YORKTOWN, NY – According to the Affiliated Police Association of Westchester County, the passage of the Immigration Protection Act (IPA) would handcuff local law enforcement by turning Westchster into a Sanctuary County for criminal illegal aliens. At last night’s town board meeting, by a 4-1 vote, a resolution was approved supporting County Executive Astorino’s veto of the measure.
Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said, “As the son of a German immigrant who also survived the Holocaust, I fully acknowledge the important role immigrants have had in shaping our nation. However, we are also a nation of laws and it is simply absurd to provide sanctuary to dangerous criminals who are here illegally. I applaud County Executive Astorino’s courage and leadership in protecting the constitution.”
Astorino’s veto message, dated August 16, 2017, cited nine flaws and dangers of passing the legislation. Among them, Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth says the Act “will make Westchester families and police officers less safe” and added that “anything that inhibits our ability to work with federal law enforcement partners like the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies is a bad and reckless idea.”
Yorktown Town Councilman Tom Diana, a former police officer for Westchester County, echoed these sentiments, “Having reviewed the legislation passed by the Board of Legislators it is clear, from my experience in law enforcement, that lives will be put at risk if this became law. Not to mention, by putting up barriers between law enforcement agencies, would require duplicative actions, equipment and time that would only cost taxpayers more money and prolong ongoing operations. It is clear this legislation was written with a political objective in mind and not one for enhanced public safety.”
In his statement following the veto County Executive Astorino said, “Washington needs to get its act together. In the meantime, Westchester will continue to protect all of its residents. However, if you end up in our jail for committing a crime, and you’re not here legally, we’re not providing a sanctuary for you.”
Yorktown Councilman Greg Bernard said, “Illegal is illegal. To give special privileges to people who have committed dangerous and violent crimes, who are here illegally as it is, is absurd.”
Yorktown Councilman Ed Lachterman said, “Yorktown, and Westchester County, are among the best places to live, work and raise a family. We work everyday to give everyone the opportunity to succeed – especially the immigrant population. We are just asking for people coming into our country, and essentially our community, to do so the right way.”