The Immigration Protection Act limits information the county shares with federal immigration authorities.
Westchester County will observe its pro-undocumented immigrant law in the face of large-scale immigration raids threatened by the Donald Trump administration.
A civil rights advocacy group asked County Executive George Latimer to take steps to oppose the planned raids through Westchester’s own Immigration Protection Act.
“Westchester County Executive George Latimer is supportive of the IPA and we intend to fully comply with the law, as we do with all other local laws,” Catherine Cioffi, Latimer’s spokeswoman said.
The Journal News/lohud reported Tuesday that the director of the Lower Hudson Valley chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union asked Latimer to make sure county law enforcement resources aren’t used to assist in any local raids.
“Pursuant to Westchester County law, county law enforcement officers must not accommodate any requests by ICE to provide back-up for planned enforcement actions, block off streets or sidewalks to facilitate a home raid, or provide immigration authorities with individuals’ personal information for the purpose of carrying out raids,” director Shannon Wong wrote.
The county’s Immigration Protection Act limits information the county shares with federal immigration authorities and bars county employees from asking about a person’s citizenship in most circumstances.
The NYCLU highlighted the law in its letter, asking that county resources “are not improperly used to aid in ICE enforcement actions.” The letter came after President Donald Trump said that raids across the country could take place sometime after the July Fourth holiday.
The raids were expected in 10 major cities including New York, with plans to deport 1 million people, according to various media reports. The raids were expected in June but Trump announced they’d been delayed and said he’d give Congress two weeks to work on asylum laws and migrants entering the U.S. through its southern border.
Trump said during a news conference after the G-20 summit in Japan that he planned to stick to the plan.
“We will be removing large numbers of people,” Trump said, according to USA TODAY.
News of the planned raids drew defiant stances from some elected officials across the country,
“NY will continue to stand with all immigrants to ensure they have the full protections afforded under the law,” Cuomo tweeted on Monday, offering a toll free number for legal assistance.
County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky, a Hastings-on-Hudson Democrat, told The Journal News/lohud that she believed Westchester’s law offered adequate protections and that county employees should be aware of what the law requires them to do.
“But beyond that we really don’t play an active role in jumping in front of ICE and saying, ‘No you shall not do this,’ ” she said.
Shimsky has been highly critical of ICE and cited reports the agency may have held legal citizens mistakenly.
“As an individual, I think what they’re doing is really horrendous,” she said. “I mean we talk about people being quote-unquote illegals but when you look at some of the criminality that’s going on in the Trump administration right now, please tell me who the illegals are.”
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