TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner today proposed legislation to require illegal immigrants to post full cash bail if they are charged with crimes in New Jersey.
“When illegals commit crimes, they should be taken off our streets,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Full cash bail should crack down on the underground escape routes of illegals with nothing to lose.”
Senator Turner said her proposed legislation was inspired by the tragic deaths of three Newark college students, who were lined up in a school yard and shot in their heads while a fourth was seriously wounded but survived the attack.
“A suspected ringleader in these murders (Jose Carranza) is an illegal Peruvian immigrant who was walking the streets after posting just 10 percent of his already-reduced $150,000 bail for charges of robbery and repeated sex crimes against a child,” Senator Turner said. “That’s an outrage.”
Senator Turner, who sponsored a full cash bail requirement for those charged with violent crimes, said she recently met with State Attorney General Anne Milgram who told her it has proved to be an effective deterrent to bail jumping.
“Illegals who commit crimes, like most violent criminals, usually have no links to the community and believe fleeing is a better choice than facing the justice system,” Senator Turner said. “Bail is meant to ensure that defendants face justice –not an escape route. My bill is designed to do just that.”
Senator Turner also sponsored a law to require source bail hearings which require proof that bail money comes from legitimate sources – not from organized or gang-related criminal activity such as drug cartels. Another pending proposal she is sponsoring would add possession of illegal weapons as grounds for triggering the full cash bail requirement.
“If defendants can’t document where their bail money is coming from, they should just sit tight behind bars until their trials,” Senator Turner said.
For illegals, especially those with Central or South American connections, Senator Turner said access to underground escape routes to foreign countries is easily available.
“But for the highly effective police work which led to the capture of the Newark murder suspects, the killers might have escaped this country in no time,” Senator Turner said. “All in all, suspects like these are better off in jail because they won’t find clean dollars for full cash bail.”
Senator Turner said she expects a bill draft shortly from the Office of Legislative Services and will request expedited legislative approval as soon as the Senate and Assembly reconvene.