From left, Cape May County Sheriff Bob Nolan, Senate candidate Michael Testa and Assembly candidate Antwan McClellan.

At the behest of Freeholder Gerry Thornton, Freeholder Marie Hayes and Cape May County GOP Chairman Marcus Karavan, Cumberland County attorney Michael Testa has agreed to help Cape May County contest Governor Phil Murphy’s “Sanctuary State” directive and to maintain the 287(g) agreement that the county currently has with ICE.

Senate candidate Michael Testa addresses the crowd from the court house steps.

“The Murphy Administration’s attack on our county threatens the safety of our residents and seeks to compel us to disobey federal law,” Thornton said. “As duly elected officials in Cape May County, we took an oath to uphold the U.S. and N.J. constitutions. We will not allow Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal to bully us into becoming a Sanctuary County, not now, not ever.”

Testa, the Republican candidate for the 1st Legislative District, will aid Thornton in litigation filed by Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The counties are currently contesting the “Immigrant Trust” directive on the grounds that it violates federal and state constitutional law.

Assembly candidate Antwan McClellan, in red shirt, shows his support for Sheriff Bob Nolan.

GOP Chairman Karavan commented, “Unfortunately, our Cape May County freeholders and sheriff have received little by way of actual support from the sitting Senator Bob Andrzejczak. While claiming to be an independent thinker, the appointed senator votes with Governor Murphy 95 percent of the time, including voting to cut our school aid while giving college tuition aid to illegal immigrants. Moreover, this is the same governor who cuts veterans benefits, but created a legal defense fund for illegal immigrants. Strong, immediate action is needed to prevent this injustice from taking root in Cape May County.”

County officials and local residents held a rally Friday on the steps of the court house to show their support for Cape May County Sheriff Bob Nolan in his dispute with the Murphy administration over the ICE agreement.

“The laws, the facts, and public opinion are on our side, even if our current Democrat state legislators are not,” Testa said. “Governor Murphy and Trenton Democrats are not only dead wrong on this policy – but their actions are illegal and unconstitutional. It violates the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause and the N.J. Constitution’s home rule doctrine. I am proud to support Sheriff Nolan and the Cape May County freeholders and take on this critical fight.”

Hundreds of Cape May County residents came out on short notice to attend the rally.

Recently, the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution in support of Nolan and the county’s participation in 287(g) with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Last week, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal ordered the counties to stand down, barring state, county and local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE.

“Cape May County families want no part of Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State,” Hayes said. “For nearly 29 years, I worked in law enforcement to save innocent children from assault and rape. Now, the governor is allowing these monsters to be released from jail before ICE can detain them. They are putting their own twisted political ideology over safety and we are not going to let it stand.”

Sheriff Bob Nolan, center, tells the crowd that his highest priority is public safety in Cape May County.