Lancaster County votes to become ‘non-sanctuary’ county

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – After the Lancaster City Council voted unanimously to end cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month, it prompted Lancaster County Commissioners to write their own resolution.

In a move that counters the city’s ‘sanctuary city’ move, the Commissioners voted 2-to-1 in favor of becoming a ‘non-sanctuary’ county.

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Commissioner Alice Yoder did not vote in favor of the resolution. She views it as a federal issue.

“This is not a local county issue to address,” Yoder said. “There is no connection between undocumented immigrants and crime whatsoever.”

Crime is at the forefront for Commissioners Josh Parsons and Ray D’Agostino voting in favor.

“You’re seeing the White House now reaching out to sanctuary cities. That was in the news recently saying don’t do this. This is a bad idea,” Parsons said. “At the same time, Lancaster City is taking the opposite course, saying we’re going to become the newest sanctuary city.”

Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace chimed in on the Commissioners’ decision.

“I am glad to reassure the Commissioners that the City will continue to follow all applicable laws and comply with federal immigration enforcement when required by law. Otherwise, we are leaving federal immigration enforcement to federal officials,” Sorace said in a written statement.

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Some say the city’s move is a step towards protecting undocumented immigrants, allowing them more access without fear of deportation.

“We’re talking a totally different immigration than we’ve seen before,” Stephen Mohr from Conoy Township said.

“It’s a shame that people, policies and this resolution exploits these fears to garner support,” CASA State Director Daniel Alvalle said.

There are concerns about people spending thousands and thousands of dollars and waiting years to become legal citizens when undocumented immigrants are coming right in.

“I would like to be able to support illegal immigration but it’s an unsustainable model at this point,” Wendy Voulopos of East Hempfield Township said. “Lancaster County is not equipped to fix the world’s problems.”

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