Following a pattern we’ve seen in other blue states, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced last week that he would be limiting how much state and local police can assist immigration enforcement efforts. This no doubt plays well with the liberal base and their continued “Abolish ICE” demands. So how did Immigration and Customs Enforcement respond? With a sweeping raid that took down more than 100 illegal immigrants, including some highly sought after characters. (NJ.com)

Immigration officials took 105 immigrants and foreign nationals into custody in a five-day operation that included the arrests of several people wanted by Interpol for alleged crimes in their home countries, federal officials said Friday.

The sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in 16 counties in N.J. also targeted immigrants who illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation and several members of alleged gangs, including MS-13, officials said.

About 80 percent of those arrested had prior criminal convictions, ICE officials said.

“These outstanding results, which were made possible by our officers and law enforcement partners, highlight the tremendous commitment that ICE ERO has to public safety throughout the state,” said John Tsoukaris, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in Newark. “Our focus has been and will continue to be on arrests of illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes or those who pose a threat to public safety.”

In reality, the word “respond” isn’t correct in this context. ICE officials insisted that this raid wasn’t any sort of response to Grewal’s announcement and had, in fact, been planned well in advance. That makes complete sense because you don’t line up that many targets, scope out their locations and move the resources into place to pick them all up in a week’s time. This operation has probably been building for many months. But I’m willing to bet it gave ICE at least a little satisfaction to see the timing work out this way.

But the success of the raids should raise another question regarding New Jersey’s state government. ICE wasn’t just picking up criminal illegal aliens here. They found members of MS-13 and individuals wanted by Interpol for crimes committed in their home countries. Is New Jersey law enforcement doing their jobs efficiently if all of these characters were out there roaming the streets?

If you are saying, or at least implying, that you don’t want ICE showing up in your state, shouldn’t you be able to show the citizens that they’re not needed and they will be safe in their homes or out on the streets? The New Jersey residents who are out there waving their #AbolishICE flags are the same ones who could be the next victims of these gang members and violent criminals. That doesn’t speak to a strong instinct for self-preservation.

Congratulations to the ICE units who took part in this operation. It was executed quickly and efficiently, without any of the suspects or the officers being injured in the process. It’s just a shame that New Jersey’s elected officials can’t show a little gratitude for this sort of assistance.