In this week's debate, New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy (D) dared President Trump to follow through on his immigration plan, saying he might then make the Garden State a sanctuary state.
Murphy, a millionaire former Goldman Sachs executive, leads Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno by an average of 16 points.
— Kim Guadagno (@KimGuadagnoNJ) October 12, 2017
"DREAMers... are every bit as American as my four kids," he said at the debate in downtown Newark, N.J.
"We will stand up to this president. If need be, we will be a sanctuary not just city but state. This is America," Murphy said.
"This is a moral test - black and white," Murphy said of Trump's immigration policy. "Mr. President, not in the state of New Jersey."
Guadagno claimed Murphy previously promised to "have the backs" of the state's illegal immigrants, singling-out a child rapist who murdered three people execution-style in an Essex County parking lot.
She also mentioned another illegal immigrant who climbed through a second-story window in Trenton, N.J. - which she noted was a sanctuary city - and raped a six-year-old.
"What I would do is follow the law," Guadagno told moderator Jim Gardner of Philadelphia's ABC affiliate.
Murphy dismissed those accusations from the former Monmouth County sheriff, saying both acts were "heinous" and should be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."
"You pit us 'them against you' - you cast a pall over an entire group of people," Murphy charged of Guadagno.
Throughout the debate, Murphy tied Guadagno's politics to her current boss, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), while Guadagno maintained that she is independent of the unpopular governor.