New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Monday that the US has suspended all immigration enforcement, including for residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.
“We’ve put an end to the enforcement that is necessary in order to keep America safe,” Christie said.
“It has been a difficult decision, but we have to do it.”
The governor also said the US will not be enforcing immigration law for “a very long time.”
The governors of Minnesota and Maine also said that they will not enforce the travel restrictions.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday morning suspending immigration from the seven countries, but the administration has yet to provide a date when it plans to reestablish the travel restriction.
Trump signed the order late Monday, saying it would help the US fight terrorism and protect Americans from terrorism.
In addition to the suspension of immigration enforcement in New York, California and Minnesota, Christie’s order also prohibits the federal government from paying any of the state or local governments for any federal assistance provided to New Jersey or any of its territories.
Christie said that he will “continue to work with my state and local partners” to “make sure we are protecting our communities from the terrorists, and we’re protecting our state from the threats that they pose.”
The US Department of Homeland Security also issued a statement on Monday saying it was suspending all US grants to states to provide support for the implementation of the order.
“In the meantime, we have begun to review all grants that have been provided to our states,” DHS said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the governor would work with state and city officials to ensure they comply with the ban.
“There is no way I am going to sign an executive directive that suspends the civil rights of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.
The White House says the order was issued to protect the United States from “the threat of terrorism.”
The White, House, Senate and House of Representatives have been working on legislation to lift the ban, which was first implemented in January.