Niagara County Legislature this week voted unanimously in opposition to a bill that would make New York State a “sanctuary state.”
The Dignity for Immigrants in New York State Act would prohibit police officers from detaining illegal immigrants for deportation by federal law enforcement agencies unless they’ve been convicted of serious or violent crimes.
According to the American Immigration Council, foreign-born individuals make up over 22% of New York state’s population. Under this bill, that group would be protected from arrest based on their immigration status.
Legislator Randy Bradt, who co-sponsored the resolution to oppose the bill, expressed his rationale for the decision: “The proposal to make New York state a sanctuary state will only facilitate and encourage illegal immigration. It discriminates against the people who are following the law, and creates an unfair process for those who wish to enter legally. In addition, the property taxpayers would bear the significant financial burden of meeting the needs of a new population of people, which will require substantial social services support and assistance.”
Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, who also co-sponsored the resolution in opposition to the bill, said, “This bill would only protect suspected criminals from deportation at the expense of law-abiding citizens and compromise public safety. Legislation such as this does not ensure the protection of our residents, and for that reason we had to remain opposed.”