New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Hearings on Dangerous Sanctuary State Policies

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Directive Create Safe Harbor for Rapists and Murderers

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called for immediate legislative hearings in response to news of the rape and murder of a New Jersey nanny, Carolina Cano, by an illegal immigrant. This comes in the wake of the State Attorney General’s “Sanctuary State” directive, which went into effect last month:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called for immediate legislative hearings in response to news of the rape and murder of a New Jersey nanny by an illegal immigrant. (

“A nanny was brutally strangled, raped, and tossed into a New Jersey lake by someone who shouldn’t even have been in the country in the first place,” Pennacchio said. “The administration’s dangerous Sanctuary State policy encourages illegal immigrants to seek harbor within our state’s borders.

“My legislation would ensure local law enforcement cooperate with federal authorities to stop these criminals from putting our residents in danger. For the safety of our families, I am calling for immediate legislative hearings to assess these alarming policies. We cannot turn a blind eye to those who have no respect for U.S. law or the sanctity of human life.”

In an effort to combat the NJ Attorney General’s Sanctuary State policies, Senator Pennacchio recently introduced legislation, S-3572, to ensure illegal immigrants who have been convicted or are fleeing a sex crime charge from another country are required to register under Megan’s Law when they are apprehended in New Jersey.

The bill also states that if local police are unable to confirm the legal immigration status of a convicted sex offender, they must notify and cooperate with the appropriate federal authority.

Under Attorney General Grewal’s 2018 “New Jersey Immigrant Trust Directive,” commonly referred to as the Sanctuary State directive, law enforcement is not required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities under any circumstances, even in cases where an illegal immigrant has been convicted of a sex crime or murder on U.S. soil. The directive was issued late last year, and went into effect on March 15, 2019.

Pennacchio noted that his legislation would have required local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities in this case. Under the present law and the Attorney General’s directive, cooperation between the two would be optional.

“Sanctuary State policies undermine the effectiveness of law enforcement and put our communities in harm’s way,” Pennacchio said. “The rape and murder of Carolina Cano was a completely preventable tragedy. If your first act in entering our country is breaking the law, you should be placed in the hands of federal authorities. Period. Full Stop.”

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