Jan. 03, 2024

HARRISBURG – As the nation faces record numbers of illegal immigrants crossing its borders, Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette) has introduced legislation that would prevent municipalities and counties across the Commonwealth from designating themselves as “sanctuary cities.”

“An estimated 300,000 migrants, more than three-quarters of which are crossing the southern border illegally, were processed by officials in December alone, an all-time monthly high,” Warner said. “Now more than ever, we need to work together at the federal, state and local levels to combat the challenges that go along with illegal immigration.

“Communities that grant sanctuary status are severely undermining that effort,” he added.

Generally, a “sanctuary city” is one in which mayors and other elected officials have prevented their police from honoring an immigration detainer by failing to notify agents of the Department of Homeland Security of the pending release of an individual who has a detainer issued. This misguided attempt at preserving “human rights” ultimately threatens the safety of citizens legally residing in their communities.

“As Pennsylvanians and as Americans, we welcome people from around the world who wish to become American citizens through a legal immigration process,” Warner said. “Out of respect for these immigrants, and all American citizens, it is time we take a firm stand against illegal immigration.”

In addition to prohibiting a “sanctuary” designation, House Bill 1840 would require a law enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe an individual being arrested is not legally present in the United States to notify the appropriate Immigration and Customs Enforcement office within the Department of Homeland Security.

The bill also would grant legal standing to any person injured to sue a municipality or county that released an individual with a detainer and did not make a good faith effort to contact the proper immigration authorities and arrange for a transfer of custody.

House Bill 1840 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Representative Ryan Warner
52nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia Hippler