBorough resident Karla Ortega, left, translated remarks by Lieutenant Juan Sardo into Spanish as Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, right, looked on at last week’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIn what may be a first in New Jersey, Red Bank police will be able to draw on a team of local volunteers to help them bridge language divides in dealing with the public.

A new program championed by first-term Councilwoman Kate Triggiano will make volunteer interpreters available to help police in their normal duties as well as at community events, she said.

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RBR: FORUM ADDRESSES IMMIGRATION CRISIS

brenda codallos, itzel perez, michele alcaldeImmigrant advocates Brenda Codallos, left, and Itzel Perez listen as attorney Michele Alcalde speaks at RBR Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe political conflicts that rage over immigration will eventually be settled by today’s young people, who overwhelmingly believe immigrants are good for America, a guest speaker at Red Bank Regional High said Thursday.

Until then, however, the fears of immigration opponents must be met with data that demonstrates the economic benefits of immigration, he and others said.

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RED BANK: UNITY RALLY DRAWS A MURPHY

Tammy Murphy reacts as her husband, Governor-elect Phil Murphy, calls her while she’s delivering a speech at Saturday’s Unity Rally in Red Bank. The event drew a full house to Pilgrim Baptist Church, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ignoring biting cold, dozens of Red Bank-area residents participated in a “unity” march and rally Saturday in honor of two civil rights champions: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and journalist T. Thomas Fortune.

Anchored at Pilgrim Baptist Church, the event featured a cameo appearance by the spouse of Governor-elect Phil Murphy as part of a whirlwind, pre-inaugural tour of New Jersey.

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RED BANK: IMMIGRANTS PROCLAIM EQUALITY

The ‘Awaken Community’ march through downtown Red Bank culminated with a brief rally at Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Several hundred marchers took to the streets of downtown Red Bank hoping to preserve rights for immigrants that others don’t believe they are entitled to.

Chanting “Up, up with education, down, down with deportation,” waving American flags and carrying banners that read “Immigrants built this nation,” participants gathered around the Christmas tree at Riverside Gardens Park, where they heard an expression of moral support from the borough police department.

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RED BANK: ‘DREAMERS’ GET, AND LEND, A HAND

Itzel  Perez, left, and Karina Espana were among the ‘Dreamers’ available to assist others with the DACA renewal process during a clinic at the Red Bank Primary School Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Preparing themselves for the worst, more than a dozen undocumented young immigrants turned out at the Red Bank Primary School Monday night for guidance on navigating a future made less certain in recent weeks by the Trump administration.

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RED BANK: ‘INCLUSIVE’ MEASURE SQUEAKS BY

Monica Urena speaks to the borough council Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A resolution that thrust Red Bank into a national debate on illegal immigration won narrow approval by the borough council Wednesday night.

A watered-down version of it, that is.

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RED BANK: IMMIGRATION STANCE REVISITED

Rabbi Marc Kline at Monday’s Human Relations Advisory Committee meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After weeks of silence, the Red Bank council is expected next month to consider a proposed resolution that has thrust the borough into a national debate on illegal immigration.

Human Relations Advisory Committee Chairman David Pascale told the group Monday night that he’ll be at the April 12 council meeting to “stand by” a statement that calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

The HRAC, meanwhile, rejected member Ashley Homefield’s proposal that the committee simply “make a statement on behalf of the community rather than pushing [a resolution] to vote by the council.”

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RED BANK: HRC HEAD CALLS FOR RESIGNATION

Human Relations Committee Chairman David Pascale, seen above with member Kate Okeson, and his comment on a Facebook post by committee member Michael Clancy, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The head of Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee has asked one of its members to resign for characterizing the testimony of Latino witnesses at a meeting last month as “sob stories.”

HRC Chairman David Pascale also questioned whether member Michael Clancy, who leads the borough Republican party, is committed to the panel’s mission of fostering a “welcoming and inclusive community” after Clancy said he thought he was joining a “nothing committee.”

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RED BANK: NO ACTION ON IMMIGRATION

Protesters outside borough hall on February 27. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

A controversial proposal to have Red Bank oppose “any forced collaboration” between its police and federal immigration authorities generated no official action by the borough council Wednesday night.

Meeting for the first time since hundreds of protesters from both sides of the national immigration debate packed an advisory committee meeting eight days earlier, the council still had nothing in hand to vote upon, Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: SQUARING OFF OVER IMMIGRATION

Pro-immigrant protesters, above, outnumbered opponents outside borough hall both before and after Monday’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With rallies before and afterward heavily favoring the rights of undocumented residents, Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee voted Monday to oppose “any forced collaboration” between borough police and federal authorities when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

Short of declaring Red Bank a “sanctuary city,” the committee passed, by a 5-2 vote, a resolution that instead calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

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PRESS: DWI CHARGED IN MIDDLETOWN CRASH

An Ocean County resident is facing drunken driving and other charges, as well as possible deportation, following a three-vehicle crash that seriously injured another man in Middletown Tuesday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Meanwhile, Robert H. Reimann, 54, of Atlantic Highlands, remains hospitalized at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Npetune, where he was flown by helicopter after being trapped in his car for an hour following the 6 p.m. collision on Navesink River Road, the Press reports.

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FEDS: SHARMA TO BE DEPORTED

best-grocerySunny Sharma’s Leighton Avenue business, Best Deli & Food Market, was open Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

Federal immigration officials say Red Bank retailer Sunny Sharma remains in their custody and will be deported, but they’re mum on why — and so is his fiancé, who now appears to be running his Leighton Avenue grocery.

Sharma was arrested at his store as a fugitive last Thursday afternoon and  “will be removed from the country,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Harold Ort tells redbankgreen.

Agency privacy rules prohibit the disclosure of any additional information regarding Sharma’s whereabouts or the particulars of his case, Ort says. “Fugitive” can mean several things, including ignoring an immigration court order or illegal re-entry into the U.S., Ort says.

Sharma, who lived in Middletown, is a native of India.

Sharma’s business, Best Deli & Food Market, was open its usual hours on Monday, leaving some neighbors wondering what the scene Thursday was about, when Sharma was reportedly taken out of his store in handcuffs.

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SHARMA BUSTED ON IMMIGRATION WARRANT

Sunny1

Sunny Sharma, a onetime Red Bank liquor retailer who was stripped of his license for selling booze to minors, has been arrested on an alleged immigration violation, redbankgreen has learned.

Red Bank police confirmed that Sharma was taken into custody at his Leighton Avenue grocery store Thursday afternoon on a warrant by officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Police had no additional information. A spokesman for ICE could not immediately be reached for comment on the reason for the arrest and Sharma’s status.

A witness tells redbankgreen that Sharma was led out of his store in handcuffs.

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MIDDLETOWN COPS BUST BURGLARY RING

joeys-cruz2Police in Middletown say they have arrested an illegal immigrant from Honduras who used at least one juvenile to help him pull off a yearlong string of burglaries in that town and others.

Here’s the full text of a news release from Lieutenant Joe Capriotti:

The Middletown Township Police Department has arrested a Middlesex County man who was employing juveniles in a burglary ring that operated in Monmouth County, Union County and Somerset County.

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