On Monday, the Westchester County Legislature passed the Immigrant Protection Act. The Act prevents police from making arrests based solely on administrative warrants issued by ICE. It also makes statutory other protections already in place administratively for keeping immigrants information confidential and protected from access by ICE. The information will not be shared unless required under statute or necessary for a criminal investigation.
At a time when Nassau and Suffolk counties are defending against lawsuits challenging the arrests of immigrants by police for immigration violations, Westchester has moved in the opposite direction by imposing new protections for immigrants.
The legislation is designed to keep immigrants from being negatively targeted by county government solely based on their immigration status. It is not a “Sanctuary City” act, but rather a more limited set of protections that other suburban counties can imitate.
“Strong, safe communities depend on good relations between law enforcement and locals. Today, Westchester became the first county in the state to put public safety first for all residents, regardless of immigration status,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.