Last week Butler County, Pennsylvania, announced that it was terminating its “sanctuary county” for illegal immigrants status. Prior to February 21st, the county was listed online as a sanctuary located in a list compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies. The list also included another 16 counties in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and Allegheny County.
Last week, the county prison board clarified its current association with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and noted that under the current policy, the Butler County Prison is going to provide ICE with a list of prisoners and allow the agency access to their facilities and emails. They will also acknowledge ICE detainers with a warrant.
Republican state Rep. Stephenie Scialabba noted that “the sanctuary designation did not reflect our intentions or practices,” and added that the county is focused on “security and law and order.”
This message was also reaffirmed by County Commissioner Kim Geyer who also noted that the sanctuary designation “created a lot of heartache and angst” among residents who did not believe it accurately reflected Butler County’s values.
Authorities have further stated that they support legal migration, but growing concerns regarding the influx of illegal immigration and its connection to drug trafficking have led to their decision.