Neighbors Link promotes the healthy integration of immigrants into local communities. When that happens, society is improved for all residents. We consider the Immigrant Protection Act to be important for the safety of the entire community and we are deeply gratified that the Westchester County Legislature has passed this measure to help everyone, in all of our towns, be safer and more secure.
We remain resilient and persistent in light of the news regarding the Immigrant Protection Act. Neighbors Link is committed to ensuring that immigrants and their families with deep roots in our communities should not live in fear of deportation. We must continue our work to pass legislation that ends the practice of information sharing between the county department of corrections and federal civil immigration authorities when there is no ongoing criminal investigation. We must protect all residents by striking a balance between county compliance with federal law and creating guidelines for such compliance. This Act was designed to protect us all, to ensure public safety and protect the rights of all those who call Westchester County home. We are committed to our unyielding conviction to celebrate and cultivate integration, diversity and inclusion --and passing strong legislation is a key step toward that vision. We must all continue this work.
County Executive Astorino is correct that Washington has failed Westchester by not coming up with sensible immigration reform, but his Executive Order is not the solution. This Order is a restatement of existing county policy without the clarity needed to truly protect immigrant residents of Westchester County. 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 or 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.’
County Executive Rob Astorino has mischaracterized this legislation as a sanctuary law and has vetoed it. We are disappointed that he has chosen to willfully disregard the voice of the majority of legislators and by extension, their constituents who support this bill. This legislation is necessary to assist local law enforcement and protect public safety. It also prohibits the county from redirecting its limited resources to federal immigration priorities. With this legislation our county is moving in the right direction. The county executive has sacrificed progress in the name of partisan politics.
To view Carola Bracco discussing the Immigrant Protection Act on Tiempo on ABC7, see below:
Tiempo ABC7 Part 1
Tiempo ABC7 Part 2
We are deeply gratified to have the support of the majority of the Westchester Board of Legislators and for the leadership of Legislator Borgia, who worked tirelessly alongside us to create the Immigrant Protection Act. We are also incredibly grateful to the collaborative effort by a stellar collection of advocates, including New York Immigration Coalition, Westchester Hispanic Coalition, John Jay Legal Services, and our own Neighbors Link Community Law Practice, who worked to bring this bill forward.
While we are not at all surprised that County Executive Astorino will veto the bill, we are, nonetheless, disappointed that he chooses to willfully disregard the will of the majority of legislators and by extension, their constituents, who support this bill. It is our hope that in the end, we will be able to harness support to override his veto and this vital piece of legislation.