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United Way of Lancaster County


City Council resolution would affirm administrative approach on police non-cooperation with ICE

CASA members, in red T-shirts, attend City Council on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. At the podium is Director of Neighborhood Engagement Milzy Carrasco. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution next Tuesday affirming Lancaster’s status as a “Welcoming City,” its government’s goal of serving everyone fairly and equitably and its police department’s policy of not assisting with federal immigration enforcement.

At Monday’s council committee meeting, the item was placed without debate on the regular meeting agenda for May 9. Just four of the seven City Council members were present: President Amanda Bakay and members Jaime Arroyo, Lochard Calixte and Faith Craig.

The resolution represents a response to the nonprofit CASA, which came to City Council in April to call for a “Trust Act” barring police cooperation with ICE. Mayor Danene Sorace told CASA attorney Nicholas Katz that her administration is pursuing that goal through administrative policy development, and that passing an ordinance would unnecessarily complicate the efforts.

City police have never cooperated with ICE during his years on the force, nor will they in future, Chief Richard Mendez said.

The draft resolution stipulates that the police will “codify in written policy” that the department cooperates with federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement only “when required by applicable law,” and that the policy be made public by the end of March 2024.

CASA did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment.