IPA will increase public safety and trust between law enforcement + local communities NYIC condemns Rensselaer for being the only county to cooperate with ICE
WHITE PLAINS, NY - Today, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed the Immigrant Protection Act (IPA) into law. Last week, the Westchester County Legislature passed the IPA after working for years with the NYIC Westchester Steering Committee. This historic bill provides vital new tools for County and local law enforcement to build trust with immigrant communities, and is fully compliant with federal law regulating the voluntary cooperation between county agencies and federal immigration agents. While the IPA is the first such legislation of its kind passed in a County, currently Rensselaer County is the only county in New York State to participate in ICE’s 287(g) program, which deputizes local law enforcement to act as federal immigration officers.
“Strong, safe communities depend on good relations between local law enforcement and the people they serve. While the IPA is a great leap forward for Westchester, we are facing a huge step back for Rensselaer where local police are now acting as agents of the federal government. We applaud Westchester County Executive George Latimer for prioritizing public safety regardless of immigration status, and call on Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick A. Russo to put public safety above ideology,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.
Studies have long shown that immigrants are more reluctant to report crime when they fear that police are acting as immigration agents. The Trump administration’s indiscriminate and aggressive immigration crackdown has led to dramatic decreases in crime reporting among immigrants across the country. Decreased reporting makes criminals harder to catch, endangering the safety of all local residents.
Special thanks to the New York Immigration Coalition's 20 Westchester-based member organizations: Neighbors Link, Community Resource Center (of Mamaroneck and Larchmont), Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Community Voices Heard – Lower Hudson Valley, John Jay Legal Services/Immigration Justice Clinic at Pace Law, My Sisters Place, RSHM Life Center, OCA – Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter, Empire Justice Center, Catholic Charities of Westchester, Cabrini Immigrant Services, Hudson Valley Justice Center, United Community Center of Westchester, NYCLU Hudson Valley Chapter, Latino U College Access, 32BJ SEIU, and regional ally Make the Road NY.