Bipartisan New Jersey Congressional Delegation: Return Cop-Killer From Cuba

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
From North Jersey's The Record:

Letter to President Obama urges return of cop-killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba

President Obama should make the extradition of Joanne Chesimard from Cuba “an immediate priority,” Rep. Scott Garrett and four House colleagues said in a letter to Obama released Monday.

Chesimard escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979 after serving two years of a life sentence for the 1978 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. She is believed to have moved to Cuba in 1984 and was granted asylum.

The letter to Obama circulated by Garrett was also signed by Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-Harding; Frank LoBiondo, R-Ventnor; Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch and Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson.

Governor Christie made a similar request in a letter released Dec. 18, a day after the White House announced plans to ease relations with Cuba.

On Dec. 17, several other members of the state's delegation in Congress also called for Chesimard's return, including Sen. Bob Menendez, D-Paramus, Reps. Chris Smith, R-Robbinsville, and Albio Sires, D-West New York, and Frelinghuysen.

The Cuban government on Dec. 22 said it has the right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, a sign it did not intend to release Chesimard, The Associated Press reported.