Neighbors Link, which works around the county to create stronger communities through the positive integration of immigrants, has released the following statement in response to County Executive Rob Astorino’s Executive Order regarding the relationship between County Police, ICE and the immigrant community.
The statement is attributed to Karin Anderson Pozner, Lead Attorney with the Neighbors Link Community Law Practice.
“County Executive Astorino’s proposed Executive Order simply does not provide a solution to existing challenges facing immigrants and their interaction with local law enforcement and ICE. Although he is correct that Washington has failed Westchester by not coming up with sensible immigration reform, his Executive Order is not the solution. This Order is a restatement of existing county policy without the security that it will provide true and meaningful protection of immigrants when dealing with police officers and/or ICE agents. It does nothing to end the practice of data sharing between county department of corrections and federal civil immigration authorities, even when there is no ongoing criminal investigation involving federal officials and even when the subject is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Rather than engender the trust and confidence of our residents, his Executive Order will have a profound chilling effect on law enforcement’s ability to do their real job: protecting all Westchester County residents from criminals.
We have a better solution: the Immigrant Protection Act (IPA).
The IPA protects the County and all its residents by striking a careful balance between county compliance with federal law and creating guidelines for such compliance. The IPA is our opportunity for Westchester to protect its residents, its county resources and its reputation. Let’s keep Westchester a great place to live and work for everyone who settles here and particularly for those who have come to call this place, ‘home.’ “