Senators Condemn Lancaster City Council Decision That Threatens Safety of Lancaster County Residents

LANCASTER – Last evening, Lancaster City Council unanimously passed the Lancaster Trust Act that officially terminates the city’s cooperation with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) other than when court orders or certain crimes are involved. Sens. Ryan Aument (R-36), Scott Martin (R-13), and Chris Gebhard (R-48) issued the following statement regarding Tuesday’s vote that codified the policy into law:

“We are extremely alarmed at the Lancaster City Council’s decision to not cooperate with a federal law enforcement agency. Make no mistake, they are breaking the law and compromising the safety of Lancaster County residents.

“It is appalling that they would make this decision just five days after an innocent 22-year-old student was murdered in Georgia at the hands of a violent illegal immigrant who was only allowed to be in this country due to dangerously lax immigration policies, like what Lancaster City Council just approved yesterday. It is worth noting that the murderer had previously been arrested for another crime and subsequently released by authorities in New York prior to killing his victim.

“Additionally, we know that weak border security creates an easy avenue for cartels to force more innocent people, including children, into human trafficking. Just this week, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council union warned that human trafficking could become as big as fentanyl in the United States through increased illegal immigration.

“Yesterday’s decision by the council undermines the great work being done by the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office and groups like ZOE International and North Star Initiative to lead the way in combatting human trafficking, a heinous crime that is disproportionately prevalent right here in our county.

“While the historic crisis at the border is largely due to President Biden’s failed immigration policies, this decision by the council only exacerbates the issue locally. It is tone deaf, dangerous, and worsens an already severe emergency.

“The unprecedented increase in the number of undocumented immigrants crossing our borders daily is not only problematic, but it puts a strain on all our community’s resources from public education to housing to food. There’s a difference between compassion and breaking the law to the detriment of Lancaster County residents.

“We strongly urge the council to rescind their decision and instead prioritize the safety and wellbeing of Lancaster County residents.”


CONTACT:      Stephanie Applegate (Sen. Aument)
                        Jason Thompson (Sen. Martin)
                        Alex Gamble (Sen. Gebhard)

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