The New Jersey State Bar Association, along with six affinity bar groups from across the state, joined together in a letter to the U.S. attorney general and secretary of Homeland Security to express “vehement opposition” to policies adopted by the Trump administration at the southern border that have resulted in family separations.

“We as Americans hold dear the concepts that government action must be subordinate to the safeguards of due process and a public, fair and impartial hearing,” the letter reads. “The current approach to border safety serves no legitimate purpose, is clearly punitive in nature and offends every one of the basic principles we hold dear.”

The letter raises concerns about due process, as well as the policy’s impact on local law enforcement efforts to build community trust and the challenges the policies impose on criminal, family and immigration courts.

The letter is signed by John E. Keefe Jr., president, New Jersey State Bar Association; Jack Chan, president, Asian Pacific Lawyers Association of New Jersey; Carolyn V. Chang, president, Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey; William T. Rogers III, president-elect, Garden State Bar Association; Hector Ruiz, president, Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey; Ehsan F. Chowdhry, president, New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association; and Sharmila D. Jaipersaud, president, South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey.

To read the letter, visit