Lawmaker wants to end City of Pittsburgh’s ‘sanctuary city’ status, ban designation statewide

PITTSBURGH — A local lawmaker wants to do away with the City of Pittsburgh’s “sanctuary city” status.

Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca spoke with Rep. Ryan Warner, who says the designation hurts more than it helps. Warner, who is from Fayette County, has introduced legislation that would stop any municipality in Pennsylvania from designating itself as a sanctuary municipality.

The bill is in the beginning stages — but if made into a law, it would prevent Pittsburgh and Allegheny County from labeling themselves a sanctuary city and county.

In our area, the Center for Immigration Studies lists Allegheny and Westmoreland counties as “sanctuary counties.”

Westmoreland County told us they do not have any ordinance or resolution that designates their municipality as a sanctuary county. According to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement website, the Westmoreland County Prison will not honor an ICE detainer without a judicially authorized warrant or court order.

In Warner’s proposed bill, sanctuary cities would be banned in Pennsylvania and would require a law enforcement officer to notify immigration and customs enforcement, if an undocumented immigrant commits a crime.

“We have a national crisis on our hands,” Warner said. “It’s not just PA, I’m trying to do our part in what we can do in PA. We have a national crisis at the border right now.”

Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato gave Channel 11 the following statement:

“For reference, this report found that if it weren’t for immigration into Pittsburgh our population decline would have been even more significant. As I said in my inauguration speech yesterday, we absolutely need to welcome immigrants to our region for population stabilization and economic growth. Not only that, it is the right thing to do. We can love our Pittsburgh traditions and not fear change. Pittsburgh has one of the smallest populations of immigrants of any major metropolitan area in the country, but they are playing an increasingly important role in our economy. This is a great place to live and work and we welcome people who want to make Pittsburgh their home.”

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